Pickleball

What Is It?

  • A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.
  • It can be played indoors or outdoors
  • Played singles 1 vs 1 or doubles 2 vs 2
  • Equipment includes a paddle and a hard plastic ball with holes
  • Enjoyed by all ages!

Basic Rules & Etiquette

The following is an abbreviated form of the rules to give a quick overview of how the game is played. If there is a conflict between this summary and the official rules, the official rules prevail.

Basic Rules Overview
• Pickleball is played either as doubles (two players per team) or singles; doubles is most common.
• The same size playing area and rules are used for both singles and doubles.

The Serve
• The serve must be made underhand.
• Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist (navel level).
• The serve is initiated with at least one foot behind the baseline; neither foot may contact the baseline or court until after the ball is struck.
• The serve is made diagonally crosscourt and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.

Service Sequence
• Both players on the serving doubles team have the opportunity to serve and score points until they commit a fault *(except for the first service sequence of each new game).
• The first serve of each side-out is made from the right/even court.
• If a point is scored, the server switches sides and the server initiates the next serve from the left/odd court.
• As subsequent points are scored, the server continues switching back and forth until a fault is committed and the first server loses the serve.
• When the first server loses the serve the partner then serves from their correct side of the court (except for the first service sequence of the game*).
• The second server continues serving until his team commits a fault and loses the serve to the opposing team.
• Once the service goes to the opposition (at side out), the first serve is from the right/even court and both players on that team have the opportunity to serve and score points until their team commits two faults.
• In singles the server serves from the right/even court when his or her score is even and from the left/odd when the score is odd.

*At the beginning of each new game, only one partner on the serving team has the opportunity to serve before faulting, after which the service passes to the receiving team.

Scoring
• Points are scored only by the serving team.
• Games are normally played to 11 points, win by 2.
• Tournament games may be to 15 or 21, win by 2.
• When the serving team’s score is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10) the player who was the first server in the game for that team will be in the right/even court when serving or receiving; when odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) that player will be in the left/odd court when serving or receiving.

Two-Bounce Rule
• When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before returning, and then the serving team must let it bounce before returning, thus two bounces.
• After the ball has bounced once in each team’s court, both teams may either volley the ball (hit the ball before it bounces) or play it off a bounce (ground stroke).
• The two-bounce rule eliminates the serve and volley advantage and extends rallies.

Non-Volley Zone
• The non-volley zone is the court area within 7 feet on both sides of the net.
• Volleying is prohibited within the non-volley zone. This rule prevents players from executing smashes from a position within the zone.
• It is a fault if, when volleying a ball, the player steps on the non-volley zone, including the line and/or when the player’s momentum causes them or anything they are wearing or carrying to touch the non-volley zone including the associated lines.
• It is a fault if, after volleying, a player is carried by momentum into or touches the non-volley zone, even if the volleyed ball is declared dead before this happens.
• A player may legally be in the non-volley zone any time other than when volleying a ball.
• The non-volley zone is commonly referred to as “the kitchen.”

Line Calls
• A ball contacting any line, except the non-volley zone line on a serve, is considered “in.”
• A serve contacting the non-volley zone line is short and a fault.

Faults
• A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.
• A fault by the receiving team results in a point for the serving team.
• A fault by the serving team results in the server’s loss of serve or side out.

Determining Serving Team
Any fair method can be used to determine which player or team has the first choice of side, service, or receive. (Example: Write a 1 or 2 on the back of the score sheet.)

Indoor Courts & Drop-In Play

Community Center

Address: 1777 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton
Courts: 3 available courts
Availability:
Pilot Pickleball on Sundays (11/07-12/19 from 9A-12P)

Register: Mobile | Desktop

Central Athletic Complex

Address: 500 S Naperville Rd, Wheaton
Courts: 3 available courts
Availability: Pickleball on Wednesdays (11/03-12/22 from 9:30A-12:30P)

Register: Mobile | Desktop

Outdoor Courts & Drop-In Play | Spring (March)-Fall (November)

Central Park

Address: 600 S Main St, Wheaton
Courts: 6 dedicated courts
Availability: Dawn-10P*; lights turn off at 10P

Atten Park

Address: 1720 S Wiesbrook Rd, Wheaton
Courts: 2 dedicated courts
Availability: Dawn-Dusk; no lights at courts

Northside Park

Address: 1300 N West St, Wheaton
Courts: 2 tennis courts lined for pickleball (near entrance)
Availability: Dawn-Dusk; no lights at courts

*Available anytime when the park is open and the courts are not in use by Wheaton Park District classes or leagues. Please check outdoor signage for dates/times.

Meet the Staff

Theresa Lemmer

My passion for pickleball started a few years ago when a colleague suggested I join her in this weirdly named sport. And as most folks do, once they pick up a paddle and finally understand what 0-0-2 means, they become a pickleball addict!

I continued to play for a few years but needed an indoor location for the winter, so I approached Mount Prospect’s Park District. It turned out that they had tried to start a program but weren’t successful and they even tried hosting a tournament. MPPD was very receptive and we grew their program to a 6-day operation and we even had their first successful tournament the very first year!

Shortly thereafter, District 214’s adult education program in Arlington Heights was looking to replace their instructor who retired to the mecca of pickleball (Florida). I had new ideas and the administration embraced them.

I had been driving 20+ miles to play in other areas, so I thought it would be great to build a program here in my hometown of Wheaton. It started small, during the pandemic we had Sunday morning indoor play on five courts. Then in early 2021, we created beginner and beginner-intermediate classes for both adults and kids. Once the new outdoor courts were completed in July, we created league play at all levels. As far as I know, we are the ONLY park district in the area to have done so thus far.

I just love working with my supervisor Matthew Wrobel. He and the director are so supportive and they have allowed me to be creative with building and growing the program here in my hometown. There is a treasure trove of ideas in the works.

Just watch, soon Wheaton will become the local mecca of pickleball!

Matthew Wrobel

Adult Education & Recreation Supervisor
630.510.5131 (Office) | 630.346.5702 (cell)
mwrobel@wheatonparks.org

Matthew Wrobel started from humble beginnings as an intern in the Athletic Department for the Wheaton Park District from January-May 2012. He stayed on after the internship finished and became a part-time employee for the Athletic Department.

Fast forward to 2014, where he became the Adult Education & Recreation Supervisor which continues to be his role today.

The first time Matthew heard of the sport named “pickleball” was in 2015. After playing a couple of games, he proceeded to add a drop-in program on Wednesday afternoons at the Wheaton Park District Community Center. From modest beginnings to present times, the Pickleball program has grown exponentially in Wheaton.