“Fair play and sportsmanship are keys to success and enjoyment in any sport”
To ensure safety and smooth sailing on the pickleball courts, Cochrane Outdoor Pickleball Club requests the following from those who play:
Good sportsmanship is the rule.
You are the face of our club. Be warm and welcoming to new and regular players. How you conduct yourself will make a difference if people return and our club grows.
Pickleball is a fun game social game. Drop-in and Open Play are for everyone so keep in mind that you are playing a game for fun and exercise for many and not competing.
If you are the strongest player of the four, either:
play to each of the opponents in a way they can handle the shot and learn from the play. Sometimes you can even ask people what they are working on (e.g. drop shots, lobs, returning balls hit to their backhands, whatever) and if they tell you, hit the ball to them so they can work on those shots; OR
work on a shot that has been causing you difficulty; what a great time to practice the third shot drop.
If you are playing against a team where there is a significantly stronger player, play against the stronger player. It will make you a better player and keeps the game interesting for all.
Never smash a ball that is returned too high by the weaker player in social play. Instead, make a challenging return for the stronger opponent or give the weaker player another shot to try to get it down lower.
Don’t hit the ball hard at the weaker player. They will not appreciate it nor respect you for it. Focus on consistency and keeping the ball in play rather than slamming every put-away shot you get.
Lobbing is a good shot when opponents are both at the net. However, consider a different shot to those who may be restricted or less advanced. Use the chance to learn something by hitting shots to their strength and trying to make good shots out of their returns.
Call the score out loudly and wait until everyone is ready before serving.
If the ball is out and it’s on your side call it out loudly and raise your arms to indicate it is out. If it’s close, give the benefit to your opponent. Put your arms down with palm flat to show it’s in. If you are unsure, it is IN!
If you step into the kitchen on a volley or if your partner does, call it on yourself. Be cautious to call kitchen and foot shots on your opponents – let them call the faults on themselves.
Never ask spectators or accept line calls from them.
Before passing a ball to someone make sure you have eye contact with them.
Do not chase a ball onto another court. Yell, “Ball in” loudly. Everyone stop play immediately! Courteously return the ball and replay the point.
You may ask the opposition for help with a call but if you do their decision stands.
Be aware of language and body posture. Bad language and eye rolls put everyone on edge.
Be a great partner. Consider your partner’s goals. Stay positive. Be aware of your partner’s strengths and weaknesses. Communicate.
Compliment people on a really great point during the game.
Don’t give unsolicited lessons on the court. They hold up the game and unless someone has asked, it may offend them.
At the end of each game, tap the bottom of your paddles and find something positive to say to the other team at the net. “Nice game” isn’t always appropriate. But “you made some great shots!”, or “much closer than the score”, or “Wow, we were lucky today!” would be just fine. At least, “Thanks for playing with us!” is nice. Don’t leave a game without acknowledging the other team.