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USA Pickleball - Pickleball has a very interesting name, especially since no pickles are used. Accounts of how the name originated differ. (1) According to Joel Pritchard’s wife (Joan), she started calling the game pickleball because “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats”. (2) However, according to Barney McCallum, the game was officially named after the Pritchard’s’ dog Pickles who would chase the ball and run off with it. According to McCallum, “The Pritchard’s had a dog named Pickles, and you're having fun at a party, right? So anyways, what the hell, let's just call it pickleball.”

Others claim both accounts may actually be true. In the early years, no official name was assigned to the game. However, a year or two after the game was invented, the Pritchard’s purchased a cocker spaniel and named it Pickles. As the game progressed, an official name was needed and “pickleball” was it.


The Official Tournament Rulebook contains every rule set forth for the game of pickleball by the International Federation of Pickleball and the United States of America Pickleball.

USA Pickleball -  Basics, Rules Summary

USA Pickleball -  How to Play

USA Pickleball -  History of the Game

Pickleball Channel

Level 1 – Basic Pickleball Skills.  Each session consists of 4, 2-hour classes.

This class is typically offered by the Loveland Parks and Recreation Department and is led by coaches who are members of the LPC. There is a cost to take this class and is paid through the Parks Department. Participants do not need to be members of the LPC.

The Basic Skills class is offered at various times throughout the year. During the summer, classes will typically be held outdoors and indoor classes are held in the Chilson Center during the rest of the year.

The purpose of this class is to introduce new players to the game of pickleball. Players will learn the basic rules of the game, the basic strokes involved in playing and how to keep score.  All with a focus on playing safely.

Level 2 – Mentored Play. Each session consists of 4 classes, 1-1/2 to 2 hours per class.

Mentored classes are held outdoors during the summer and are offered through the Loveland Pickleball Club. Level 1 – Basic Skills class (or its equivalent) is a prerequisite to take the class. Participants must be members of the LPC and there is no cost to take the class.

Mentored play provides new players with an opportunity to work in small groups with a coach. Coaching is focused on giving players more experience in actually playing the game at a comfortable level and preparing them to participate in regular group play sessions.

PickleSkills Wednesday evenings from May through August.

PickleSkills sessions are an LPC sponsored event for club members to help improve skills and understand the underlying strategies. Players will train with others of a similar skill level, in 90-minute sessions, and rotate through stations for skill appropriate drills.  The SimonX ball machine will be featured as part of the drills. Signup will occur weekly; an entire summer commitment is not necessary. 

We’ll be having the Dink Challenge and the PickleSkills Challenge once again in 2021. The PickleSkills sessions leading up to the Challenges will be focused on preparing players for these two great events!

Professional Clinics

The Loveland Pickleball Club attempts to schedule 1-2 professional pickleball clinics each summer. These clinics feature well-known professional pickleball player / coaches. There is a fee for these clinics and are skill-level specific.


Here are the top 10 etiquette rules for playing pickleball – rules that you won’t find in any official pickleball tournament handbook or rulebook:

  1. When somebody inadvertently hits a ball onto your court from an adjacent court, retrieve it and toss them that same ball that they hit onto your court. Don’t switch balls. I repeat, don’t switch balls.
  2. When retrieving a ball from an adjacent court, make eye contact with someone from that court and then directly toss or hit them the ball. Don’t just hit the ball back into their court without looking. That’s very annoying!
  3. Don’t play keep away from the best player on the other team during rec play just so you can win– they want to play too!
  4. Don’t cross the court behind a match until play has stopped. It’s not only rude, but it can be very dangerous as well.
  5. Don’t chest-bump or be excessive in the celebration when your opponent makes an error. The same goes for the “spectators.” Please don’t clap or cheer when the opposing player misses an easy shot. If, on the other hand, you or your partner made a great play…
  6. If you are obviously the weakest player on the court, thank the other players for playing with you after the game. However, don’t take advantage of their graciousness by staying on the court for an indefinite period of time. More than a game or two will undoubtedly wear out your welcome.
  7. If you are asked to play with a group that is obviously of a lower skill level than you, graciously accept and play a game or two with them. They will likely appreciate your graciousness and understand that you want to get back to similarly-skilled players after the game.
  8. If you are obviously the strongest person in your foursome, tone down the competitiveness and hit your opponents’ balls that they can return. Work on a new skill – perhaps it’s a great time for work on that third shot drop shot.
  9. If you and your partner can’t determine if the ball was in or out – or if you disagree with your partner on a line call – the benefit of the doubt goes to your opponent. Wait! That’s actually an “official” rule!
  10. In rec play, don’t exploit someone’s physical limitations just so you can “win.” Not cool!


Note: Above the 2.0 level, all levels should be able to demonstrate most of the skills for their level plus most of the skills from preceding levels. Thus a 2.5 level player, for example, demonstrates most skills in the 2.5 level list as well as most skills in the 2.0 level list, and so on.

As players self-determine their rating, keep in mind that you are welcome to use .25 and .75 rating numbers also. For instance, if you feel that you are better than a 2.5 but not quite to the 3.0 level, you can rate yourself as a 2.75.

2.0 Skill Level

  • Has taken a beginner’s class (or demonstrates equivalent knowledge)
  • Moves around court in balanced, safe manner
  • Gets some serves “in”, perhaps not regularly
  • Realizes aspects of score-keeping, rules and where to stand on court during serve, receipt of serve, and general play
  • Has some basic stroke skills

2.5 Skill Level

  • Knows two-bounce rule and demonstrates it most times
  • Knows where to stand on the court during serve, receipt of serve and general play
  • Able to keep score.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of backhand volleys.

3.0 Skill level. Also possesses all 2.5 Skills

  • Knows the rules and can keep score.
  • Aware of partner’s position on the court & moving as a team
  • Aware of hitting a drop shot and moving quickly towards the non-volley zone.
  • Is able to sustain a dinking rally in the game.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of backhand volleys.

3.5 Skill level Also possesses all 3.0 Skills

  • Demonstrates strategies of playing during games
  • Actively works with partners in communicating, covering court, moving to net
  • With varying consistency executes: forehand/backhand ground strokes, overheads, net volleys, and sustained dinking
  • Specifically places shots rather than just hitting shots anywhere
  • Selective mixing up soft shots with power shots to create an advantage
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of drop shots successfully.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of backhand volleys.

4.0 Skill Level. Also possesses all 3.5 Skills.

  • Players at or above 4.0 will generally have earned their rating through tournament play.
  • Primarily plays in an offensive mode rather than reactively
  • Controls and places serve and return of serve to best advantage
  • Puts advanced playing strategy into the game, particularly in dinking
  • Consistently varies shots for competitive advantage, uses power shots selectively
  • Communicates and moves well with partner — easily “switches” court positions
  • Very comfortable playing at the non-volley zone. Works with partner to control the line, keeping opponents back and driving them off the line.
  • Can block hard volleys directed at them
  • Has good footwork and moves laterally, backward and forward with ease.
  • Hits overhead shots consistently, often as put-aways
  • Ability to change a hard shot to a soft shot
  • Consistently executes effective drop shots that are not easily returned for advantage
  • Can effectively poach
  • Hits a low # of unforced errors per game
  • Regularly demonstrates “anticipation of play”
  • Self-correcting during play
  • Consistently is a multi-dimensional player and/or is exceptionally dominant in a limited playing repertoire.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of drop shots successfully.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of backhand volleys.

Loveland Pickleball Club

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