Volley in Pickleball

Mastering the Volley in Pickleball: 5 Winning Strategies for Success

An exciting game Pickleball holds appropriate rules and regulations, among which Volley in Pickleball is essential to know for players.

During a Pickleball game, a volley is performed when making the rally; the player’s ball hits in the air before bouncing with the Court. You must hit your ball in the air before it hits the Pickleball ground. Moreover, ‘Volley’ is allowed in NVZ after the Kitchen Zone. Meanwhile, a volley in the Kitchen region is considered a Fault. 

In Pickleball, you don’t let your ball bounce on your side in Court even once it’s allowed. You need to learn about Volley because it’s a very effective tactic. What is the accurate time to perform the Volley, what execution, and about its benefits? 

Significance of a Volley in Pickleball

  • Volleyball is profitable and entertaining to play both in Singles and doubles Pickleball.

It’s because you’re taking advantage of an upright flying ball with more valuable time for receiving your shot than your opponents. Often you achieve the higher contact points that enable you to make the down hit onto your opponent’s court. 

  • Players can win more Pickleball games by improving their Volley in Pickleball rules. They can enjoy the extra handouts of gameplay by effectively volley creation. 
  • Players can play the basic volley with forehand or backhand. The backhand strokes are quite common and easy to hit because the ball is coming at your body parts. Meanwhile, the forehand volley is difficult to shoot. 
  • The volley aims to hit the coming shot (ball) away from your opponent or down at your opponent’s feet. It makes the sizable gap on your court or forces opponents to play difficult, low-contact shots. The goal is that your opponent will miss the shot, and the rally is ended. Hence, you can get the score here if playing as a serving team member. On the other hand, it ends the rally when playing as the receiving team. 
  • Volley in Pickleball is executed near the non-volley zone (NVZ) line. If the incoming shot is high enough, it can be played further back in the court.

We have explained the major parts of Pickleball Court.

Types of Volley in Pickleball Games

There are five major types of volley in Pickleball game that can assist in mastering your skills and gameplay. You may know about advanced and intermediate volleys other than traditional volleys. These volleys can help you in gaining the best scores while playing. 

Roll Volley

It is also referred to as the topspin volley. Roll-Volley is performed when your opponent players’ contact point is below the height, and they stay in their backcourt. This topspin half-swinging volley occurs after your opponent’s drop shot. You must apply the roll volley to keep your opponent players pinned to their baseline. 

Pickleball Court Lines

Dink Volley

When all four players are up to the NVZ line in the dinking exchange position, then this soft volley is executed. Though it’s the same as a regular dink is played, its shape, target and purpose of shot are similar. Your target is near or in the kitchen. Your purpose is to attack, prevent and go for your attack. 

Moreover, you can play the dink volley to reach your opponent player’s incoming dink out of the air. Sometimes you want to avoid your foe’s dink from landing behind you. Thus, you don’t need to back up quickly and hit the shot awkwardly.

Punch Volley

While playing the Punch Volley, your paddle face is almost parallel to the net, slightly open and a punch shot. You have to play this shot using your elbow as a hinge and by forward punching movement. Players’ bodies will remain calm, and wrists must remain firm with punch volleys.

It’s a highly common sort of volley that is used in quick net exchange shots. Moreover, it’s best shot while aiming toward the medium-height opening or moving toward your opponent’s feet.

Underspin (Backspin/ Slice) Volley

Underspin volley hits with a slight low-to-high motion. In this way, you can impart a few underspin on your ball. This volley keeps your ball low after its bounce. It’s always very effective to force your opponent’s players to make the up-hit.

Drop Volley

This kind of Volley is also known as a catch volley in Pickleball. When your opponent player is back on the court, it’s the perfect change-up volley in Pickleball. It looks like they are firing the shot back at you, and you’re pushing it back deep. It’s a soft gripping shot that absorbs your ball’s incoming pace. It causes the ball to land over the net.

Types of VolleyFeatures
Roll VolleyForce opponents to pin on their baseline
Punch VolleyIt’s an excellent option to hit Volley on your Opponent’s feet.
Dink VolleyExecuted by pushing, lifting and blocking your ball before bouncing the ball back
Underspin VolleyPlay a slightly open racquet face, and move your arm down from the shoulder.
Drop VolleyDemands the soft grip and proficiency to absorb the ball’s upcoming pace

Stay out of the Kitchen – Avoid the NVZ

It looks pretty funny while accidentally hitting the volley when staying in the Kitchen region. All players will shout ‘Kitchen, Kitchen’ then you can admire your mistake. It’s quite an easy rule for all experts and beginners to find themselves stumbling in this NVZ from time to time. 

We’re informing you about the official rules about staying in the Kitchen because the purpose of these rules is to prevent the Pickleball players from staying right up against the net, hitting volleys, and smashing as it would end the rally on each point.

NVZ Rules

To better understand this rule, remember that you can’t step into the NVZ or on its line with your feet. It happens when you try to contact your ball out of the air (Volley position). 

Sometimes, players extend their arms in the air and try to contact the ball in NVZ. It occurs as long as players’ feet aren’t in contact with the kitchen parts. If you’re doing it, you’re making the fault. Pay attention; don’t hit the volley and step into the NVZ. It’s easy to understand and stay safe from the fault. 

In another case, the NVZ violation occurs if players swing their paddle to contact their ball out of the air. The volley motion keeps them stepping into the NVZ after hitting the ball. 

