The unwritten “rules’ regarding courtesy and safety on the court are as follows (they’re unwritten no more!):
- As said above, when your ball strays into an adjoining court where play is in progress, it’s essential that you call “ball’ loudly enough that those people who are playing can hear it. Unlike tennis balls, pickleballs do not flatten out much, and when they’re stepped on, they roll and can cause people to fall. If there’s even a chance that someone might step on a ball, holler. When you’re playing and you hear someone call “ball,’ stop and stand still until you locate the ball. Then retrieve and return it.
- Don’t walk through another group's court when a game is in progress, unless you must. That means not even between points. It’s not that much further to walk around (in fact, it’s good exercise).
- Don’t bring breakable items onto the court. Make sure all items are safely stowed away from the playing area.
- Don’t use profanity (excessively). Keep your temper. Treat the others on the court with respect.
- If the courts are slippery, don’t play. Check an outdoor court surface by pressing down with your toe. If moisture comes up, wait until it dries more. Indoor courts can be wiped down before play.
- I wish I didn't have to write this: Don’t cheat. If you see that a ball is in, call it in. If you’re not sure, call it in. Your honor is worth more than the extra point you might get by cheating.
You can find the current set of rules and standards for etiquette on the USAPA web site (www.usapa.org\). Be sure YOU know the rules before going out to play.