How to Play Pickleball & Love Pickleball

The Pickleball Dictionary: The R's of Pickleball

by Stacie Townsend 3 Comments

Pickleball Dictionary: The R's of Pickleball

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

Racquet Sport – Pickleball is a racquet sport. Other racquet sports include tennis, badminton, table tennis, racquetball, squash, platform tennis, and padel.

Rally – A rally is continuous play between opponents on the pickleball court after the serve and before the end of a point by a fault.

Rally Scoring – Rally scoring is a point system that may be used on the pickleball court (although uncommon), where a point is scored after each rally, regardless of who served the pickleball. A point may be scored by either the serving or receiving team.

Rating – A rating is a two- or four-digit number that represents your skill level in comparison to other pickleball players. The UTPR is the official USA Pickleball Tournament Player Rating. To learn more about the UTPR and your rating, visit

Reaction – Quick reactions are essential on the pickleball court. You must react to the pickleball and your opponents’ shots.

Ready – Always be ready on the pickleball court. Anticipate the pickleball coming back to your side of the pickleball net!

Ready Position – One of the most important concepts in pickleball, which is not taught or discussed enough, is the proper ready position on the pickleball court. There are essentially two types of ready positions, which include (1) “Tennis Ready” – your ready position when you are at the baseline; and (2) “Pickleball Ready” – your ready position when you are in the Transition Zone or at the Kitchen Line. For a breakdown of the various ready positions on the pickleball court, check out Pickler’s My Pro Pickleball Coach online video lessons.

Receiver – The receiver on the pickleball court is the player receiving the serve.

Recreational – Pickleball is an excellent recreational sport. Pickleball has the ability to bring all skill levels and all ages together, on one pickleball court, for great rallies and great fun.

Red Zone – A dink by your opponents that is at or below the pickleball net is in the “red zone.” Like a red light at an intersection, put on the brakes, be patient and stay in the dink. A dink in the red zone is generally unattackable.

Referee – A referee is the person that officiates a pickleball match. Did you know that there are almost 200 certified referees, a few hundred more tier 1 and tier 2 referees, in USA Pickleball?

Regina Franco – Regina Franco is a top pro pickleball player, who recently converted from the racquetball pro circuit. Regina recently has topped the podium by winning bronze with Sarah Ansboury at the 2019 World Pickleball Championships.

(Mark) Renneson – Mark Renneson is a well-known coach and commentator around the pickleball world. Mark, who is the head coach behind Third Shot Sports, is especially known for his informative, yet fun, online newsletter and videos. To learn more about Mark, visit

Replay – Replay is essential to re-watching all of the close calls and amazing points on the pickleball court.  

Reset – A reset is a shot that relieves the pressure put on you and your partner by your opponents on the pickleball court. A reset could be a dink or a drop shot, but it is intended to stop your opponents from making aggressive, offensive shots, and put you in a neutral position.

Respect the Net – Respect the net on the pickleball courts. A shot into the pickleball net ends the point for you and your partner, so give yourself some margin of error above the pickleball net.

Return of Serve – A return of serve is exactly what it sounds like; it is the shot after the serve on the pickleball court. Consistency is key on the return of serves because an error on the return of serve results in a point to your opponents. As your return of serves become more proficient, you can strive for more power, more spin, and more advanced placement. To learn how to perfect your return of serve and some advanced return strategies, check out Pickler’s My Pro Pickleball Coach online video lessons.

Righty – A righty, or right-handed pickleball player, will use his or her right-hand to hold the pickleball paddle and strike the pickleball. Be sure to identify whether your opponents are right-handed or left-handed, as this may dictate your strategy on the pickleball courts.

Rip It – Drives and fastballs are the cornerstone of some pickleball players’ games and strategies on the pickleball court. This is especially true of the mother-daughter duo, Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters, as their motto is to “Rip it!”

Round Robin – A round robin is a common format for both competitive and recreational play on the pickleball court. A round robin is a format where each player or team will play each other player or team. Then, the total wins, losses, and points are calculated to determine the winner(s).

Rules – Rules are important when playing pickleball to make sure that everyone is playing by the same set of guidelines. To learn the rules of pickleball, visit USA Pickleball at

Run – Pickleball players must use their quick feet to move around the pickleball court. Sometimes, this quick movement may be a run or a sprint.

RV Picklers – RV Picklers are pickleball players that travel across the country in their RV, playing pickleball and sharing our great sport wherever they go.

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

Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend


3 Responses


January 27, 2020

Rain delay


January 27, 2020

Rookie – error, mistake, etc

Roz Goldsmith
Roz Goldsmith

January 26, 2020

Responsibility of service – players have a responsibility to announce correct score before a serve.

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