How to Play Pickleball & Love Pickleball

The Pickleball Dictionary: The L's of Pickleball

by Stacie Townsend

Pickleball Dictionary: The L's of Pickleball

The Pickleball Dictionary reaches the “L’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 “L.”

Ladder – A ladder is a play format designed to keep players of similar skill levels together. Over time, based on your win percentage, you may move up or down the ladder. For more information on how a ladder works or how to structure a ladder, visit USA Pickleball Association’s website at https://www.usapa.org/ladder-description/.

League – A league is a play format for recreational play with a competitive twist. There are a variety of different types of leagues, including ladder leagues.

Lefty – Have you ever been three or more points into a pickleball game and suddenly realized that one of your opponents is a lefty? Be sure to identify whether you are playing a lefty before the beginning of the game, as a lefty will have opposite forehands and backhands as compared to a righty. This is crucial, as you generally want to target a player’s weaknesses, which more times than not is a player’s backhand. To learn more tips to success when playing with or against a lefty, check out Pickler’s My Pro Pickleball Coach online video lessons.

Let – A let is a rally on the pickleball court where the end result is not scored. For instance, this can happen if a serve hits the net and still lands in the proper service box.

“Let’s Go” – Something you or your partner yell when you are fired up on the pickleball courts. Let’s go!

Level – A level is more commonly referred to as your pickleball skill rating. For a detailed description of each level or skill rating, visit USA Pickleball’s website at https://www.usapa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/USAPA-Skill-Rating-Definitions-2019.pdf.

Line – Each pickleball court has lines for the baseline, sidelines, center line, and Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen Line.

Line Judge – A line judge is a pickleball referee that determines whether the pickleball is in or out on the sidelines and the baseline. In many tournaments, especially in medal rounds, there will be multiple line judges for a single match.

Linked – Pickleball players typically want to stay linked with their partner on the pickleball courts. If you and your partner do not stay linked and do not move in tandem, you will find yourselves leaving large open spaces on the pickleball courts for your opponents to take advantage of.

Lob – A lob is a shot in pickleball where you will put some height on the trajectory of the pickleball and send the pickleball relatively high into the air. To learn how to perfect your lob and when to hit a lob on the pickleball courts, check out Pickler’s My Pro Pickleball Coach online video lessons.

(Tyler) Loong – Tyler Loong, a former collegiate tennis player, is a pickleball pro that has jumped on the scene. Tyler is a pickleball lefty known for his fast feet and great movement on the pickleball courts, who recently placed 4th at the 2019 US Open Pickleball Championships.

Low Percentage – A low percentage shot is one that has a high chance of resulting in an error. Typically, you want to avoid hitting low percentage shots (for instance, shots near the sidelines with low margins for error).

Lucy Kitcher – Lucy Kitcher is a pickleball pro with countless medals, who is particularly known for hosting great tournaments and trips in and around the State of Florida.

Lucy Kovalova – Lucy Kovalova, a former tennis standout, is a pickleball pro who frequently finds herself atop the medal podium, including winning the triple crown (gold in singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles) at the 2018 USA Pickleball National Championships.

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




Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend

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