Pickleball Serving Rules: You Must Know

To achieve the highest chance of victory in pickleball, you must use its optimal serving method. It is imperative to grab this chance because serving is the only part of the game in which a player can control the ball’s path. If you are a pickleball player trying the pickleball serve technique to win, it is necessary to follow the rules of pickleball serving, which we will explain below in this blog.

Along with the pickleball serving rules in this blog, we will also mention how you can learn those rules. We will briefly explain why the game’s pickleball serve rules are important. Read this blog post, follow the pickleball serving rules, and serve in the pickleball to win.

Pickleball Serving Rules

Why the Serving Rules for Pickleball Are Important?

Serving rules in pickleball is crucial since each game begins with a serve, and a strong serve can influence the entire match. Pickleball serve rules exist to ensure that the server hits the ball correctly and gives the other player a fair chance to hit it back. By following the pickleball serving rules, players can improve their skills and increase their chances of winning.

The Pickleball rules for serving are crucial for keeping the game’s integrity. The serving rules in pickleball stop players from serving the ball in a way that makes it very hard for the other player to hit it back. This is important because it would give the server an unfair advantage. The rules for serving in pickleball ensure that everyone playing has a fair and enjoyable experience.

Also, maintaining safety on the court can be facilitated by following the pickleball serving rules. The pickleball serve rules require the server to stand behind the baseline and only enter the non-volley zone, also called the kitchen, once the ball has been returned. This helps in avoiding collisions and injuries on the court.

The serving rules in pickleball promote fairness and respect between players. The server must make the ball bounce once in the opponent’s service court before the receiver can hit it back. This ensures that both players have a fair chance of winning the point and stops the server from unfairly hitting the ball to a particular spot too fast or with too much spin.

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Finally, all individuals can have more fun playing pickleball by strictly adhering to the serving rules. The game goes more easily when players stick to the rules since there is less argument and confusion on the court. This keeps the mood upbeat and motivates players to keep playing the game.

What Are the Pickleball Serving Rules?

Pickleball is a popular racket sport played with a lightweight paddle and a plastic ball perforated with holes. The game is similar to tennis, but it is played on a smaller court, and the rules differ slightly. Pickleball paddle thickness also affects the serve. The serve is a critical component of the game, and there are specific rules that players must follow. Here is a detailed explanation of the serving rules for pickleball:

Pickleball Serve Rules for Hitting the Ball

When serving in pickleball, players must follow two key rules regarding hitting the ball: 

  • Pickleball Serves Must Be Delivered In An Upward Motion: The server must deliver the serve upwardly. It means that the paddle must be moving upward when it hits the ball. The player must strike the ball below their waist and make contact with the paddle on the way up. The player cannot deliver the serve in a downward motion and cannot hit the ball on the way down.
  • Pickleball Paddle And Pickleball Ball Must Make Contact Below The Level Of The Waist: Secondly, the paddle and the ball must make contact below the level of the waist. In other words, the player is prohibited from having their hand above their waist when hitting the ball. If the player’s hand is above the waist, the serve is considered a fault, and the point is awarded to the other team.
Pickleball Serve Rules When Hitting The Ball
  • Place The Pickleball Paddle’s Head Below The Server’s Wrist: When making contact with the ball during a pickleball serve, it is required that the server holds the head of the paddle below their wrist to comply with the serving rules. The server must hold the paddle at an angle where the head is below the wrist to make contact with the ball according to the pickleball serving rules. This rule prevents the server from hitting the ball too forcefully and ensures that the serve follows the proper trajectory.

Pickleball Serving Rules Before the Serve

Before the serve, there is a specific rule that players must follow.

  • A Complete Score Must Be Called Before the Ball Is Hit: Firstly, a complete score must be called before the ball is hit. This means that the server must announce the score loud enough for both teams to hear. The player should call out the score in the following format: the serving team’s score, followed by the receiving team’s score, and then the server’s number. For example, “0-0-2” means that the score is tied at zero, and the server is the second server for the serving team.

