Pickleball 101: How Long Does a Game Typically Last?

Pickleball is a fun and exciting game that has gained popularity in recent years. It is a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton, and can be played indoors or outdoors. One of the most common questions about pickleball is, how long does a game typically last? In this article, we will answer that question and provide some other useful information about pickleball.

What is Pickleball?

Let’s start with the basics. Pickleball is a game that is played with a solid paddle and a perforated plastic ball, similar to a wiffle ball. The court is divided into two halves by a net and is about the size of a badminton court. The game can be played with two or four players and can be played indoor or outdoor. The objective of the game is to score points by hitting the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court without them being able to return it.

How Long Does a Game Typically Last?

Pickleball games can vary in length depending on several factors, including the skill level of the players and the scoring system being used. However, on average, a game of pickleball can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

In general, recreational or amateur games tend to be shorter, as the players are less experienced and may not be able to sustain long rallies. These games typically end after one player or team reaches 11 points, with a two-point margin required to win.

Competitive games, on the other hand, can last longer, with matches consisting of several games or sets. The scoring system used in competitive pickleball is more complex than the one used in recreational games, with points awarded not only for winning a rally but also for scoring when serving.

In professional pickleball tournaments, games can last up to two hours, with matches consisting of multiple games. These games are played at a high level of skill and require a great deal of endurance and concentration.


1. Can pickleball games be timed?

Yes, some pickleball games can be timed, particularly in tournaments or competitive play. The time limit for each game or set can vary, depending on the rules being used.

2. What happens if a game ends in a tie?

If a game ends in a tie, players can choose to play a tie-breaker game to determine the winner. This game is played to 15 points, with a two-point margin required to win.

3. How many points are required to win a game of pickleball?

In recreational or amateur pickleball games, the first player or team to reach 11 points with a two-point margin wins the game. In competitive or professional games, games are played to 15 or 21 points, again with a two-point margin required to win.

4. How long do pickleball balls last?

Pickleball balls can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how frequently they are used and the conditions in which they are stored. It is recommended that players store their pickleball balls in a cool, dry place to help prolong their lifespan.


Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. Games can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the level of play and the scoring system being used. If you are new to pickleball, start with a recreational game and work your way up to more competitive play as your skills improve. Don’t forget to store your pickleball balls properly to ensure they last as long as possible. Have fun on the court!

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