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Can You Throw Ball Up in Pickleball Serve?

Can You Throw Ball Up in Pickleball Serve?

The Pickleball game holds a unique set of rules that can be followed easily by players of all ages. Although it is a game that is a mixture of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, it still has its strategies and rules that are compulsory to follow for fair gameplay. One of them is the pickleball serve, and people often ask that can a person throw up the ball in the pickleball serve?

As per rule, a person cannot throw, toss or release the ball with an added force for bouncing it. The ball can be dropped from any height in pickleball serve but cannot be thrown up. The point of contact should be below the waistline for a legal service.

As per rule, a player should serve diagonally opposite the service court and from behind the baseline and the imaginary extension of sidelines and centerline.

Serves in a pickleball are always made diagonally in the kitchen zone called a non-volley zone from the opposite side of the court. The position and strategy for the serve determine the score or a fault. It is recommended to call out the score before the serve. The serve is continued until the person loses the point from the alternate sides of each point.

Basics of Pickleball Serving:

Serving in the pickleball game switches the game towards how a player can drop the ball. The player attempts to swing the ball underhand to get the pickleball over the net across the court. Here we will discuss the basics of pickleball serving that will help you to play the game skillfully:

1. Calling the Complete Score:

It is recommended to call out the whole three numbers of a score. This thing must be done before the paddle hits the pickleball.

2. Attempt the Serve in an Underhand Way:

The player should do the service in an underhand way so that the ball can strike the racquet near the player’s waistline. Keeping the top part of the paddle below the wrist while hitting the ball is also recommended. You can attempt the serve in a forehand or a backhand manner while following all the rules.

3. Hitting the Ball in the Air:

 It is not allowed in the pickleball game to serve the ball off a bounce. You can either hit the ball high in the air or can drop the ball after hitting a bounce. It is not allowed to throw the ball in downwards directions. Only gravity can do so. It is a kind of interim rule that needs to be followed.

4. Stay Between the Center and Sidelines:

It is recommended not to step over or cross the baseline. It would help if you stayed in between the sidelines and the centerline. The player must stand behind the baseline during the service; otherwise, it will be considered a foot fault. If a player tries to serve behind the baseline, they must stand between the center and sideline.

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5. Bounce the Ball in Play:

The player should serve the ball over the net in the pickleball game. You should serve it diagonally to the opposite side of the court.

6. Landing the Ball within Bounds:

If it lands in the diagonal box, the ball will hit the baseline, sideline, or centerline. When the ball hits the kitchen line or anywhere outside the diagonal box, it becomes a fault.

Some other ways that can result in a fault include the server missing the ball, the server swinging the ball, and when the ball hits a stationary object.

How to Serve in Pickleball Without Throwing the Ball Up:



Right position

The first step involves the player getting positioned in the right way. The position for serving depends on the player who is either playing in singles or doubles categories.


Always call out the serving number before calling out the score. This thing should be adopted in the doubles category too.

The decision to a serve

A player should determine the type of service and the method for serving before targeting in the game. There are different types and services, and you can choose according to your demand.

Composition of player

Never allow yourself to stress out before the game. It is better to take a deep breath and compose yourself before playing the pickleball game. It will help you play the pickleball serve like a basketball player who can shoot a free throw.

Avoid throwing up

It is recommended not to throw the ball up in the air in a serve. Reach out in front of yourself and then drop the ball while having it on your opposite side of the hand.

Opponent’s return

A player should underhand and correct their strategy for the ball. The player can drop the ball by swinging the paddle, but the swing should be smooth and relaxed. A player should be mentally prepared for the return shot from their opponent.

How to Improve the Pickleball Serve Without Throwing the Ball Up?

It is not allowed to throw up the ball in the pickleball serve. But if you want to improve your pickleball serve without throwing the ball in an upwards direction, then you can follow the below-mentioned guidelines:

  1. Serve routine
  2. Hold and fire
  3. Serving from the back foot
  4. Swinging the whole arm
  5. Hitting the net and ball
  6. Serving the ball close to the baseline

 1. Serve Routine:

Practice matters a lot in the pickleball game and if you want to become an advanced player, practice the game with its appropriate rules. In all kinds of sports, the players adopt a specific routine for their throw or service, which is remained consistent throughout the whole game.

The players create a mindset to deliver a consistent service or throw. It is recommended to adopt the same serve routine in the pickleball game to accomplish the perfect game. Before attempting the service, you can spin your racquet, bounce the ball, and get in a comfort zone to achieve excellent service.

