Basic overview rules:
The game can be played as singles or doubles.
The same rules apply to both singles and doubles
The Serve :
The serve must be made underhand.
Paddle contact must be navel level
The serve is initiated with one foot behind the baseline
The serve is made diagonally and must land within the opposite court.
Only the serve attempt is allowed except in the event of a let ( the ball touches the net on the serve and lands on the proper service court; let serves are replayed)
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-hand court.
If a point is scored, the server switches sides and the server initiates the next serve from the left-hand 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 serves continues 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-hand 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 form the right-hand court when his or her score is even and from the left when the score is odd.
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-side court when serving or receiving; when odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) that player will be in the left-side court when serving or receiving.
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 double bounce rule eliminates the serve and volley advantage and extends rallies.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
A fault occurs when:
A serve does not land within the confines of the receiving court
The ball is hit into the net on the serve or any return
The ball is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side
The ball is hit out of bound
A ball is volleyed from the non-volley zone
A ball bounces twice before being struck by the receiver
A player, player’s clothing, or any part of a player’s paddle touches the net or the net post when the ball is in play
There is a violation of a service rule
A ball in play strikes a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying
A ball in play strikes any permanent object before bouncing on the court
Determining Serving Team:
Players use a coin toss to determine who will serve first. The winner of the coin toss will have the option to choose side or to serve or receive.