Ball Placement

Finally, there are specific rules regarding where the players should place the ball during the serve: 

  • Serve To The Correct Box: The serve must be made to the correct service box. Pickleball has two service boxes on each side of the court. The server must serve the ball to the correct service box, depending on whether they are serving from the right-hand or left-hand side of the court.
  • The Serve Must Clear The Non-Volley Zone Line: Additionally, the serve must clear the non-volley zone line, which is a line that is located seven feet from the net on both sides of the court. The non-volley zone line is also known as the kitchen. Players are not allowed to volley the ball (hit it before it bounces) while standing in the kitchen. Therefore, the serve must clear the non-volley zone line and land in the opponent’s service court.

If the serve hits the net and lands in the correct service court, it is considered a let serve, and the server is allowed to serve again. If the serve hits the net and lands outside the correct service court or fails to clear the non-volley zone line, it is considered a fault, and the point is awarded to the other team.

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Serving Line Rules for Pickleball Serve

The serving line is an imaginary line that runs perpendicular to the net and divides the court in half. When serving, there are specific rules that players must follow regarding the serving line.

  • You Must Serve Across The Pickleball Court Diagonally: The player must make the serve from behind the serving line located at the back of the court. Secondly, the serve must be made diagonally across the court, from the right-hand side of the court to the left-hand side of the court or vice versa. This means that the player must ensure that the ball crosses the net and lands diagonally in the opponent’s service court across from where they made the serve.
Pickleball Serving Across The Pickleball Court Diagonally

In conclusion, understanding the pickleball serving rules is essential for players to have a successful game. By following the above pickleball serve rules, players can ensure that their serves are legal and have a fair chance to win points.

How to Learn the Rules for Pickleball Serve?

Learning the pickleball serving rules is essential for players to have a fair and successful game. Here are some tips to help you learn and understand the serving rules for pickleball:

Watch Videos: Watching videos of pickleball matches can help you understand how the serving rules are implemented in a game. You can find many pickleball videos on YouTube or other online platforms.

Practice Serving: Practicing your serves is an excellent way to learn the rules of serving. As you practice, follow the rules for hitting the ball, serving diagonally, and calling out the score.

Play With Experienced Players: Playing with experienced players can help you learn the rules of serving and gain practical experience. Experienced players can also give you valuable feedback and tips to improve your serving skills.

Attend Clinics And Workshops: Attending pickleball clinics and workshops can provide you with hands-on instruction on serving and other aspects of the game. You can find clinics and workshops at local pickleball clubs or online.

Get A Coach: A coach can provide personalized instruction and feedback on your serving technique. They can also help you understand the rules and strategies of serving.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Serve From Anywhere On The Court?

No, you must serve from behind the serving line at the back of the court.

Can I Hit The Ball Above My Waist When Serving?

No, the player must hit the ball while serving below the waist.

Do I Have To Serve Diagonally?

Yes, you must serve diagonally across the court to the opponent’s service court.

What Happens If I Miss The Ball When Serving?

If you miss the ball when serving, it is considered a fault, and the serve goes to the other team.

Do I Have To Call Out The Score Before Serving?

Yes, a complete score must be called out before the ball is hit during the serve.

Where Should I Serve The Ball?

You should serve the ball into the correct service box on the opponent’s side of the court and make sure it clears the non-volley zone line.

Can I Serve From Outside The Court?

No, the player must make the serve from within the boundaries of the court.


If you properly serve in the pickleball game, you will definitely win. Successful pickleball serving requires following the rules for pickleball serve. Following the pickleball serving rules is very important for pickleball players opting for pickleball serving to win the match.

If you want to learn the pickleball serve rules, there are some tips to follow, including watching pickleball match videos, practicing pickleball serving, attending pickleball clinics and workshops, etc. After writing this blog, we suggest you that if you are playing pickleball, if you opt for pickleball serving, follow the serving rules in pickleball, learn those rules, and get ready for pickleball serving to win in this game.

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