Pickleball Rules

Participants should participate with the understanding that injuries do occur & realize that taking part in the Intramural Program is completely voluntary. Therefore, Northern Michigan University is not responsible for injuries happening during play.




Students must purchase a student recreation pass to be eligible to participate.  You must show the Intramural staff your I.D. in order to participate.  Faculty/Staff and Community Recreation members must purchase a recreation membership in order to participate in Intramural Sports.  Community members must be 16 years of age. Students who are found to be participating without a current rec pass will be automatically charged the semester rate of $70.00 to their student account.


The intramural manager’s meeting will be on the deadline date at a designated time and place.  At least one team member must be present at the manager meeting in order to guarantee your spot in the league.  It will be the manager’s (or designee) responsibility to read the handouts and relay the information to the remainder of the team.  Teams that do not have representation at the meeting will be fined if they would like to participate in the league and will only be added as space allows.



Your team schedule will be sent to the team manager the Friday after the deadline date.  Play could begin as early as the following Monday.  It is the responsibility of each of the team managers to check their e-mail on a regular basis for team schedules and updates.  The Intramural Office will not call team managers to notify them of their team’s first game.  It is the responsibility of the team manager to inform their team of the game dates and times.



Teams are expected to begin play on time.  An individual/team has 10 minutes to arrive after the clock begins.  If the team is more than 10 minutes late, a forfeit will be declared, and a $10.00 fee will be charged to the team manager’s student account.  Teams who forfeit during the course of the regular season may not be eligible for tournament play.  Teams who forfeit twice will be dropped from further competition and charged a total of $20.00.  You may call the Intramural Office at 227-1692 at least 48 hours prior to your game time in order to avoid the late fee.  Make sure to leave your team name, game time, and league.



  • All protests must be filed by the team manager at the time the question occurs.
  • If a team manager believes the decisions rendered to be in error, he/she must notify the officials and supervisors that the contest will continue under protest.
  • A written protest and a $5.00 protest fee must be submitted to the Intramural Sports Coordinator by noon the following day.  The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.
  • A protest concerning a player’s eligibility can be made before, during, or after a contest.

1.      If an eligibility question is before or during a contest, the player and team captain will be notified and given the choice of whether or not the player will play.

2.      If the player chooses to play and is found ineligible, the contest will be forfeited and that player suspended from further participation for that sport’s season.

3.      If the player leaves the contest and is found to be ineligible, the contest may be subject to review by the Intramural Sports Coordinator.

4.      A protest regarding the eligibility of players must be made before either team plays its next scheduled game.

5.      Eligibility questions after a contest will be investigated by the Intramural Sports Program.  Participants found ineligible will be penalized accordingly.




The referee shall inspect and approve all equipment.  He/she shall not permit any player to wear equipment which in his/her judgment is dangerous to other players.  Elbow, hand, finger, wrist, or arm guard, cast, or brace made of any hard substance even though covered with soft padding shall always be declared illegal.  Wearing jewelry of any type is also illegal.


Shoes must be worn by all players.  No street or black soled shoes are allowed.


These rules will not be waived!  If a player is wearing any illegal equipment, he/she will be unable to participate until this equipment is removed.

PEIF Practice Gym 150


  1. All matches will consist of the best 2-out-of-3 games. A game shall be won by the player who has earned 11 points with a 2-point advantage.
  1. Only the serving team can score points.
  2. Points are scored by legally serving an ace or by winning the rally.
  1. Results should be reported to the Intramural Supervisor immediately upon completion of the match.  



  1. Rock, Paper, Scissors shall be conducted prior to the start of the game to determine which player serves first. The player who wins Game 1 will serve first in Game 2. If a third game is necessary, the winner of Game 2 will serve first.
  2. The score of the game should be announced before each serve by the server.
  3. Only an underhand swing of the paddle is permitted in serving. The service is considered overhand and illegal if the ball, at the instant of being struck, is higher than the server’s waist.
  4. The ball must be hit in the air on the serve. It is not allowed to bounce then be hit.
  5. The server always starts in the right-hand court and serves cross court to the opponent’s right-hand half of the court. The server alternates from right to left to right, etc., as long as server holds serve.
  6. A legal serve must land beyond the non-volley zone and within the designated service area. (See The Game)
  7. The serve is a “let” and will be replayed if it touches the net, strap, or band, and is otherwise good and lands in the service court. There is no limit to the number of lets a server may serve.



  1. There is a “non-volley” zone that extends 7 feet on either side of the net. All volleying (hitting the ball in the air without letting it bounce) must be done with the player’s feet behind the non-volley zone line.
    1. If a player steps over the line on his/her follow through, it is a fault.
    2. A player cannot volley a ball while standing within the non-volley zone.
  2. Each player must play his/her first shot off the bounce. That is, the receiving player must let the serve bounce before playing it, and then the serving player must let the return of there serve bounce before playing it. After the two bounces have occurred, the ball can either be volleyed or played off the bounce.
  3. The receiver is the only player who may return the ball. If the wrong player returns the ball, it is a point for the serving team.
  4. Balls in play that land on any court line are good.
  5. Double hits are not allowed. A double hit occurs when one team hits the ball twice before it is returned over the net. Double hits may occur by one player or could involve both players on a team.

A fault made by the server puts the server out and his/her opponent is awarded the serve. A fault made by the player receiving the serve will result in a point for the server.

Faults occur under the following conditions:

  1. If the ball is served overhand
  2. If the ball is served and it falls into the wrong half of the court, before the non-volley zone, beyond the long service line, or outside the sideline
  3. If the ball falls outside the boundary lines, or fails to cross the net
  4. If a player is inside the non-volley zone and volleys the ball
  5. If a player volleys the ball before it has bounced once on each side of the net
  6. If a player hits the ball in such a way that it does not bounce away from the paddle but tends to be carried along the face of the paddle during its forward motion
  7. If a ball bounces more than once, on one side, before it is returned
  8. If one side hits the ball twice before it is returned over the net

Technical Foul- The Intramural Supervisor is empowered to add one point to a player’s score or a team’s score when the opponent violates one of the rules calling for a technical foul or, in the supervisor’s judgment, the opponent is being overly and deliberately abusive.


Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated.  The following behaviors will result in a point, a side-out, and the possibility of a game suspension:

  1. Cursing at the officials, supervisors, or opposing players.
  2. Insulting the officials, supervisors, or opposing players.
  3. Participation in a fight is an automatic ejection.



ABSOLUTELY NO DRINKING is allowed before playing in Intramural Sports Activities!  If an official, for any reason, suspects that a player has been drinking prior to playing, that player will not be allowed to participate in the game.  If anyone is found using tobacco products or drinking he/she will be asked to leave the building and will be indefinitely suspended pending a meeting with the Intramural Sports Coordinator.