Pickleball Serves

What Are The Pickleball Serving Rules?

by | Jan 4, 2023 | 0 comments

Pickleball Serves

Pickleball is a sport gaining more and more popularity in the United States. It combines elements from tennis, badminton, and ping-pong to create a challenging and fun game for all ages. If you’re starting Pickleball, understanding the rules of service can initially seem daunting.

Serving in Pickleball is an important skill that all players should be familiar with to have a successful match. Whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced player, understanding how to serve correctly is essential for success.

In this post, we will discuss the basics of serving rules in Pickleball, from preparation to technique.  We’ll also cover some tips on how best to increase your odds of winning when dealing with serves in competitive play. Once we have gone through all the guidelines, you’ll be ready to ace your next game!

An Upward Motion Should Be Utilized When Serving In Pickleball

Pickleball is an increasingly popular game that provides entertainment and exercise. The game is played with a paddle and a whiffle ball on a court with set pickleball dimensions. The net is similar to a tennis net. To play, it’s important to understand the rules of serving. To make pickleball serves, the player must stand behind the back line and hit the ball diagonally into the opposite service box. The opposing team must return the ball to remain in play; if not, or if it is hit out of bounds, a point is earned.

To begin a serve in Pickleball, players must hit the ball upward starting at waist level. Make sure that there is space between your paddle’s face and your body. You have to generate enough power to hit the ball over without moving your paddle too far from your body.

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This can be achieved by stepping back from the baseline before swinging and ensuring that your elbow is higher than your grip on the handle. Doing this will give you more leverage to swing the racquet and contact the ball. Upon contact with the ball, your paddle should make a soft but audible “pop” sound.

The Pickleball Must Be Hit With The Paddle Below The Waist Level

When serving in Pickleball, the paddle must be below waist level when making contact with the ball. The player must then hit the ball over the net and into the other player’s court.

When serving, it’s important to try to place the ball in such a way that will give you the best possible chance of winning the point. This takes practice. Initially you just want to get the ball over the net and into the receiving area.

While serving rules may vary slightly depending on where you are playing, these basic rules remain consistent. Your paddle must make contact with the pickleball below waist level.

The Server’s Wrist (and Hand) Must Be Higher Than The Pickleball Paddle Head

Pickleball serving rules are designed to facilitate gameplay and ensure fairness for all players. The most important rule is that the server must keep the paddle head below their wrist while making contact with the Pickleball. If the server breaks this rule, it results in an automatic fault.

The server must have at least one foot behind the baseline while serving. When serving, the server’s arm must move in an upward arc straight up, and sometimes over their head and behind their body. This ensures that the ball will go over the net and into the other player’s court.

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To ensure that there is no illegal serve during the match, the player must ensure that it lands within the correct area on the diagonal service zone. If the Pickleball bounces before crossing into the opponent’s side of the court, it will result in a fault.

The doubles team that receives a valid drop serve also has rules they are expected to abide by, including that their feet should remain within their designated areas until after contact with the Pickleball.

Adhering to all these pickleball rules is important for facilitating an enjoyable game of Pickleball that follows fair play principles. Ensuring that everyone is playing by the same rules creates a more level playing field and allows for a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

You Only Have One Attempt To Make A Legal Pickleball Serve

Although your skill level might not be very high, you still need to focus on accuracy when serving in Pickleball. The pickleball serve rules emphasize creating a fair and evenly-matched game. Therefore, if you want to improve your chances of winning, you must ensure that your serve is accurate.

The service must be delivered from behind the baseline. And the ball must land within the opponent’s receiving court area. It is considered a fault if it falls outside this area or is touched by an opponent before bouncing. The server gets only one serving attempt to try and have a good serve. If they fail, it counts as a fault.

The ball must land within the non-volley zone line to be considered legal. If the ball does not land within the non-volley zone, it is counted as a fault, and possibly results in a point for the opponent (if this type of scoring is used).

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Depending on the play style and guidelines, the best two out of three games (eleven points per game) make a match. Therefore, you must always give it your best when serving. Remember, you only get one shot.


In Pickleball, the primary objective is to score points by serving the ball and making it land in the no-volley zone on your opponent’s side of the net. The server must hit the ball diagonally into the no-volley zone. Volleying is not allowed until after a served ball has bounced. If you are playing doubles, each player gets the chance to serve until a fault is called.

After each point, the ‘serving’ players change position. To win Pickleball, you must be the first team to reach 11 points, with a margin of at least 2 points over your opponent(s).

When either team, or player if playing singles, reaches 10 points, that team or player scores an “advantage” point. So if one team has 10 points and the other has 9 points, then the next point scored will give that team that already has 10 points the lead by 2 points. Thus winning them the game.

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