Pickleball serving Rules

Master Guide to Know Pickleball Serving Rules 2024

Pickleball’s foundation rests on serving rules: underhand motion, contacting below the waist, visible drop/release, and the server’s upward arm arc.

Do you want to improve your Pickleball serving rules? How did the Pickleball Serving Rules establish?

You relive that Drop serve rules were entitled on January 25, 2021, as an interim rule of Pickleball. In 2022, after successful reviews, that provisional rule was converted to the permanent Pickleball Serving Rules.

It discloses the door of two major kinds of legal serve. Volley (traditional) and Drop serves must keep underhand, and the paddle contacts the ball below your waist level. Furthermore, a single service hit (serve) attempt per turn. Serve is played inside the court diagonal to the conflicting team. Eventually, you will forgo your serving opportunity if you perform the illegal serve.

Pickleball Legal Serve

Kinds of Pickleball Serves

In the current era, types of Pickleball serves are:

  • Pickleball Volley Serve
  • Pickleball Drop Serve

Volley Serve

It is a good startup for beginners. Players must toss and then hit their ball with the paddle to make the volley serve. They must be conscious that their pickleball bounces in the court. 

According to Pickleball Serving Rules, you are playing as a traditional serve, dropping your ball, so you must create contact with the pickleball by paddle before it hits to ground. This technique is allowed in this type of serve. Once players become experts in this serve, they are capable of gaining higher scores than that in drop serve.

Suppose you are playing serve with higher contact points; now you can achieve the aggressive serve. The notable point is that it’s not only considered while deciding which kind of serve will be good for you. There are following basic volley-serving guidelines that are the staple of Pickleball Serving Rules. These are not applicable for drop serve.

Some tips for volley serve of pickleball to tossing the ball:

  • You toss the ball up in the air before it strikes the paddle. It may create more space and time to hit your pickleball. Furthermore, you can hit it from a higher contact point.
  • Avoid the bad toss. Players have ten seconds to hit their serve after announcing the score. If you have made the bad toss, you do not need to hit the server now. Try to pick up the pickleball and toss it again.
  • The pickleball serving rules of spinning your toss will revise in 2023. Hence, at the start of 2023, a single spin is not allowed for your toss-on serving. 
  • Depth and accuracy are more convenient than power.

Serve Rules

Drop Serve

According to the Official Rulebook of pickleball, this new kind of serve is established for physical disable players. However, drop serve is ruled as provisional under the official Pickleball serving rules organization, which means it’s currently legitimate. It might be removed or revised in forthcoming sports rules. 

For drop serve, you may release or drop the ball from your original height, whether by paddle or hand. Then after bouncing on the court, hit it with the paddle. Regarding our recommendation, go higher to drop the ball rather than lower.

Moreover, the main feature is; you’re permitted to let your pickleball bounce off your court before hitting. 

There is no additional restriction to apply while electing to hit your drop serving ball. This is because your ball won’t bounce up to your waist, so all pickleball serving rules can be fulfilled when playing this serve. 

The benefit of this service is, Upward arc isn’t required while playing the drop serve. 

Consequently, when the user is creating contact with the ball, he must not apply the same rules (having an upward motion in the arm when serving, never hitting above the navel, or keeping the paddle tip below the wrist) of the traditional serve. 

Hence, if you’re playing this serve for the first time, don’t bother. Shortly, you’ll become a professional player with whole expertise in these Pickleball Serving Rules than other complicated serves. 

The next pivotal hint for Drop Serve is; Players are not allowed to move or push the ball down or up for a higher bounce and can’t add spin to the ball.

Likewise, Pickleball players not always remain stick to single serve throughout their match. There are two serves of equal importance. 

While either it’s volley serve or this drop serve, there are various similar rules to perform during playing:

  • You may hit the ball either by your backhand or forehead motion. Hence, a forehead hit is preferred officially.
  • There is the feet placement rule of basic serving. The server’s foot stays in contact behind the baseline (touch with the ground). It’s placed at the contact point between your Pickleball and paddle while playing the Pickleball serve. 
  • You must be conscious that neither of your foot touches inside or on the baseline of your court, nor outside or on the imaginary extension lines (centerline or sideline). Note: This rule may apply for both serves, whether Pickleball drop serve or pickleball volley serve.
  • The serve location basic rule is applied. Thus, your serve must land in the service region of the court, which is diagonal to the server. (Serve might be volley or drop).
  • Hit your ball within 10 seconds while your scores are being called. 

Benefits of Volley and Drop serves

Volley ServeDrop Serve
More powerEasy for beginners
More speedMore spins
Not affected by windBackhand serves are played

Key Pickleball Serving Rules

  • Serve is underhanded
  • Each game/rally of Pickleball is originated by serve.
  • Singles don’t allow the second server. Meanwhile, doubles relay on both servers to make the serve score.
  • In both doubles and singles Pickleball, the server hits to make the service from the right corner of the court.
  • Your underhand motion always hits serve
  • The paddle is in contact with the ball below your waistline.
  • The paddle head is always below the highest part of the wrist while contacting.
  • Serve lands in the service area diagonally.
  • Feet place correctly.
  • Each server is allowed to make a single serve.
  • In tennis, two serves are allowed. On the other hand, a single serve is allotted in Pickleball, just like Ping Pong.

There are flourishing Pickleball serving rules. Suppose you’re a beginner at the game, you must go through these rules to beat the Pickleball expert players.

