Pickleball Serving Rules are Easy to Remember
There are a few Pickleball serving rules that you need to know before starting your game.
Here is a quick look at what the Pickleball serving rules are…
- The first serve is always from the right hand side of the court
- You must have both feet behind the service baseline
- The serve is underhand
- Always serve diagonally across the court to your opponent
- The ball must land in your opponent’s service area and bounce once before they can return serve
- You only get one attempt at serve with the exception of a let
- If your service or point is unsuccessful, your opponent then gets service
Pickleball is very similar to tennis and is a fun, outdoor sport that is consistently rising in popularity. More and more people are now playing pickleball, making it a popular choice for families and friends to enjoy.
Doubles and singles rules have slight differences.
Details of all the Pickleball Serving Rules
First serve is always from the right hand side
The first serve of the game is always from the right hand side of the court. This applies to singles or doubles. If you win the point, you then continue to serve but now from the left hand side of the court. This continues until you lose the point.
Your opponent then gets to serve and again, they start from the right hand side of the court.
This makes it easy to remember with scoring as if the score is an even number – you serve from the right. An odd number means you serve from the left.
Both feet must be behind the Pickleball service baseline
Like most racquet sports, you must be standing with both feet behind the service baseline when you serve in Pickleball. You can only enter the playing area of the court once the ball has been served.
When playing doubles, your team member can stand inside the court area for service.
The Pickleball ball is served underhand
The Pickleball ball is served underhand with your arm following an upward motion. The ball must make contact with the paddle below your naval area.
Always serve diagonally across the court to your opponent
The Pickleball ball is served firstly from the right hand side of the court into the left hand service area of your opponent. They can return the ball into any area on your side.
One bounce before you can return serve
Once the ball is served to your opponent, it must bounce once before they can return the service. The ball must then also bounce once on your side before you can return the shot. The point can then continue and you can return the shot on the full or with one bounce.
If the ball bounces twice, you lose the point.
One attempt to serve
You only get one attempt to serve. If the ball hits the net, goes out of bounds, into the non volley (kitchen) area or does not travel diagonally, you lose the point. The only exception is if the ball hits the net and then continues into your opponent’s service area. This is a let and can be replayed without penalty.
If you are playing singles and you fault, then your opponent gets service. If you are playing doubles and you fault, your team member then gets a turn at serving. Each team member can continue to serve until the point is lost. Once both team members have lost the point, service is then given to your opponents and they take a turn each to serve.
When a point is successful, the server and their team member switch sides. The receiving team always stays in the same position and never switches sides.
Hitting the net
If the ball is hit into the net it is a fault, even if it continues to the other side whilst the game is in play. A let is only permitted during a serve.
Hitting the net with your clothing, hand, arm or paddle is also a fault and you lose the point and your opponents get service.
Pickleball is becoming a popular indoor sport. If the ball hits any permanent object – such as the ceiling or walls, it is a fault.
How to score in Pickleball
If you are playing a game of pickleball, the scoring ends at 11 points. However, to determine the winner, the winning team or player has to be 2 points ahead of their opponent. This means that if you are at 11 and your opponent is at 10, the game will continue until there is a 2 point difference to announce the winner.
These are a few of the Pickleball serving rules you need to know before you start your game. Doubles and singles Pickleball rules are slightly different. Find out more about these by clicking on the words.