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Can You Bounce the Ball Before Serving in Pickleball?

Can You Bounce the Ball Before Serving in Pickleball?

Let’s talk about the rules which the American pickleball association devises. There are several different rules explaining how the service should be made and the basic rules of making the service. So the question arises that whether a ball can be bounced or not before making the serve in pickleball?

The ball can certainly be bounced as many times as the player wants before hitting the ball with the paddle to make the serve. It is a rule that the service simply has to be hit within 10 seconds of the score being called. 

Pickleball is a game with its own rules and regulations worldwide, especially in the United States of America. It is a racquet sport that evolved through badminton, ping pong, and tennis. But has its own general rules for smooth and fair gameplay.

Can You Bounce the Ball Before Serving in Pickleball?

The ball’s bouncing before attempting a serve is associated with the drop serve. The drop serve comes with three criteria:

  • Arm movement
  • Keeping the paddle below the wrist
  • Its contact below the waistline

It is not compulsory to adhere to these criteria. The drop serve allows the ball to bounce before hitting the serve. This service is considered legal until or unless it does not propel the ball to the upward or downward position of being dropped. The failure to drop the ball in a proper position results in a fault. It should not hit in an upward direction with a paddle. 

In such a service, the server is allowed to release the ball from the hands of the server and drop it off at the paddle face of the server. The player can drop the ball but avoid jumping as it is not allowed. This is an extended rule, but it still comes under beta testing. After proper evaluation and review, this rule will be permanent.

How Does Serving Work in Pickleball Before Bouncing?

Pickleball Serve Type


Underhand Stroke

  • Underhand stroke is a simple service that is attempted to bring the ball into the gameplay.

  •  In this stroke, the ball is contacted below the waistline, called a navel. It is said that while playing this stroke, the arm direction should be in an upward arc motion.

  • It is done so that the paddle head can reach its highest point, and during ball-striking, it must be below the wrist.

Drop Serve

  • Drop serve is not an old rule for pickleball but is a new rule and is in the beta testing process.

  • This rule is strongly associated with the ball's bounce before serving in the pickleball game.

  • The player attempting the service can drop the ball and hit it after the bounce, and this thing comes under the drop serve.

  • A player is not allowed to toss the ball, and they can drop the ball from a certain height to produce a bounce.  

Diagonal Opposite Courts

  • It is recommended to attempt the serve from diagonal sides of the opposite service courts.

  • Make sure to do so from behind the baseline or within the boundaries of imaginary extension of sidelines, also called centerlines.

Deep Placement

  • The player can experience deep placement, and they can attempt it to the centre of their diagonal opposite serving court. It keeps the receiver back in their place.

Receiving the Service Return

  • The player in the game can follow towards their target and return to their ready position. It is necessary to receive the service return in the game.

Avoid Continuing the Court

  • The players shouldn't continue the game on the court after the third shot is attempted. They should remain behind the baseline.

What Makes a Pickleball Serve Illegal?

The American pickleball association has devised complete rules which explain the regulations with which the pickleball service has to be made. If a player tries to make a service that does not fall by the rules devised by the American pickleball association, it would be called an illegal serve.

Three basic rules determine that the service is legal and falls by the rules and regulations. Those three basic rules are explained below:

Rule 1The player’s paddle should be moving in the upward direction, and the arm of the player should be moving in an upward arc.
Rule 2The contact of the player’s paddle with the ball must be made at a level below the waist of the player.
Rule 3The highest part of the paddle should not be above the wrist. If a service is made in pickleball that does not abide by the above-mentioned basic rules, that service will be considered an illegal serve and would result in a foul, leading to a score in favour of the opponent.

New Serving Rules in Pickleball:

Each year, the USA Pickleball association devises new rules and regulations. Also, it eradicates the old and traditional ones to keep the game looking more exciting and newer for players and people who wish to build their interests in this game. Similarly, the pickleball association devised a new rule on a serve before bouncing the ball this year. 

The Rule Regarding the Bounce of the Pickleball:

There is no restriction on how many times the ball can bounce before the server hits the ball. The sole purpose of having this rule devised is to let the ball bounce as many times as the server chooses before playing.

It means that the player can bounce the ball as many times as possible before deciding to strike the ball to make the serve. However, the ball must be hit within 10 seconds after the score is called. This rule also clarifies that the player can bounce the ball anywhere within the playing surface before they decide to hit it to perform the services.

