POPS Etiquette

It’s But A Game

Pickleball is a game. It is not a metaphor for life. It is not a profession. You will not eat differently, nor will your life change based on your success during a recreational pickleball match.

We are a friendly, inclusive club where all players welcome the opportunity to play with and against everyone regardless of their experience or skill level. Good sportsmanship,  respectful, and courteous play ensures every outing is an enjoyable experience.

Acknowledge, Introduce, Be Positive

Acknowledge your opponents at the beginning of the game. Introduce yourself when playing with unfamiliar players.

At the end of the game meet at the net and tap paddle handles & say something positive like “nice play” or “thanks for the game”.

Leaving the Court After the Game

Once the game is complete, call out “COURT” so the next group waiting knows it’s their turn to play. Try not to disrupt players on adjacent courts. Wait until they have completed the point and exit together walking briskly off the courts.

Follow the protocol that is established to determine when it is your turn to play once again.

If Another Ball Enters Your Court

If a ball bounces or rolls into your court, yell “BALL” and immediately stop play, pick up the ball & toss it to the correct court. Replay the point.

Scoring Line and Foot Calls

Call out the score loudly enough for all players to hear before every point serve to ensure all the players know the score and are ready to play.

The receiving team gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls. Any ball that cannot be called “out” is considered “in”. A receiving player may ask the opponent’s opinion and if requested, it must be accepted. A “let” or reserve, cannot be claimed if the ball was not seen. (USAPA rule 6.D.3)

Service & NVZ (kitchen) foot faults can be called by all players but you are encouraged to call your own.

Coaching, Advice Giving and Cheering

If you believe another player would benefit from an observation about their play, DON’T OFFER IT. Most people don’t want advice or suggestions about their play on or off court and will not take it well. Continuous, unsolicited coaching is demeaning, embarrassing, and belittling. If someone asks for your input, offer a tip or two after your game once you are off the court, so as not to detract from the flow of the game.

Good sportsmanship and respectful play does not include cursing, over cheering, taunting, or criticism.  Find a way to make your current experience positive for everyone, encouragement and complements typically work well.


If you are near your partner with an overhead slam opportunity where you may hit them, stop play. Let the ball drop and lose the point or serve. Safe play is a priority.

Hit the Ball to Both Opponents

Involve all players, teammate and opponents, equally in a game. Your opponents and partner should be challenged and engaged throughout the game.  Playing is learning! 

ITPTA coaching model is our adopted model over USAPA & others.

Remember..it’s only a game..keep it fun!