The 3 Rules to a Legal Pickleball Serve and Forms to use

With over 3 million active players, Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports in the USA. It has gained tremendous popularity as it is appealing to people of all ages and sports’ tastes. This game can be learned in minutes but takes years to master. Major reasons for this are its complex serving rules and styles.

Many amateurs and semi-pro Pickleball players either err in serving properly or don't know about rules of legal pickleball serving styles. So in this article, we will tell you about the major rules of legal Pickleball serves along with the forms to use..

But first, let's know the basics of this game. So let's dive right in.

What is a Pickleball game?

Pickleball is a racquet sport that involves hitting a ball back and forth over a net. This game is a combination of elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.

This game can be played one on one format, which is called singles or two on two, which is called doubles. The players use a solid paddle to hit a perforated ball.

  • It can be played and enjoyed by anyone, from school-aged children to elderly retirees. This is because the court size is lesser than the size of the tennis court and hence, Pickleball game is also popularly called ‘tiny tennis’.
  • It is a lot easier to play Pickleball. This game is much less strenuous than tennis and badminton because there is a lesser territory that players have to cover.

What differs this game from others are the equipment used. Their easy handling and less threatening nature is the best part. The game doesn’t require many types of equipment. So, let’s know what these must-have equipment are.

Pickleball Equipment

  1. Paddle:

  • The paddle used in the Pickleball is larger than a ping-pong paddle and smaller than a tennis racquet. The normally used size is between 8 to 15 inches. Initially, these were completely made of wood, but with time, several materials are being used. 
  • Most prominently, lightweight composite materials like aluminum and graphite are used in making paddle surfaces. Polymer aluminum is being used for making paddle cores. 
  • With the great variety of the Pickleball paddles available in the market, purchasing the right one may seem like a daunting task. If you're an amateur or a new Pickleball player, go for a paddle with right grip and less weight.

If you’re also in a search for a quality paddle, you’ll find the best paddles, based on your preference, at Pickleball Court Supply. Here, you’ll find classical wooden pickleball paddles if your preference is a heavier paddle. 

We also have graphite Pickleball paddles, a favorite among adult players, and composite Pickleball paddles made of advanced aerospace materials, for those who prefer a paddle, light in weight.

  1. Net:

  • The standard height of a Pickleball net, as suggested by the USAPA tournament, should be 36 inches at both ends and 34 inches at the center. Many people think, ‘Why not use a tennis net? They look the same’. This is not true. The tennis net is not of the right height. Moreover, using a specific net for a specific game increases the fun manifolds.

  1. Pickleball:

  • A pickleball is based on the wiffleball which was invented in 1953 by Dave Malini in Connecticut. It comes with many holes and is about a similar size as a baseball. The game of Pickleball can be played by an outdoor and indoor ball. The outdoor ball is hard and has smaller holes whereas the indoor ball has larger holes.
  • A Pickleball comes in a variety of colors. The light-colored ball is preferred for a dark-colored court and dark-colored ball for light-colored court.
  • Pickleball Court Supply is the best place on the internet to buy Pickleballs. Whether your Pickleball court is indoor or outdoor, you’ll find the ball of your choice based on your budget. We have plenty of options to choose from, such as, Onix, Dura, and TOP. The balls are manufactured to high-quality standards to ensure that they are resilient enough for serious play, and durable enough to survive many games.

Now that you have got a glimpse of the essential equipment and their uses, it becomes important for you to know some basic serving rules. Many amateur players often mistake in serving properly across the net.

So in the following section, we are going to tell you about the 3 rules to serve accurately.

3 Rules to a Legal Pickleball Serve

Rule-1: Use Underhand low to high motion

  • For a legal serve, you must not serve overhead as it’s done in tennis or volleyball.

Rule-2: Hit the ball below your waist or put contact point below your navel

  • The contact point is when your ball touches the paddle and that contact point needs to be below your waist. The waist is determined at the navel or at the belly button.

Rule-3: The highest part of your paddle must not be above your wrist:

  • Make sure that at the time of contact between the paddle and ball, your entire paddle must face below your wrist.

Now that we explained the basic things to keep in mind while serving, here are the 4 most used serving styles.

4 Serving Styles in the Game

  • Getting in and serving

  • It is considered a basic serve and mostly used by the beginners, especially those who just want to get to the volley. 
  • You initiate with dropping the ball low with a high follow through so that the ball can pop over the net. This form won’t make your opponent overwhelm and let you get a few hits in for a round.

  1. Lob serve

  • This is similar to the previous form but you strike the ball with a little more power and allow it to gain more height. The ball hit harder and deeper, thanks to this form. This will cause your opponents to likely hit the ball into the net, compensating for your lob serve.

  1. Power serve

  • This is a more advanced form and you can use it only after mastering the previous serving styles. You have to add a twist after serving underhand that will provide more power to your serve which will help you steal some points.

  1. Angle serve

  • This is the toughest serve to master and it takes quite a lot of practice. It is kind of similar to a power serve, but now you are aiming to strike the kitchen. The kitchen is the area on the court just beyond the non-volley zone and inside the sideline.
  • This form provides you more advantages against a slower player as this will require a quick response from your opponent. Using this form, you can also trick your opponents into going one way while you strike the ball to the empty side of the court.

Parting Notes

By following the rules of legal Pickleball serves and learning these Pickleball tips for serving styles, you can master this game in no time. If you are interested in buying more Pickleball related equipment and accessories, you can purchase them from Pickleball Court Supply at a reasonable price. 

We hope you found these Pickleball tips for serving helpful. For more information, kindly visit our website or contact our supportive service executive, we’d be happy to assist you.