The purpose of the rulebook is to provide pickleball players with the rules necessary for recreational, social, organized league and tournament play. Some sections of this rulebook are designed to be used only for the conduct of sanctioned tournaments. A sanctioned tournament allows players to obtain a rating on a national or international basis.

Non-sanctioned tournaments may also use these sections as guidelines. Tournament Directors for non-sanctioned tournaments may be flexible in the use of these guidelines to better fit the skills, ages, and diversity of their players. We encourage these non-sanctioned tournaments to promote knowledge and growth of the sport, and skill development, while having fun playing pickleball.

USA PICKLEBALL published the first rulebook in March 1984. These rules will not be changed without good cause.