2. Hold and Fire:

There are three kinds of grips associated with a pickleball game. As a player, you can play the game according to the grip of your interest.

The most accessible grip is that you can hold from the top and swing your paddle for a hit. You can practice hitting the different areas of the court with your serving technique. Practice consistently to hit the spot and aim it towards your target.

3. Serving from the Back Foot:

A player’s weight is placed more on the back foot than the front foot during serving. It results in an inconsistent serve when you put your entire weight forward.

It is recommended to shift your weight forward during a swing. If you are a beginner in the game, don’t go hard with the ball. Hold the ball in your opposite hand near your waist level, and then drop it.

4. Swinging the Whole Arm:

It is recommended to move the whole arm forward and not confine it to the wrist. You can end the swing with the paddle pointing towards the pickleball direction.

5. Hitting the Net and Ball:

If you want to hit the net in the pickleball serve, you should angle the pickleball paddle slightly upward. If you want to hit the ball behind the baseline, you should decrease the power and swing speed to angle down your paddle.

6. Serving the Ball Close to the Baseline:

You can practice serving the ball closer to your baseline region, which is excellent. Such a kind of service is called a deep serve that can bounce back on the baseline of the opponent’s court and is forced to return from the par point.

Is it Possible to Serve an Ace?

It is expected that it becomes difficult to hit the ball hard as it is hollow and light during the wind resistance. It makes it slow down quite a bit due to this issue. The underhand serve rule makes it difficult to hit the serve.

If you want to serve the ace, it is better to try a few soft short serves. It will help you to draw your opponents forward during serving. You can also hit the power serve at the feet of the other player if they are standing inside the court. It will become difficult for the player to return.

Spinning on the Serve:

You can also serve with another technique through spinning on the ball. It is a natural technique in other racquet sports. But in a pickleball game, it sometimes becomes challenging to get that much spin due to smooth paddles. Even in tennis and ping pong, it is still difficult to spin the ball.

Power servers in the pickleball make it more difficult. The best trick is to pull the paddle towards yourself if you are playing the game during your contact with the ball instead of throwing up the ball.

Practice the Serve:

The serve technique in a pickleball game requires a lot of practice. It is essential to put the ball in the gameplay during the serve.

You can score the service and make improvements after missing the shots and switching toward the advanced settings and techniques. It is better to think about the use of services and the place for the ball. It will prevent you from mixing up the serves.

Also Read:

What Kind of Ball is Used in Pickleball?
How to Become a Pickleball Pro? 
Pickleball When to Switch Sides? What You Need to Know
What Does 4.0 Mean in Pickleball? All You Need to Know
How Did Pickleball Get Its Name? Amazing Fact

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is it considered a legal act to bounce the ball during the pickleball game?

Yes, you can bounce the ball before hitting the service in the pickleball game. It is recommended to hit the services within the first ten seconds of the score.

Which rule is adopted for the pickleball serve?

It is recommended to make a server in an underhand way. The contact of the paddle with the pickleball must be below the waistline of the serve. The player should initiate the service from one foot behind the baseline.

What are the new serving rules introduced in the pickleball game?

Some new rules are introduced in the pickleball game in; which the first one is that server is allowed to use only one hand for releasing the ball to perform the services. The hand must be bare for contacting the ball, and the server should spin the ball during its release.

What are the three rules that make pickleball serve legal in the game?

There are three criteria to make pickleball serve legal in the game. The first one is that the arm must move in an upward arc. The second one says that the ball must make contact below the waist and the last one says that the highest part of the pickleball paddle should not be above the waistline.

Is it possible to serve in a backhand way in a pickleball game?

Backhand serve is a different spin with a bit of bounce. It is a nice variety to the pickleball game and makes the player less predicted. It does not allow the people to get a rhythm against you.

Is it possible to land the return of serve in the kitchen zone of the pickleball game?

A player should not return to the non-volley zone or kitchen even after the serve hits beforehand. It is an automatic fault if a player attempts to lose the serve.

Is it possible for the player to return the serve in the pickleball game?

It is possible to play the return serve in pickleball if the person on receiving court is returning the serve. It is considered a fault if the situation is opposite it. The receiver should bounce the ball on its side before returning.

Is drop serve considered legal in the 2022 pickleball league?

The drop serves are now not considered provisional or legal in the 2022 pickleball. This rule was adopted and is now removed permanently.

Is it possible for the second shot in the pickleball to land in the kitchen zone?

If you want to play the second shot in pickleball, keep both your feet in contact with the surface outside the kitchen zone before attempting to hit a volley.