Secrets of Players

Further details about Pickleball Serving Rules

An underhanded Serve

Therefore, tennis allows one to perform an overhand serve. Meanwhile, Pickleball comes to meet with an underhand service motion. This rule of Serve is established to limit the serving winners and to inspire longer points.

Regarding the Official Serve rulebook, Pickleball must come in contact at the point below the navel. Additionally, the International Federation of Pickleball stated that there are some definite terms to meet when Pickleball contacts to paddle;

  • The Pickleball Contact should never make the above player’s wrist.
  • The Pickleball Contact should never make above your waist level.
  • During an underhand Serve, the player’s arm must bend upward.

What is Cross-Court Serving?

The pickleball rulebook permits the server to hit the ball over the Pickleball net. It will become the hit in diagonal to the cross-court service zone.

Notably, Pickleball can touch the net when there is no serve. It provides the accurate move of both the non-volley line and non-volley zone and lands in the service court diagonally in the correct position. (the non-volley zone – line is taken as part of the kitchen zone). If your fall hits on the kitchen zone, it may cause a fault. 

Double Bounce Rule

The opponent team lets the Pickleball bounce before it returns; after that, the first-serving team lets it bounce before hitting. It is known as Pickleball double bounce rule.

This rule’s benefit is preventing the net from crashing by the serving team after their Serve. 

Singles Pickleball Rules

Major faults of Pickleball Serving Rules

Foot fault: If the server’s feet meet inside, on the baseline, or outside of the imaginary extension rows (centerline or sideline). It’s considered a service feet fault of the server. The serve is returned in favour of the other team. However, if the second server goes through the foot fault, it constitutes a side-out for his team. Serve moves to the other team. 

Illegal serve motions: If the serve does not have an upward arc and the paddle isn’t connected with Pickleball below your waist. It’s considered your fault and announced as an illegal serve motion.

Illegal Serves

The wrong player serves: It’s simple to recall who is serving or announcing. But often, players forget who’s turning to serve. So they may call for the serve in place of their partner, referee or opponent. 

Serve lands out-of-bound region: The serve must land in crosscourt position from the server (in the opponent’s service region). If your serve lands out of your rectangle called a mistake. Though, service passes to your opponent team. 

Pickleball Doubles Rules

Pickleball receiving faults

  • Calling over the Serve: When the server performs for the serve points, the receiver cannot call for a timeout.
  • The incorrect receiver may hit the ball: The wrong member of receiving team may hit the serving return ball.
  • Bounce is skipped: Before the return hit of the ball, it must be bounced at once.

Top tips for Serving and Receiving Teams

It’s an essential part of Pickleball Serving Rules, and beginners must follow these tips and rules for performing the best serves.

Look at the ball, not ball-trajectory: the most common view is to watch the direction where the ball is moving, or you want to see the ball. It’s also easy to eye off the ball. Don’t make such mistakes. You do not need to look around the ball until you’ve played a good hit. The key tip is to keep an eye on your ball.

Examine the positions of your Opponents: Once you’ve played your wealthy Serve, you’ve gained the chance to catch your opponent red-handed. It would help if you tried to make deep, powerful serves and shorter serves with backspin, lob, and each time hit towards the different regions of the service zone. You must pick up the drop Serve and keep guessing your conflict team’s position in Court. Your serving drills for Pickleball are putting the more chance of your scoring. 

Never ace every Serve: You are a beginner in Pickleball, never hit every ball as a pro player. You must set your aim as legal and consistent. You will enjoy your game on the Court. 

Make the aim for diverse targets: The safest shot is to serve in the centre of your service court. Firstly, you need to put your ball in the Court. When you get confident about placing, then initiate to target at different points. These different regions include the right or left sides of your opponents or the backhand side of your opponent. Always keep pace with your improvement. 

Always try to keep the other team back from yours: As a player, most of the points you get from perfect positioning on volley lines and deep hitting to serve. Play the short serves, keeping your opponents up to the kitchen. Moreover, make a deep return to serve into the other team’s Court with the little arc. It’s a milestone for you that allows more time to stay on the kitchen line

Best key tips for Pickleball serving Rules understanding:

Serving Tips

  • Hit under the player’s belly button
  • Play deep serve
  • Analyze your stance
  • Wear the best quality get-up for playing
  • The Foot Placement rule is important
  • Mind relaxation
  • Learn about the Paddle position
  • Set an aim and a target
  • Mix and follow all rules
  • Practice


The international federation of Pickleball with USA Pickleball has prepared the official rulebook of the Pickleball Court.  

On account of the official rulebook of Pickleball, any fairway can determine the first-serving team. The method usually is flipping the coin; you can also use any of your desired methods. Which team has won the toss that will come to play the Serve at first? 

The Pickleball covers the maximum travel from a serve of 40mph. 

Final verdict

The volley and drop are two serves for Pickleball. Meanwhile, the Pickleball Serving Rules for doubles and singles are quite similar, and the difference is of double servers in the first one rather than one server. Moreover, Serve must fulfil further rules, including crosscourt, Foot placement, underhanded serves, etc., crucial techniques while serving. 

Your Serve must stay away from faults. Never lose your chance while playing. Thus, Pickleball is a fairly fun and socially competitive game. It brings exciting competition among the players. It’s initiated by the legal Serve and goes forth until each team wins the game.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *