Pickleball Etiquette 101: Rules and Courtesies Every Pickleball Player in New York City Should Know

Atharv Koshti
May 13, 2024

As one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, pickleball has especially taken New York City by storm. By creating a healthy blend of fun, fitness, and friendly competition, it’s no wonder that more and more New Yorkers are finding time within their busy lives to pick up the paddle and play. 

Whether you’re a seasoned player or just getting into it, understanding the rules and courtesies of the game is essential to creating a positive experience for everyone involved. Through this article, we’ll guide you through the must-know rules and best practices for playing pickleball in the bustling metropolis of New York City.

The Basics of Pickleball Etiquette

Before diving into the specifics of pickleball etiquette in New York, let’s cover some fundamental principles that apply to all players, regardless of skill level or location.

1. Respect the Court and the Players

Respect is the cornerstone of good etiquette in any sport. By respecting both the physical court and fellow players, you can ensure you’re contributing to a positive playing environment for all. Here’s a few ways you can do so: 

  • Leave No Trace: Clean up after yourself! Dispose of any trash properly and keep the courts clean to have enjoyable playing experiences for everyone
  • Be Punctual: No one likes waiting. Arrive on time for your games to respect the time of players you’re playing with and others who follow
  • Fair Play: Always play fair and follow the rules to create a positive experience for all participants

2. Communication is Key

Clear communication helps avoid any confusion and maintains the flow of the game. Here’s a few things to keep in mind with regards to communication during games:

  • Call the Score: Always call out the score before each serve to keep everyone on the same page and prevent arguments
  • Line Calls: Make honest and clear line calls. If the ball lands near the line and you’re unsure, either give your opponent the benefit of the doubt or replay the point
  • Acknowledge Good Play: Compliment good shots and rallies from teammates and opponents to boost morale and showcase sportsmanship

3. Respect Your Equipment

How you handle your equipment says a lot about your respect for the game and fellow players. Here’s a few things to make sure to follow:

  • Paddle Care: Don’t throw or smash your paddles in frustration. This is not only disrespectful, but can also damage your equipment and potentially hurt someone around you
  • Ball Retrieval: If a ball rolls onto your court from another game or your ball disrupts another game, return or retrieve it politely and promptly

Specific Rules and Courtesies in New York

When playing pickleball in New York, it’s important to follow the etiquette above along with some specific etiquettes tailored for playing on the vibrant New York City Courts.

1. Navigating Crowded Courts

With limited space and extremely high demand, New York pickleball courts can get really crowded. Here’s how to manage: 

  • Wait Your Turn: Respect the court rotation system. Many courts in New York operate o a “play to 11, win by 2” rule, with the winning team staying on for a maximum of two games before rotating out
  • Share the Space: If the courts are especially busy, consider playing doubles instead of singles to involve everyone waiting to play
  • Organized Play: Participate in organized pickleball events (like those hosted by Conquer) or leagues. This not only ensures you get regular playtime, but also helps you build a sense of community with those you’re playing with

2. Reduce Noise and Distractions

New York City is known for its loud noise, but it doesn’t mean you should allow it to disrupt your game. 

  • Minimize Distractions: Avoid loud conversations or unnecessary noise near the courts. Pickleball requires immense concentration, and excessive noise can be distracting to those around you
  • Respect Nearby Activities: Some pickleball courts are in residential areas or other recreational facilities. Be mindful of your surroundings and keep noise to a minimum to respect the space of everyone around you


Pickleball is more than just a game; it’s a community built on mutual respect, camaraderie, and a love for fun and fitness. Here at Conquer, we recognize these important rules and etiquettes everyone must follow, and are committed to delivering the best experience possible to everyone in the broader New York City pickleball community. Download Conquer App today and join a cohesive, respectful community of pickleball enthusiasts in New York.

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