Code of Conduct

Approved by the Desert Pickleball Board of Directors, April 16, 2021

Desert Pickleball Club Members and their guests who participate in the game of pickleball, training, and associated events, be it at the West Bench outdoor courts, the Sonora Community Centre or Desert Park, agree to conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner both on and off the courts.

Members agree that the goal is to provide an environment where all players can play the game to the best of their ability, to learn, and most importantly, to have fun!  Respect must be shown to all, both on and off the courts.

Good sportsmanship must be always be exhibited when playing or observing others.  Refusing to play with a less experienced player is considered unsportsmanlike.

Under no circumstances may a Member act in an intimidating manner or direct any form of foul or abusive language or gestures at others on or near the courts.

Members must be respectful of opposition players and those on adjacent courts.  Unnecessary interruptions are to be avoided.

Members shall refrain from verbally or physically abusing opponents, officials, or spectators; any form of harassment, including sexual harassment; the use of profane, insulting, or otherwise offensive language or gestures; the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person.

Members shall respect the property of others and not wilfully cause damage. 

Members shall comply, at all times, with the Club’s bylaws, policies, procedures, rules and regulations.  They will also comply fully with all current health and safety protocols, as required by the Pickleball BC, and Provincial Health officials.

Members will not engage in any behaviour that would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of others.

It is unsportsmanlike to over-celebrate points won or to taunt or degrade the opposition when they miss a shot or lose a point. Keep fun in the game.  However, light-hearted ribbing is part of pickleball.

Always respect decisions made by the team on the receiving side.

Do not take advantage of an opposing team whose skill level may be lower by running the score up.  In one-sided games, use the opportunity to practice different shots, or even, with permission, offer to coach your opponent, in a positive, helpful manner.

Learn and play by the official rules of pickleball as set out by the IFP (International Federation of Pickleball).

Members will dress in safe and appropriate attire, including proper footwear.  Street shoes are not to be worn on the gym floor at Sonora Centre and Desert Park.  Attire should be similar to that required for sports, such as tennis or golf.  Men are to wear shirts at all times.

To ensure safety, do not play on a wet court.

Bring bottled water to remain hydrated.

The Board of Directors reserve the right to accept or reject, membership to those individuals detrimental to fun, sportsmanship, enjoyment of members or any persons creating undo problems for the Board. No membership refund will accompany termination.

At the discretion of the Board and the severity of the incident, club membership may be suspended or terminated.  A verbal or written warning will be offered before disciplinary action is taken. Upon termination, a member will forfeit any fees paid.

At the discretion of the Club, a Member’s conviction for any of the following offenses will be deemed a major infraction under this Policy and will result in an immediate expulsion from the Club and membership fees forfeited: child pornography; sexual offences; violence against a person; trafficking of illegal drugs.  Members must self-report any convictions for these offences.


If a ball is hit into another court, immediately YELL “BALL ON COURT”.  If the ball is to be returned to you, raise your paddle in the air to get the attention of the player returning the ball.

If a ball rolls onto your court, call out “BALL”.  If you hear “BALL” called from another court, STOP PLAY AT ONCE!  When attempting to return the ball to the appropriate court/server, return it in a safe and efficient manner.

Announce the score before each service.

Players will call the lines on their side of the court.

Spectators do not make line calls.

No players should question an opponent’s call unless asked.

All “out” calls must be made “instantly”, otherwise the ball is presumed “in” and still in play.

In doubles play, if one player calls the ball “out” and the partner calls it “in”, then doubt exists and the ball must be declared “in”.

Line calls should be promptly signaled by hand or voice, regardless of how obvious they may seem.

All players should strive for accuracy in making line calls.

The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on the line calls made.


To return a lob, turn or split-step pivot to field the ball.  Shuffling or running/pedalling backwards can cause serious accidents.

If someone falls on the court, all play STOPS until their needs are addressed.  Sonora Centre has icepacks, a First Aid Kit, First Aid personnel on site and there is a Defibrillator on the wall across from the office area.

If you are crossing an active court to get onto a vacant court or to leave a court, wait until their current point is over.  Let them know you are there before you cross.  This is both an etiquette and safety issue.

If a ball cracks and breaks, remove it from play, keep it separate and later take it back to the Office.  Do not crush the ball as these balls can be used for children’s programs.

If any debris falls on the court, quickly remove it.

If you are near your partner with an overhead slam opportunity where you may hit them, stop play.  Let the ball drop.  Lose the point.  Stay conscious of where your partner is at all times.  You and your partner should be calling “MINE” or “YOURS” before you hit the ball.

Usually the controlling player on the forehand returns overhead shots. 

Players are encouraged to wear protective eyewear, both indoors and outdoors, to avoid injury. 

INDOOR PLAY AT SONORA  – Keeping play active with large volumes of players

At the Sonora Centre, court times are divided into levels of play for Novice, Intermediate and Advanced abilities.  This provides each person the opportunity to play with similarly skilled players, offering a better game for everyone involved.  Check the Community Centre drop-in schedule for mixed all level play times.

  1. Play in the appropriate time slot, according to your level.
  2. Win or lose, no one plays more than two consecutive games unless there is no one waiting to play.
    • If there are up to 7 people waiting to play
      • Players should rotate, 2 on, 2 off.  The losing team leaves the court, while the winning team plays a second game
      • The game goes to 11 points and must be won by 2 points
    • If there are 8 – 11 people waiting to play:
      • Players should rotate, 2 on, 2 off.
      • The games go to 9 points, sudden death
    • If there are 12 or more people waiting:
      • Players should rotate, 4 on, 4 off
      • The games go to 9 points, sudden death
  3. Be ready to go onto the court when it is your turn.  Do not play past your scheduled time when another group is waiting or activity scheduled.
  4. When players are waiting, winners can stay on the court and split.  Losers must leave the court to allow others to play.


Click HERE for a PDF of the Code of Conduct for the Desert Pickleball Club

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