Discontinuing the Chainsaw Serve:

Another new rule devised by the American pickleball association was to discontinue the chainsaw serve. Chainsaw serve might seem a new term in any racquet sport. It is a rule devised for a pickleball game in which the server rolls the ball against the pickleball paddle.

The ball is tossed in the game, so in most cases, it is rolled, including the grip of the paddle. Chainsaw serve is a new strategy, and players experiment with it in their game.

Can You Bounce the Ball Before Serving in Pickleball

Players in the pickleball game hit the spinning ball quickly to finish the serve. The ball is kicked to the left, right, or in an upwards or downwards position due to an intense spin of the ball. This year, this move has been banned by the association.

But the player can still put a finger spin on a serve. The new rules explain that the server can use only one hand to release the ball to perform the services.

It means the player should not wear any glove, pad, or similar cloth material on the hand while making the serve. Also, the receiver and the referee of the game must be able to see the server’s release of the ball. 

Outside Extra Ball and Its Ban:

The Pickleball association introduced a new rule along with previous ones in which no ball is allowed from the outside sources to enter the court through any means. Previously, players used to bring an extra pickleball to the court for the game.

But this thing is restricted now, and players cannot enter the court having an extra pair of the ball. In social plays, players still bring the ball, but it is banned for international tournaments and is considered a fault if an extra ball is seen lying on the court.

The Double-Bounce Rule in Pickleball:

The receiving team should let the ball bounce during the serve. The serving team should also let the ball bounce before it returns, as it will create two bounces.

The teams can either volley or play it off the bounce after one bounce. In volley, they can hit the ball before bouncing or switch to groundstroke. The double bounce rule extends the rallies and eliminates the advantage for serve and volleys. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What are the basic rules to attempt the serving in a pickleball game?

The basic rule for serving is that the person should toss or release the pickleball to do a volley serve. The player then hits the pickleball with a paddle and tries not bounce it on the court. It is a traditional serving method implemented on the pickleball court.

What are the three basic rules for attempting the pickleball serve?

There are three criteria for attempting legal services in a pickleball game. The first is to move the arm in an upward arc motion. The second one involves the movement of the paddle in an upward motion, and in the last one, the ball should make contact below the waist.

Does the ball bounce first while doing serving?

The service return and serve should bounce before striking the ball. Each side should also play a ground stoke on their first shot while following the serve.

Does the pickleball game allow two chances for serving?

Each team in a pickleball game gets two chances to serve in the game. At first, the score is 0-0-start as the serving team gets a single chance. When the team loses a point, their service is passed to the other team, and in this way, the other team gets another chance to serve.

Can you attempt a slice serve in a pickleball game?

A slice cut or shot struck the ball from high to low side and swiped the ball with a paddle. Pickleball spin serves are difficult to handle, but one can master them with practice.

Can a player attempt sideway serves in a pickleball game?

Sideway serves, or underhand strokes, lead the player to move their arm in an upward arc position. A player cannot swing in an overhead way or sideways to attempt the serve.

Does the return of serve in pickleball land in the kitchen zone?

A player should keep in mind that the service should never land in the non-volley zone area called the kitchen. If the serve hits the net beforehand, it is an automatic fault and leads the player to lose the point.

Can a player bounce the ball twice in a pickleball game?

A player immediately loses the point if the ball is bounced twice on its side. The ball should bounce once on each side for attempting the serve and return shots. It is called a double bounce rule, and bounce should occur on both sides of the court.

Is it compulsory for the service to be in a diagonal state while serving in a pickleball game?

The serve should be made diagonally, and it must land within the boundaries of the opposite diagonal court. One service attempt is allowed in the game, excluding the let serve.

Can a player step over the line while attempting the serve in a pickleball game?

A team can score points in a pickleball game during attempting a serve. Players are allowed to step over the baseline zone while attempting the serve. 

Does the ball bounce in the kitchen zone of the pickleball game?

A player can hit the shot as long as the ball bounces while standing in their non-volley zone. The shot’s momentum carries the player to the non-volley zone after hitting the groundstroke.

Does the second shot in a pickleball game land in the kitchen zone?

Before hitting a volley, both the feet of the players should be in contact with the playing surface and outside the kitchen zone. Your partner in the game can stay in the kitchen zone if you are playing doubles.