However, if you hit your ball with both of your feet outside the NVZ, by hitting, your momentum will not keep you in the kitchen region even after your contact. Regardless of how often your ball has been bounced on your other side.

Therefore, the Pickleball volley Rules of the International Federation states:

  • It’s proven as a fault if things that are in contact with the volleying player or the volleying player himself touch the NVZ (non-volley zone) when performing the Volley. 
  • While acting the Volley, it’s his fault if the player’s momentum forces him to contact any other thing of NVZ (including his own partner players).

Furthermore, you can play the Volley anywhere on your court of Pickleball other than the NVZ. These basic rules are essential to note when you have the intense volley moment in gameplay and stay out of the NVZ. 

Basic mistakes you must avoid while making Volley in Pickleball

  • Don’t get or stay too close (care for your position)
  • The ball is low > Hit it hard
  • Pushing back

Scoring a perfect Volley in Pickleball

  • Players must tip the Paddle
  • It would be best if you use your elbows
  • Your grip on Paddle

Ways to Hit the Volley in Pickleball

For recreational as well as tournament gameplay, you must start your match with fundamental tips for hitting the volleys. Therefore, you have two basic ways to hit the Volley:

Forehand Volley

These volleys are played softly or with immense force. This shot may result in unbalancing your Opponent.

Therefore, your paddle stroke is similar to your dominant hand. For instant, a right-handed player shows his paddle face on the right side.

Traditional volley is the compact stroke, so never overdo it by more swinging. It would help to stay careful; it’s also a common trap. 

Backhand Volley

It’s an easy and common way to accomplish the volley with an open paddle face while connecting to the ball. You are making the shot where you hit your ball opposite to your dominant forehand. If a shot comes towards your body, you must hit it as a volley. 

Meanwhile, players lead with knuckles instead of their palms on the backhand.

There is no in-between way to gain points in volley other than these two points. 

7 Basic Hitting Rules of Volley in Pickleball

The rules for placing a volley in Pickleball and hitting it depend on the rally and situation. There are some basic rules for targeting and hitting the volley. It will help if you hit the volley whenever you get the opportunity to do so. It gives you less time to react to your Opponent. 

  • Volley’s lower hit at the player’s feet is a complicated way to return. So it would help if you hit it at your Opponent’s feet.
  • It will help if you hit the volley on your Opponent’s shoulder. The Opponent has the backhand ready (defaulted) position while in the NVZ line.
  • Hit your volley towards the gap away from your Opponent.
  • When opponents are stuck, they must hit the deep volley. This act will pin your opponents to their baseline.
  • Ensure that your position is ready while your Opponent is contacting the shot.
  • Hold the paddle with continental grip (best paddle grip both for backhand volley or forehand volley).
  • You must hit the drop volley softly. It resets the point if your Opponent drives the hard shot at you.

Volley in Pickleball Strategy (Drills to Practice)

Pickleball players must know about the major volley strategies for an intense match. Though, these ways are adopted by advanced Pickleball players. 

The key strategy is keeping your volley hard when contact is high and soft when contact is low.

If you’ve got the high contact point of volley, it’s the ideal situation to attack down into your opponent’s court. You can create a hard shot for them. You are proficient in leading that point at this stage. 

In another situation, make sense of a soft dinking volley while contacting your volley low. It would help to keep your ball bouncing low on the opponent’s side. You must stay safe if you make high-hit from your low contact point. You are clearing the net and need to hit up. It provides a high contact point to your foe players and your own punishing moment.

How to improve the Volley in Pickleball drilling?

Practice makes perfectAll players must expand their capabilities to make volley in Pickleball. It’s perfect to learn about the movements of volleying in Pickleball. Moreover, you should learn and practice the Pickleball volley rules as well.
When playing doubles match, players can play any volleyWhen playing a doubles match, you can perform any sort of volley between the opponent players. It forces the players to decide (before the match) which ball they will play.
Must know the difference of heavy and light hitHeavy hit > Launches the ball.
Light hit > keeps your opponent closer to the net (makes the chances of catch).
Must control you  ball’s directionSuppose you hit the ball far, right, left or near whenever you make a volley. You must perform your best to control the route and make a reactive volley.
Don’t over-extend your armsWhen it’s easy to stretch without locking your elbow, the best practice is to stop swinging your arms. You must not overextend your arm. This act will restrict your control.
Make perfect practice by taking pace-off your ballIt’s reliable while returning hard hotshots at you.
Must keep your feet before volleyingThe player’s feet are the main point of motion. So, making a volley on one leg is quite difficult. You must plant your feet and then make the volley in Pickleball.


Volleys are allowed to be performed anywhere on the court. So, players can strike their Volley anywhere between the baseline and NVZ line.

The groundstroke shot occurs when the paddle contacts the ball quickly before it rises with the full potential height and after it bounces away from your court. It’s known as a half volley in Pickleball.

While playing the Pickleball match, before the ball is bounced back, hitting in the air is known as a “volley in Pickleball”. Thus, the Volley is performed near or at the NVZ line or in the transition area (away from the baseline). You must stay active to pick the Volley. 


There are some key takeaways about Volley in Pickleball. 

  • It would help if you kept the continental grip on the volley (both for backhand and forehand).
  • While the opponent makes contact with the ball, you must utilize the ready stance. It’s effective for your oncoming balls. 
  • You must improve your Volley skills. 
  • It would be profitable if you practiced all sorts of volley for your maximum success rate in a Pickleball match. 

You can learn more about the action-packed Pickleball game just by staying here. 

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