Different Type of King of the Court

There are numerous variations of the “King of the Court” game in pickleball. The most common one is one in which a team that wins a game moves to a higher court and the losing team moves to a lower court. To keep things even, the teams have to split up when they get to the new court. Sometimes you use a deck of cards to randomly assign people to courts. But, what can you do if you only have one court for a contest?

This is a game that we played at a Tyson McGuffin camp. It emphasizes third shots, getting to the net, court movement and putting away lobs.

I offered to run this game at our club using one court for men and another for women. The players had to choose a teammate because I didn’t want to assign teams. I could just imagine that blow-back that I would have gotten for doing that. Anyway, I said that the game was not easy.

No one signed up!

Anyway, it is a great game to play, and if you have suggestions on how to make it better, I would love to hear them.

Here is how it works:

Two players are at the net and two players are back. There is a person who is the “Server,” a person that feeds balls to the baseline players and net players in the event of a lob situation. Other teams are waiting to become baseline players when the situation arises.

A “server” feeds a ball to one of the baseline players.

The baseline player plays a third shot – it can be a drive, a long dink, or a push, but it cannot be a lob. A good strategy could be third shot drive followed by a “fifth” shot. The point is then played out like any other point, except no lobs.

If the baseline team wins the point, then the server feeds a ball to the other baseline player. That player hits a third shot and the game is on.

If the baseline team wins both points, the team at the net moves back and the baseline team moves up to the net. The server then throws up a lob.

If the baseline players don’t win both serve points AND the lob point, they get off the court and are replaced by the waiting team that is first in line.

If the baseline team wins both points AND the lob point, they become the net players and the players who were at the net move to the back of the waiting line.

Baseline players have to be cognizant of the fact that if they don’t get to the net, they will likely lose.

Net players have to be cognizant of the fact that if their court position is wrong, they will likely lose the point.

All players have to be aware of balls that might be going out.

Teams are responsible for keeping track of how many games they win. No cheating!

Play will go on for 1/2 hour. If, in the unlikely event one or more teams never gets to be net players (in other words, one team dominates), the dominating team will become baseline players and the teams that did not get a chance to be at the net will get to be at the net.

I decided that any team at the net that wins 6 in a row, they rotate to the back of the waiting players. In that event, every team gets to be at the net.

The team that wins the most games is the champ.

It is a fun game, but a very difficult game.