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The Pickleball Dictionary: Pickleball Terms that Start with the Letter “C”

Strategy & Technique Stacie Townsend 12-03-2019

Pickler created The Pickleball Dictionary, which includes all of the common terms, phrases, words, people, and organizations found in, on, and around the pickleball courts. Get your FREE copy of The Pickleball Dictionary today!


The pickleball terms, phrases, words, people, and organizations that start with the letter “C” include:

Call the Score – How do you start each point? You call the score! Be sure to speak loudly and clearly, and call the complete score before you start any part of your serve. 0-0-2!

Callie Smith – Callie Smith is a pro pickleball player and coach from Utah that found pickleball after a successful tennis career.

Cammy MacGregor – Cammy MacGregor, a former tennis pro that reached a top 75 singles ranking, and top 40 doubles ranking, in the world during her career, is a top pickleball pro that competes largely in senior pro events. She has taken home countless medals at each of the well-known national pickleball tournaments, including the USA Pickleball National Championships and US Open Pickleball Championships.

Carry – A carry is when a pickleball player hits the pickleball in a manner that the pickleball is carried along the face of the pickleball paddle (rather than a square hit). Only unintentional carries are permitted in the sport of pickleball. Any intentional carries will result in a fault on the pickleball court.

Catherine Parenteau – Catherine Parenteau, a Canadian native and former student-athlete under Simone Jardim at Michigan State University Women’s Tennis, is one of pickleball’s rising stars. She recently took home a silver medal in the Women’s Pro Doubles bracket with her partner, Jessie Irvine, at the USA Pickleball National Championships.

CBS Sports – CBS Sports has been known to broadcast some high-quality pickleball, as CBS Sports showcases the pro finals from the US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, Florida. Be on the lookout for future broadcasts from CBS Sports!

Centerline – The centerline on the pickleball court extends from the non-volley zone or kitchen to the baseline, and divides the court in half. The centerline is important on serves, as it operates as a boundary line for the applicable crosscourt service area.

Challenge Court – A challenge court is a common form of open play in pickleball, where a pickleball player or pickleball team states their intention to take on the winner(s). The winning player(s) will stay on the pickleball court to take on the next challenger(s), while the losing player(s) will rotate off of the challenge court and wait their turn for the next opportunity to challenge the winning player(s).

Champion – The winner of a pickleball tournament or another event!

Chicken Wing – The chicken wing is a good place to hit the pickleball at your opponent. The chicken wing refers to the area in your opponent’s paddle-side shoulder or armpit, which makes for a difficult shot for your opponent because they are likely to mishit the pickleball or pop the pickleball up for an easy put away shot for you or your partner.

Chip or Cut Shot (Slice) – A chip or cut shot (or slice) is a common shot on the return of serve that puts a lot of backspin on the pickleball. This spin causes the pickleball to float, which gives the returning team more time to move to the non-volley zone or kitchen line. This spin also makes it more difficult for the serving team to hit a quality third shot.

Christine McGrath – Christine McGrath, a former collegiate tennis player, is one of the more experienced pickleball pros on the circuit. She has countless medals, including a gold medal at the 2018 US Open Pickleball Championships in Women’s and Mixed Doubles 25+, and a silver medal at the 2019 US Open Pickleball Championships in Mixed Doubles 25+.

Club – There are hundreds, if not, thousands, of pickleball clubs across the globe. Pickleball clubs are so valuable because they help harness the culture of the great sport of pickleball and keep the game social at its core. What pickleball club do you belong to?

Coach – To really improve your pickleball game, you need to drill and work on your skills. Sometimes, having a coach is the best way to do this, as a coach can tell you proper technique, breakdown fundamentals, and keep you motivated.

Communication – Pickleball is often played in doubles; in other words, with a partner. For you and your partner to be successful, communication is imperative.

Community – Pickleball is more than a sport to so many people. This is because pickleball typically gives players a sense of community and a sense of belonging.

Competition – Pickleball is unique because it is a game that can be as social or as competitive as the players desire. Pickleball can be extremely competitive, just like any sport, and players can test their skills at tournaments, which are held at various locations across the world.

Compressed – One key to great pickleball play is staying low, compressed, and in an athletic position with knees bent. In other words, Pickleball Ready!

ConcentrationPickleball is a game of focus, concentration, and strategy. As a result, it is important to zone out the distractions. Concentrate on that pickleball!

Confidence – Like anything in life, confidence is key and can make or break a player on the pickleball courts. What are you doing to improve your pickleball confidence? Check out Pickler’s e-book, The Pickleball Mental Edge: Learnings from Pickleball Pros and Pickleball Enthusiasts to Improve Your Pickleball Mental Game, for some tips to improve your mental game (including confidence) on the pickleball courts.

Consistency – Pickleball is a game of consistency—which player or which team can make the fewest amount of unforced errors on the pickleball court? If you can be more consistent, and reduce your unforced errors, your pickleball game will certainly skyrocket.

Continental Pickleball Grip – There are various grips in pickleball. One common grip is the Continental pickleball grip. The Continental pickleball grip produces nice dinks and backhands, but makes it very difficult to hit forehand shots.

ControlPickleball is a game a strategy and consistency. As a result, it is important to control the pace, tempo, and tone of the pickleball game, as well as control and accurately place the pickleball on a consistent basis. The pickleball player(s) that controls the pickleball and makes the least amount of errors will likely win the game.

Corrine Carr – Corrine Carr is a renowned pickleball pro (and former collegiate golf athlete) with countless gold medals, national championships, and open championships on her resume. Whether on or off the pickleball courts or on or off the medal podium (although, she is frequently on the medal podium), you will always find Corrine with a smile on her face.

Court – To play pickleball, you need a court. A pickleball court can be dedicated or temporary, indoors or outdoors, painted, taped, or lined by chalk, as long as you have a space 20 feet by 44 feet (plus a few feet on the outside for room to play near the boundary lines).

Court Positioning – Positioning on the pickleball court is essential for success. Movement to the proper court position will help you create angles of attack for you and your partner and minimize angles of attack for your opponents. To learn some tricks to proper movement and court positioning, check out Pickler’s online pickleball video lessons.

Court Surface – Pickleball may be played indoors and outdoors. The typical outdoor court surface is a hard court, similar to a hard tennis court. The typical indoor court is either a wood floor, concrete surface, or hard court (similar to the outdoor court surface). Some pickleball players have even tried playing on clay and grass courts.

Crack – All pickleball players hate when the pickleball cracks. Cracks in the pickleball will cause the pickleball to bounce funny or not bounce at all. Be sure to check the pickleball for cracks intermittently.

Crosscourt – Crosscourt refers to the space on the court that is diagonal to you. Many high-level players will target a high percentage of their shots crosscourt because crosscourt shots will travel over the lowest part of the pickleball net (i.e. the middle of the net) and to the area of the pickleball court with the highest margin of error. Also, crosscourt dinks are generally more difficult for your opponents to attack.


Do you know any additional pickleball terms, phrases, words, people, or organizations that start with the letter “C” to add to The Pickleball Dictionary? Share with us in the comments below!

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Updated as of November 29, 2020


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