How to Serve

  • Must be performed underhand, and the ball must be struck below the waist.
  • At least one foot must be behind the baseline, and neither foot may contact the baseline or court until the ball is struck.
  • The serve must go diagonally crosscourt, fly past the non-volley zone line, and land within the opposite service court.
  • Only one attempt on the serve is allowed. If the ball touches the net and lands in the correct service court, you play on. There is no let rule.

Pickleball Scoring Pickleball Serve Order

  • If playing doubles, both players on the doubles team get to serve and score points until they commit a fault (unless it is the first serve of the game).
  • If it is the very first serve of the game, only one partner on the serving team gets to serve the ball.
  • One fault from the opening serving team results in the serve being passed to the opposing team (after that both players get their chance to serve).
  • The first serve by any team member is always made from the right hand side of the court.
  • If a point is scored, the players on the serving team switch sides and the next serve comes from the left hand side of the court.
  • Every point scored by the server requires them and their partner to keep switching back and forth until a fault occurs.
  • Once the fault is committed the first server loses the serve and then the partner serves and they repeat the sequence.
  • Once the second server commits a fault, the serve goes to the other team.
  • When the other team takes the serve, the first serve is from the right hand side of the court.
  • Both players on that team repeat the serving until each server has committed a fault.
  • For singles players, the server serves from the right hand side of the court when the score is even and from the left hand side of the court when the score is odd.

Pickleball Scoring

  • You can only score points when you are on the serving team.
  • Games are typically played to 11 or 15, and in some situations 21. It's most common that games are played to 11 points.
  • You must win by 2.
  • The team’s first server will be in the right hand box when their score is even for receiving and serving.
  • That player will be in the left hand box when their score is odd.

Two-Bounce Rule

  • The receiving team must let the ball bounce before they can return the serve.
  • The serving team then has to let the return shot bounce on their side of the court before returning the shot.
  • Once the ball has bounced once on each side of the court, both teams can return the remaining shots out of the air or after it bounces.
  • This rule was implemented to eliminate the serve and volley advantage, and make for better rallies.

Non-Volley Zone (The Kitchen)

  • Commonly referred to as the kitchen, it is the 7 foot area in front of the net on both sides of the court.
  • It is against the rules to hit the ball out of the air while standing in the kitchen or on the kitchen line. You may strike the ball in the air as it floats above the kitchen line, as long as you are standing completely behind the kitchen line.
  • It is considered a fault if a player steps into the kitchen or has a foot on the line to volley the ball. However, if a shot lands in the non-volley zone, the player is allowed to step in the NVZ to retrieve the ball.
  • It is also considered a fault if a player’s momentum carries them into or touches the kitchen line.
  • A player may be in the kitchen any time other than when they are volleying the ball.

Line Calls

  • A ball striking any part of any line, (except the kitchen line on a serve) is considered a good shot
  • A serve that contacts the kitchen line at all is considered short and is a fault


  • A fault is any play that ends because of a violation of rules.
  • If the receiving team makes the fault, it results in a point for the serving team.
  • If the serving team commits the fault, it results in that player losing the serve.
  • If a second fault is committed by the serving team, the serve transfers to the other team.

List Of Faults

  • The ball hits the net and does not land inside the opposing court or is hit out of bounds.
  • The serve does not land within the correct receiving court.
  • If the ball is hit out of the air before it bounces once on each side of the court after the serve.
  • If the ball is hit out of the air while the player is in the kitchen.
  • If the ball bounces twice on either side of the court.
  • If any part of the player touches the net or post when the ball is in play.
  • If the ball strikes a player.

Who Serves First In Pickleball?

  • Any fair method to determine the first serving team can be used (Example-Rock/Paper/Scissors). Some courts determine the first server by which team is on what side of the court (Example: North side always serves first).