Who Serves in Pickleball

Pickleball is a dynamic and engaging sport that combines elements from tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Among the many aspects that make pickleball unique, understanding the serving rules is vital to get the game rolling. In this article, we will dive into the intricacies of serving in pickleball, exploring the rules and strategies that players employ to gain a competitive edge on the court.

Understanding the Serving Rotation

Understanding the Serving Rotation

In pickleball, the serving rotation is essential to maintain fairness and balance during the game. The serving team starts each point from the right-hand side of the court, serving diagonally to the opponents’ right-hand side court. Once a point is won, the serving team switches sides, and the server moves to the left-hand side of the court. This rotation continues throughout the game, ensuring all players get an equal chance to serve and receive. Explore More About Pickleball: How To Make Money With Pickleball

Serving Technique and Rules

Pickleball serves must be executed underhand, with the paddle below the server’s waist level. The server must stand behind the baseline and cannot step on or over the line until the ball is struck. The ball must land within the opponent’s diagonal court, beyond the non-volley zone, which is the first seven feet from the net. The serve must clear the net without touching it and should not land in the non-volley zone.

Faults and Second Serves

Faults in pickleball serving occur when the rules are not followed. Common faults include stepping on or over the baseline while serving, serving from above the waist, or serving into the net or non-volley zone. If a fault occurs during the first serve, the server gets a second chance, known as a second serve. If the second serve is also a fault, the serve goes to the opponents, resulting in a side-out.

Strategies for Effective Serving

Strategies For Effective Serving pickleball

The serve sets the tone for each point in pickleball, making it a critical aspect of the game. Players often employ various strategies to maximize the impact of their serves and gain an advantage:

Variation in Speed and Spin: Effective servers mix up the speed and spin on their serves to keep opponents guessing and prevent them from anticipating the return.

Placement and Accuracy: Precise placement of serves can force opponents into challenging positions and set up favorable opportunities for the serving team.

Targeting Weaknesses: Experienced servers identify the opponents’ weaknesses and direct serves to exploit those areas, putting pressure on the receiving team.

Use of Lob Serves: Lob serves can be a valuable tactic to catch opponents off-guard and disrupt their positioning on the court.

Surprise Drop Shots: Occasionally using a drop shot serve can catch opponents by surprise, especially when they are expecting a powerful serve. Must Read This Article: Pickleball Vs Paddleball

Serves in Doubles vs. Singles

Serves pickleball In Doubles Vs. Singles

Serving strategies can differ between doubles and singles play. In doubles, players may coordinate their serves to set up their partner for a strong return or to confuse the receiving team. In singles, serves play a more significant role as players must cover the entire court themselves and look for opportunities to capitalize on the serve’s effectiveness.


In pickleball, the serve is more than just the start of a point; it is an essential element that can dictate the flow of the game. Understanding the rules and employing effective serving strategies can elevate a player’s performance and lead to success on the pickleball court. As players continue to refine their serving techniques, they add an exciting and strategic dimension to this fast-growing and enjoyable sport.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) – Serving in Pickleball

Q: How does the serving rotation work in pickleball?

A: The serving team starts on the right side and serves diagonally. After each point, they switch sides.

Q: What are the rules for pickleball serves?

A: Serves must be underhand, below the waist, and land within the diagonal court. They must clear the net and avoid the non-volley zone.

Q: What happens if a serve is a fault?

A: If the first serve is a fault, the server gets a second chance. If the second serve is also a fault, the serve goes to the opponents.

Q: What are some serving strategies in pickleball?

A: Strategies include varying speed and spin, targeting weaknesses, using lob serves, and surprising opponents with drop shots.

Q: Do serving strategies differ in doubles and singles play?

A: Yes, in doubles, players may coordinate serves, while in singles, serves play a more significant role in individual court coverage.

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