How to Play & skill levels

Georgia Pickleball

How to Play Pickleball Video

Skill Levels & Summaries

New and have only minimal knowledge of the game and the rules.

  • Limited to some rallies.
  • Learning how to serve.
  • Developing a forehand.
  • Fails to return easy balls frequently and occasionally missing the ball entirely.
  • Played a few games and is learning the court lines, scoring, and some basic rules of the game.
  • Sustains a short rally with players of equal ability.
  • Demonstrates the basic shot strokes; forward, backhand, volley, overhead, and serve.
  • Familiar with court positioning in doubles play
  • Makes longer lasting slow-paced rallies.
  • Makes most easy volleys and uses some backhands, but needs more work on developing shot strokes.
  • Beginning to approach the non-volley zone to hit volleys.
  • Aware of the “soft game”.
  • Knowledge of the rules has improved.
  • Court coverage is weak but improving.
  • More consistent on the serve and service return and when returning medium-paced balls
  • Demonstrates improved skills with all the basic shot strokes and shot placement, but lacks control when trying for direction, depth, or power on their shots
  • Beginning to attempt lobs and dinks with little success and doesn’t fully understand when and why they should be used
  • Demonstrates improved stroke dependability with directional control on most medium-paved balls and some faster-paced balls
  • Demonstrates improved control when trying for direction, depth, and power on their shots
  • Needs to develop variety with their shots
  • Exhibits some aggressive net play
  • Beginning to anticipate opponent’s shots
  • Learning about the importance of strategy and teamwork in doubles
  • Consistent and dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand shots
  • Reliable serves, lobs, overheads, approach shots, volleys, and can use spin shots with some success
  • Occasionally can force errors when serving
  • Rallies may be lost due to impatience
  • Uses the dink shot and drop shots to slow down or change the pace of the game
  • Demonstrates 3rd shot strategies; drop shots, lobs, and fast paced ground strokes
  • Aggressive net play and teamwork in doubles is evident. Fully understands the rules of the game and can play by them
  • Beginning to master the use of power and spin, can successfully execute all shots, can control the depth of their shots, and can handle pace
  • Beginning to master the dink shots and drop shots and their importance to the game
  • Beginning to master 3rd shot choices
  • Displays sound footwork and moves well enough to get to the non-volley zone whenever required
  • Understands strategy and can adjust style of play and game plan according to the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and court position
  • Serves with power and accuracy and can also vary  the speed and spin of the serve
  • Understands the importance of “keeping the ball in play” and the effect of making errors
  • Making good choices in shot selection
  • Anticipates the opponent’s shots resulting in good court positioning
  • Mastered all the skills; all shot types, touch, spin, serves with control, and can use them as weapons
  • Excellent shot anticipation, extremely accurate shot placement and regularly hit winning shots
  • Forces opponents into making errors by “keeping the ball in play”
  • Mastered the dink and drop shots
  • Mastered the 3rd shot choices and strategies
  • Uses soft shots, dinks, and lobs to set up offensive situations
  • Mastered pickleball strategies and can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive or tournament matches
  • Dependable in stressful situations as in tournament match play
  • Athletic ability, quickness, agility, and raw athleticism are also qualities that are sometimes what separates the top players from those near the top

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