“Adopt a safer way and live to play another day.”
Pickleball Safety Tips
1. Avoid going to the courts if you have a fever or are not feeling well.
2. Stretch and “warm” up with movement that mimics play before you start a game. Respect and play up to your current physical ability. Stretch after you play and “cool” down by walking or other moderate physical activity.
3. Wear shoes that support lateral movement. This means "court" shoes; not dress shoes, flip flops, sandals, or bare feet. Make certain there is tread on the bottom of your shoes.
4. It is best practice to remove any jewelry that dangles before you play.
5. Observe the playing area and note any potential obstacles. Clear any debris or non-permanent items.
6. Never play on a wet, muddy, or icy court.
7. Label gear with your contact information. Set all personal items at least 7 feet from court lines when possible. Leave your valuables at home.
8. Grip your paddle as if you are shaking someone’s hand. Too strong of a grip over time can lead to physical issues in your upper extremity.
9. Avoid rushing to get the ball. Let it come to you.
10. Avoid running backwards (backpedaling). Instead pivot 90 degrees and sidestep or turn 180 and run towards the baseline if necessary. Practice retrieving lobs before attempting this type of return during a game.
11. If someone falls or gets injured on a court, all play stops until needs are addressed.
12. Wear sunscreen when outside.
13. Use eye protection that filters UV radiation and guards against strikes by a ball or paddle.
14. Wear a hat, visor or cap that allows for portable shade, manages the elements, and does not obstruct vision.
15. Hydrate before you play and take breaks for rest and fluid intake.
16. Listen to your body. If something starts to hurt beyond annoyance; stop, pass on further play, recover, and return when the condition subsides.
17. If you see someone who displays signs of dizziness, weakness, or lack of concentration; keep an eye on them. Recommend a time-out if you think it necessary for their sake and stop play.
18. Never walk near or through a court when a game is in progress.
19. If you hit a ball onto another court, immediately holler “Ball on court!” to alert players of a potential hazard.
20. If a ball breaks, remove it from the court. Avoid playing with a broken paddle or glasses.
21. Never “dive” for balls.
22. Communicate. Call a shot to avoid collision with your partner. Respect your partner’s call.
23. If it’s a choice of potentially hitting your partner or losing the rally, keep your partner safe and let the ball go. The point is not worth it.
24. Play on a well-lit court at night.
25. Walk to your vehicle with someone you trust at night or when playing in undesirable locations.
26. Know how you would access 911.