Pickleball Serve Rules: How To Serve Step By Step Guide!

  • Date: September 12, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Pickleball is a great game for all ages! It’s fun, fast-paced, and easy to learn. One of the most important skills you need to master when learning how to play pickleball is serving. In this blog post, we will go over the basics of serving in pickleball so you can be prepared for your next game!

How to Serve Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Start off by finding the right stance for you. It is important to have your feet shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other, and your body weight evenly distributed.
  2. Hold the paddle in both hands at chest level. Make sure your grip is comfortable and secure so that it doesn’t slip during a serve.
  3. Move your paddle back in an arc motion until it reaches behind your head, then bring it forward quickly while keeping it low to the ground. This will create more speed and power in your serve!
  4. As you swing through the ball, make sure to keep your paddle parallel to the ground and hit the ball with an open face of the paddle. This will help you send the ball over the net with precision and power.
  5. Lastly, follow through with your swing after contact is made – this will help add spin to the service and give it more control!

Practice makes perfect when it comes to serving in pickleball! The more you practice, the better you’ll get at mastering this essential skill. Now that you know the basics of how to serve in pickleball, go out there and have some fun!

The Intricacies of Pickleball Serving Rules

Serving Direction

When serving, it’s important to make sure that you hit your serve in the correct court. If you are serving from the right side of the court, your service must go diagonally across and land on the left side of your opponent’s court. Likewise, if you are serving from the left side of the court, your server must travel diagonally across and land on the right side of your opponent’s court. This is an important rule because it ensures that all players have a fair chance at returning serves correctly.

Serve Height

The next key point for pickleball serving rules is height. Your serve should always be below waist level when released from your hand and should never be higher than shoulder level upon contact with the paddle or ground. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t bounce the ball before making contact with it—this can result in an illegal service that will give your opponent a point automatically.

Footwork & Positioning

Finally, when serving in pickleball, it’s important to pay attention to where your feet are positioned on the court. You must always remain behind the baseline when releasing your service and not cross over until after contact has been made with the ball—otherwise, this could result in an illegal foot fault which would award your opponent an automatic point as well. Additionally, both feet must remain stationary throughout contact with the ball—no side-to-side shuffling or jumping around!

The Serve Zone

Before you can serve in pickleball, you must understand the court and the serving zone. The court is rectangular in shape, 44 feet long, and 20 feet wide. On each side of the court is a 7-foot service zone where players can stand while they are serving. This means that when you are serving, you should stand inside the serving zone and not on either sideline. When it’s your turn to serve, make sure to step inside the service zone before hitting the ball, or you’ll be called out!

The Serve

When it comes time to actually serve the ball, there are some important rules that must be followed. First off, both feet must stay behind the baseline until after making contact with the ball. Once contact has been made with the ball, and one foot may remain on or over the baseline. Second, serves must clear the non-volley line before they land on their opponent’s side of the court (the non-volley line runs from sideline to sideline 6 feet from either net). Thirdly, players cannot hit any serves backhand as this could result in an illegal “carrying” call from an official judge. Finally, each player is only allowed one serve per turn; if you fail to make contact with your first serve, then your second attempt does not count, and it becomes your opponent’s turn to serve.

Letting Go of Your Anxiety

Serving can be quite intimidating for beginners because it requires precision and confidence – two things that don’t come easy when starting something new!

But here’s a tip: close your eyes and take three deep breaths before every serve. This simple exercise will help calm your nerves and get your mind focused on what needs to be done – make a good serve! As long as you remember these tips and practice them consistently, then soon enough, serving won’t seem so scary anymore!

What is an Illegal Serve?

Have you ever wondered what counts as a service fault in pickleball? It’s important to understand the rules and regulations so that you can play the game without having to worry about committing any faults. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of service faults in pickleball.

The Official Rulebook for Pickleball provides that the following actions will result in a fault on the serving team and the application server will lose his or her serve:

  • At least one foot is not in contact with the ground behind the baseline;
  • Any foot touches the baseline or any area inside of the baseline; or
  • Any foot touches any surface outside of both court lines.

It is also important to note that if a player’s paddle makes contact with anything other than the ball (ie, an object of clothing, the net, etc.), then it is also a service fault. The opposing team will be awarded a point for a service fault. A double-bounce rule applies on serves. If at least one player on each side does not make contact with their paddle before two bounces occur, then it is also considered a service fault, and the point goes to the opposing team.

In addition to these rules, there are some additional regulations that players should be aware of when serving in pickleball. For example, servers must wait until they have served before they move forward onto the court following their serve. Also, if two players are part of a doubles match and they switch positions between serves without first informing their opponents, then it may be considered a service fault as well. Finally, servers must call out “fault” upon committing their own service mistakes so that all players are aware of what has happened and can adjust accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Your Foot Cross the Line When You Serve in Pickleball?

Serving in pickleball is an important skill, and you need to become better if you want to improve your rating. Serving can be done with either one or two feet, but it’s important to remember that both feet must remain behind the baseline until after you make contact with the ball. Failure to do so will result in an illegal serve – meaning a point for your opponent! So, don’t let your foot cross the line when you serve, and keep it honest out there on the court.

Does the Return Serve in Pickleball Have to Clear the Kitchen Area?

When returning a serve as the receiving team, one of the best strategies is to target the non-volley zone. This can be a great tool for catching the serving team off guard and gaining an advantage over them. It’s important to remember that while the serving team has an obligation to clear their end of the court, there is no such expectation for the receiver: so fire away! Ultimately, service return strategies like these can really shake up the game and propel it in a different direction – making volleyball matches that much more thrilling and exciting.


Serving in pickleball isn’t as complicated as it seems – once you understand how everything works, it’s really just about having fun and enjoying yourself on the court! Just remember that serves must stay within bounds (not travel outside of either sideline), clear the non-volley line before landing on your opponent’s side of the court (7 feet from either net), and no backhand serves allowed (it’s illegal!), and only one attempt per person per turn (so make it count!). With these tips in mind, now all that’s left for you to do is get out there on the court and show everyone what you’re made of – happy playing!

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