One of the great aspects of pickleball is that its a very community based sport, and you will likely find yourself one day at a public or busy court with other picklers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when playing on a public court to ensure everyone is playing fairly and safely!
1. Rotation system at public courts to let everyone get a chance to play
Picture this. You arrive to a public pickleball court excited to play and you see there all the courts are full and theres a group of people waiting to play. Not ideal right? However don't fret because, if you and everyone else there is following proper pickleball etiquette you will be following a rotation system that lets everyone get a turn to play! The way this typically works is you will stack your paddles next to the net so when a certain pair or group finishes their game, everyone will know who is next by looking at whose paddles are next in line. Trust us, nothing is worse than going to a court where the players aren't following a rotational system and play game after game therefore preventing others from playing. An added bonus is if you are alone or in an odd number group this is a great way to be added to games to play with others!
2. Asking others to join if you have an odd number of players
If you're ever in an odd numbered group and notice there is an odd player out, its nice to ask him/her if they would like to join you for a game. Yes, it can be intimidating to ask a random person to play with your group especially when you don't know their skill level. However, pickleball is a friendly game and chances are you'll get to meet someone new and play a more even game with the proper number of players!
Also if you are ever intimidated to join a group, don't be! Pickleball is a sport meant to be played with others and part of the fun is meeting and playing with new people.
3. Yell a warning if your ball rolls onto a neighboring court so they don't trip
Similar to yelling "Fore" in golf whenever you hit a ball towards others, this is a similar concept in pickleball. Oftentimes, courts are right next to each other and as skilled as we are a ball will occasionally be hit towards another court where a game is being played. To be safe, always yell a warning so that no one trips and gets injured from an unexpected ball rolling under their feet. Personally I just yell "ball" but any warning you come up with will suffice!
4. Likewise if a ball rolls onto your court, help throw it back
Out of courtesy, if a ball rolls onto your court or near you its good etiquette to hit or throw the ball back! This not only helps out whoever's ball that is, but it can often be faster for you too as you may even have time to hit the ball back in the middle of a game. Also trust us, no matter how good you are, your ball will do the same so think of it as returning the favor for your ball rolling into their court :)
5. Touch paddles heads or tips when the game ends
Pickleball is a friendly community sport (one of the many reasons we love it!). After the game, win or lose its always good to bump paddles and let them know it was a good game. Depending on who you play with, people typically bump paddle tips or faces. At Court, we personally prefer touching paddle tips at the end but whatever you choose it's a friendly way to end the game!