Glossary of Pickleball Terms - USAPA Rule Book - 2018
DEFINITIONS -USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook 12
3.A.1. Carry – Hitting the ball in such a way that it does not
bounce away from the paddle but tends to be carried
along on the face of the paddle during its forward
3.A.2. Court – The court is defined as the area inside the
outer dimensions of the baselines and sidelines.
3.A.3. Cross-Court – The court diagonally opposite your court.
3.A.4. Dead Ball – A ball that is no longer in play.
3.A.5. Dink Shot – A soft shot that is intended to arc over the
net and land within the non-volley zone.
3.A.6. Double Bounce – A ball that bounces more than once
on one side before it is returned.
3.A.7. Double Hit – Hitting the ball twice before it is returned.
3.A.8. Drop Shot – A shot that falls short of the opponent’s
position on the opponent’s side of the court.
3.A.9. Drop Shot Volley – A volley intended to diminish the
speed of the ball and return it short on the opponent’s
side of the court, near the net.
3.A.10. Fault – A loss of the rally resulting in a point for the
opposing team, a loss of serve (from first serve to second serve), or a side out.
3.A.11. First Server – In singles, the player who serves first.
In doubles, after each side out, the player who is
correctly positioned on the right/even service court
when service is awarded to the team becomes the first
3.A.12. Starting First Server – For each doubles team, the
player designated to serve first at the start of the game.
In doubles tournament play, the starting first server
shall wear a visible form of identification determined
by the tournament director.
3.A.13. Groundstroke – Hitting the ball after one bounce.
3.A.14. Half Volley – A groundstroke that contacts the ball
immediately after it bounces and before the ball
reaches its full height.
3.A.15. Hinder – Any element or occurrence outside of the
player’s control that impacts play. Example: a stray
ball that enters the court during play.
3.A.16. Left/Odd Court – The service area on the left side of
the court, when facing the net. The starting first server
or the singles server should be positioned on the
left/odd side of the court when his or her score is odd.
3.A.17. Let – A serve or rally that must be replayed for any
3.A.18. Lob – A high and deep shot that is intended to force
the opposing side back to the baseline.
3.A.19. Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) – The 7-foot-by-20-foot area
adjacent to each side of the net. All lines bounding the
NVZ are part of the NVZ. T
3.A.20. Overhead Slam/Smash – A hard overhand shot.
3.A.21. Paddle Head – The paddle, excluding the handle.
3.A.22. Passing Shot – A volley or groundstroke that passes
an opponent, usually to win the rally.
3.A.23. Permanent Object – Any object on or near the court,
including hanging over the court, that can interfere with play.
Permanent objects include the ceiling, walls,
fencing, lighting fixtures, net posts, the stands and
seats for spectators, the referee, line judges, spectators
when in their recognized positions, and all other
objects around and above the court.
3.A.24. Rally – Continuous play that occurs after the serve and
before a fault.
3.A.25. Receiver – The receiver is the player diagonally
opposite from the server.
3.A.26. Replay – Any rally that is replayed for any reason
without the awarding of a point or a change of server.
3.A.27. Right/Even Court – The service area on the right side
of the court, when facing the net. The starting first server in doubles or the singles server should be positioned in the right/even court when his or her score is even.
3.A.28. Second Serve – A term used to describe the condition
when a serving team loses the first of its two allocated serves.
3.A.29. Second Server – In doubles, the first server’s partner.
The second server serves after the first server loses serve.
3.A.30. Service Court – The area on either side of the
centerline, including the centerline, sideline, & baseline, excluding the NVZ.
3.A.31. Service Motion – Begins when the player’s arm moves to initiate the swing backward or forward to contact the ball.
3.A.32. Serving Area – The area behind the baseline and on or between the imaginary lines extended from the court centerline and each sideline.
3.A.33. Side Out – When a singles player or doubles team
loses its serve(s) and service is awarded to the opposing side.
3.A.34. Technical Foul – When a player violates any rule calling for a technical foul, the referee will add one point to the opponent’s score.
3.A.35. Technical Warning – A referee’s first verbal warning
of a rule or behavioral violation given to a player or team prior to a technical foul being called. Points are not awarded for a technical warning. Once a technical warning has been issued, a second technical warning for any reason, given to the same player or team during the match, will result in a technical foul being issued to the player or team. See 13.G.3.
3.A.36. Underhand – The player’s arm must be moving in a forward and upward arc with the palm turned upward or downward.
3.A.37. Volley – During a rally, hitting the ball while in the air, before the ball bounces.