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Quick Start


The Club periodically offers intro clinics as well as more advanced clinics, check the events page.

There are private, certified coaches in the area who are happy to give private and group lessons. 

The Picklr in Loveland offers free intro sessions and group and private lessons..

Introduction Videos and Explanations

A wealth of info:

Video: The basics of the rules

Video: The basics of scoring

Video: USAPA: What is Pickleball?

USAPA: How to play Pickleball – Multiple Basics and Strategies Explained

IFP Scoring Summary – one page

Where to play


The most popular places to play are Twin Silos, City Park (both with permanent nets) and Spring Canyon Park (with Club nets in a lockbox). 

There are also many parks with court lines painted, but you have to bring your own nets.  

Many of these courts are in rough shape, but some are fine.  These include:

Beattie, Lee Martinez, Washington, Soft Gold, Cottonwood, Homestead, Rossbourough, Troutman, Fossil Creek and Greenbriar

Here is a link to a map of the courts from the City.

You can reserve courts by contacting Lewis Tennis @ 970-493-7000


There is Open Play and Paid Open Play at the indoor City Rec. Dept. facilities, the Senior Center and Northside Aztlan.

Please check their schedules online for times.  These are often limited to a certain number of players or reservations are required due to COVID, so make sure you call ahead.

Senior Center Schedule : 970-221-6644

Northside / Aztlan Schedule: 970-221-6256

The Picklr in Loveland: 970-709-7786. This is a commercial facility that is open to all players.  Check their schedule.

If you want to schedule a time to play with friends or just an Open Play time for players at your level, try Playtime Scheduler


Where to play


You can contact their Clubs for more info:

Loveland Pickleball Club

Windsor Pickleball Club

Playtime Scheduler

This is a 3rd party website that is very popular for scheduling play for groups of similar skill levels.
The Fort Collins Pickleball Club has no input nor control of that site, but we've found it very useful.

Click on PlaytimeScheduler to go to the website.

Create an account.

Click on the little 'world' icon

Select NOCO - Fort Collins

To add a session, click on the '+ Add Session' button.

Then select a park from the first drop down.

Fill out the rest of the fields.
(Please limit the skill levels to as small of a range as possible)

Click the red 'Add Session' button and you are good to go!

PICkleball etiquette

Here are the top 10 etiquette rules for playing pickleball – rules that you won’t find in any official pickleball tournament handbook or rulebook:

When somebody inadvertently hits a ball onto your court from an adjacent court, retrieve it and toss them that same ball that they hit onto your court. Don’t switch balls. I repeat, don’t switch balls.

When retrieving a ball from an adjacent court, make eye contact with someone from that court and then directly toss or hit them the ball. Don’t just hit the ball back into their court without looking. That’s very annoying!

Don’t play keep away from the best player on the other team during rec play just so you can win– they want to play too!

Don’t cross the court behind a match until play has stopped. It’s not only rude, but it can be very dangerous as well.

Don’t chest-bump or be excessive in the celebration when your opponent makes an error. The same goes for the “spectators.” Please don’t clap or cheer when the opposing player misses an easy shot. If, on the other hand, you or your partner made a great play…

If you are obviously the weakest player on the court, thank the other players for playing with you after the game. However, don’t take advantage of their graciousness by staying on the court for an indefinite period of time. More than a game or two will undoubtedly wear out your welcome.

If you are asked to play with a group that is obviously of a lower skill level than you, graciously accept and play a game or two with them. They will likely appreciate your graciousness and understand that you want to get back to similarly-skilled players after the game.

If you are obviously the strongest person in your foursome, tone down the competitiveness and hit your opponents’ balls that they can return. Work on a new skill – perhaps it’s a great time for work on that third shot drop shot.

If you and your partner can’t determine if the ball was in or out – or if you disagree with your partner on a line call – the benefit of the doubt goes to your opponent. Wait! That’s actually an “official” rule!

In recreational play, don’t exploit someone’s physical limitations just so you can “win.” Not cool!

Rules & other info

Here are links to the Official Rule Book and an easier to read version.

Rules home page

Official USAPA Rulebook for 2021

Easy to read version

Changes for 2021

One page IPF rules summary



If you have never been rated in a tournament and/or you don't know your rating level, you are below a 4.0 level!

Note: Above the 2.0 level, all levels should be able to demonstrate most of the skills for their level plus most of the skills from preceding levels. Thus a 2.5 level player, for example, demonstrates most skills in the 2.5 level list as well as most skills in the 2.0 level list, and so on.

As players self-determine their rating, keep in mind that you are welcome to use .25 and .75 rating numbers also. For instance, if you feel that you are better than a 2.5 but not quite to the 3.0 level, you can rate yourself as a 2.75.

2.0 Skill Level

  • Has taken a beginner’s class (or demonstrates equivalent knowledge)
  • Moves around court in balanced, safe manner
  • Gets some serves “in”, perhaps not regularly
  • Realizes aspects of score-keeping, rules and where to stand on court during serve, receipt of serve, and general play
  • Has some basic stroke skills

2.5 Skill Level

  • Knows two-bounce rule and demonstrates it most times
  • Knows where to stand on the court during serve, receipt of serve and general play
  • Able to keep score.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of backhand volleys.

3.0 Skill level. Also possesses all 2.5 Skills

  • Knows the rules and can keep score.
  • Aware of partner’s position on the court & moving as a team
  • Aware of hitting a drop shot and moving quickly towards the non-volley zone.
  • Is able to sustain a dinking rally in the game.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of backhand volleys.

3.5 Skill level Also possesses all 3.0 Skills

  • Demonstrates strategies of playing during games
  • Actively works with partners in communicating, covering court, moving to net
  • With varying consistency executes: forehand/backhand ground strokes, overheads, net volleys, and sustained dinking
  • Specifically places shots rather than just hitting shots anywhere
  • Selective mixing up soft shots with power shots to create an advantage
  • Is able to hit at least 50% of drop shots successfully.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 80% of backhand volleys.

4.0 Skill Level. Also possesses all 3.5 Skills.

  • Players at or above 4.0 will generally have earned their rating through tournament play.
  • Primarily plays in an offensive mode rather than reactively
  • Controls and places serve and return of serve to best advantage
  • Puts advanced playing strategy into the game, particularly in dinking
  • Consistently varies shots for competitive advantage, uses power shots selectively
  • Communicates and moves well with partner — easily “switches” court positions
  • Very comfortable playing at the non-volley zone. Works with partner to control the line, keeping opponents back and driving them off the line.
  • Can block hard volleys directed at them
  • Has good footwork and moves laterally, backward and forward with ease.
  • Hits overhead shots consistently, often as put-aways
  • Ability to change a hard shot to a soft shot
  • Consistently executes effective drop shots that are not easily returned for advantage
  • Can effectively poach
  • Hits a low # of unforced errors per game
  • Regularly demonstrates “anticipation of play”
  • Self-correcting during play
  • Consistently is a multi-dimensional player and/or is exceptionally dominant in a limited playing repertoire.
  • Is able to hit at least 70% of drop shots successfully.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of serves “in”.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of forehand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of backhand returns.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of forehand volleys.
  • Is able to hit at least 90% of backhand volleys.

Other Skill Rating Definitions and Assessments

USAPA Player Skill Rating Definitions – one page summary of all skill levels

USAPA Player Skill Rating Sheets in pdf for each skill level

International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) – Rating Skills Assessment

Please be kind to all players, grow the community!

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