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The Pickleball Dictionary: The I's of Pickleball

by Stacie Townsend 1 Comment

Pickleball Dictionary: The I's of Pickleball

The Pickleball Dictionary reaches the “I’s”! Let’s breakdown some of the common phrases, words, people, or organizations found in, on, and around the pickleball courts that start with the letter “I.”

IFP – The International Federation of Pickleball (also known as the IFP) is the world governing body of pickleball. To learn more about the IFP, visit

Illegal Serve – Pickleball uses an underhand serve (unlike tennis, which has an overhand serve). The rules of pickleball require the serve to be hit below your belly button with, at the point of contact, (1) your paddle moving in an upward direction; (2) your paddle head in a downward position; and (3) your paddle head below your wrist. After contact, you are free to do whatever you want with your paddle. Also, to note, at least one foot must remain in contact with the ground, and behind the baseline, at the point of contact. You may not step on the baseline or into the court until after you make contact with the pickleball on your serve. An illegal serve is a serve that violates one of these rules. To learn more about the serve and other basic rules of pickleball, visit

Indian Wells Tennis Garden – Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a beautiful facility outside of Palm Springs, California, where the USA Pickleball Association hosts the USA Pickleball National Championships.

Indoor – Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors. Indoors pickleball differs from outdoors pickleball as (1) the type of pickleball for indoors play is a bit softer, which lends to a slower, higher game indoors than outdoors; and (2) poor lighting, blurry rafters, and a slew of lines on the court may play a factor in indoors pickleball, while the wind and sun may play a factor in outdoors pickleball.

Inside Out – An inside out shot in pickleball is an advanced specialty shot that generates spin on the side of the pickleball (to note, a right-handed inside out forehand will generate clockwise sideways spin, while a left-handed inside out forehand will generate counterclockwise sideways spin). This spin is different than a top spin or a slice because the spin is moving horizontal, rather than vertical. As a result, an inside out forehand will not have as much effect on the bounce of the pickleball (and, to note, will generally keep its spin after the bounce). Rather, an inside out forehand will cause the pickleball to curve or hook in the air. To learn more about inside out shots and how to hit them, check out Pickler’s My Pro Pickleball Coach online video lessons.

Inside the Lines and Over the Net – One golden rule of pickleball is to hit the pickleball inside the lines and over the net one more time than your opponents. It’s that simple.

IPTPA – The International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association is an organization that certifies pickleball teachers across the world. To learn more about the IPTPA, visit

Irina Tereschenko – Irina Tereschenko is a former tennis player, turned pickleball pro, who consistently finds herself atop the medal podium. Irina’s wins include the 2018 USA Pickleball National Championships Women’s Pro Doubles gold medal with her partner, Lucy Kovalova.

(Jessie) Irvine – Jessie Irvine is a pickleball pro that exploded onto the pickleball scene in 2019, taking home multiple medals at some of the biggest tournaments across the country, including the USA Pickleball National Championships and Tournament of Champions.

Isolate – One common strategy on the pickleball courts is to find the weaker opponent, or identify a weakness in your opponents, and isolate them.

Can you think of any more pickleball “I’s” to add? Share with us in the comments below!

Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend


1 Response

Timothy L Camden
Timothy L Camden

December 18, 2019

Intimadators: The team that gets to the non volley zone 1st.

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