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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Service Rules

The serve is the first stroke of every rally. The most important aspect of the serve is that the server avoids a fault by using a legal motion and getting the serve in-bounds. Either mistake immediately ends the rally with a side-out. Assuming a legal motion is the norm, the most important skill is to ALWAYS get the serve in. Beyond that, there is little to understand other than the basic rules, simple techniques, and effective strategies. This post is about rules.

Service Rules

There are 5 rules about the serve – 3 related to the service motion and 2 related to the court.

The service motion rules include:
  • The ball must be struck underhanded. This means the paddle must be moving upward when the ball is hit. 
  • The ball must be struck below the waist. 
  • The entire face of the paddle must be below the wrist. 
The following video from Pickleball 411 called The Underhand Serve explains the rules.

Line rules include:
  • The server’s feet must be behind the baseline and within the extended sideline/center service line when the ball is struck.

  • The served ball must land in the service area diagonally from the server’s position. The service area includes the sideline, center service line, and baseline. It excludes the non-volley zone line that forms the front border of the service area. 
If you fail to meet any of these rules, your service is lost and play moves to the next person in the service sequence. 

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