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What Is a Lob in Pickleball? All You Need to Know

What Is a Lob in Pickleball? All You Need to Know

Pickleball is a modern recreational game with its own set of rules in which lob is a common term. Lob shot is sometimes overused in the game. Let’s find out: what is a lob in pickleball?

A lob-shot sends the ball high in the air, above the opponent’s head. The purpose of this shot is to send the opponent off guard if a person is playing offensively. Also, this shot can be played while playing defense to buy time from the opponent.

Let’s start with different types of lob shots played in pickleball.

Types of Lob Shots in Pickleball:

What Is a Lob in Pickleball

There are two types of lofted shots. One is in offensive play, while the other is in defensive play. Both these types are explained below.

An Offensive Lob:

One of the two types of lofted shots is an offensive shot. It means that this one is played in foul play while the other is in defensive play. In the offensive play, the lofted shot is played from the non-volley zone to the non-volley area over the other player while the player runs towards the net.

Playing this shot would create difficulty for the opponent to reach back to the ball in the non-volley zone, and it would eventually result in a score in favor of the player playing the shot.

Tips for Using the Lob Shot:

The goal of a lob shot in a pickleball game is to put the opponent player in a challenging position to create a strong position on the pickleball court. Here we will discuss some pro tips that a player can use while making a lob shot:

Pro-tip number



Tip # 1

Hiding the intentions in a game

The dink shot in the game uses the same swing, so it disguises the player's intentions. In this way, the lob goes high in position. To execute the lob, you should keep your body in a low position, just like the kitchen line.

Tip # 2

Using a higher arc in the game

If you are a pickleball player, you should make a lob with a higher arc than the average dink. The player should lob high enough so that opponent cannot reach the paddle of the player. This type of shot requires a lot of practice and it also depends on the height of the opponent.

Tip # 3

Aim for the baseline region in-game

During attempting the lob, a player should aim for the baseline. This makes the opponent run back to get the ball and gives an awkward attempt in the next shot. A player gets in a great position to score in their return shot.

Tip # 4

Note down the timing

Timing is the main factor in the pickleball game to hit the lob shot. The opponent gets an easy time hitting the lob if it is too early or too late to hit the ball.

Timing is essential, and it depends on how the player uses it in the game. When the player and their opponents are at the kitchen line, it is the best time to use the lob shot in the game.

You can use the lob shot in the game when you notice that: Your opponent player leans forward. Your opponent is retreated and rushed back to the non-volley zone. You observe an extra room in the back corner of the game

A Defensive Lob:

A defensive lob is the second type of lofted shot played during a pickleball game. In the defensive play, the lofted shot is played in such a way that it is played from the baseline, allowing the opponent to move into the non-volley zone so that the player from the baseline can buy time to play a smashing shot in return. 

Tips for Defending the Lob Shot:




Tip # 1

Hitting the ball out in the air

  • The first step is considered vital when the lob begins to get over a person's head.

  • A player should pivot and run in the back instead of hurting their foot. Compare your body with the gate and back foot with the gate's opening.

  • Such a thing will prevent your feet from twisting and potential fall and will provide a chance to get back under the ball to hit out in the air.

  • It becomes hard to return when the ball bounces in the air.

Tip # 2

The choice for three return shots

If you make a back shot and are in a position to attempt, you can select the three options: 

  • Make an offensive shot by driving the ball back.

  • Make a defensive shot while attempting a drop shot. 

  • Make a defensive shot while making a lob shot.

A player mostly chooses to make a defensive shot that allows some time for the player to get back in position and sets up a point later in attempting the rally. It becomes challenging to make a score from this position.

Tip # 3

Make an un-attackable attempt

The player's goal should be to make an un-attackable attempt in case of a shot. It is not good that you hit the ball softly, and they put it away while quickly making a score. It would help if you aimed for the courts' sides and could put it away to retreat the shot. Make a hard shot in the next attempt, and you can make it over your opponent.

Tip # 4

Getting back in position in the game

It is good to get back in the game after successfully retreating and returning the scoring lob attempt. After this, a player should get back at the non-volley zone line or in between the line and back.

Types of lofted Shots:

There are three different types of lofted shots that pickleball players play. Those other types of shots are elaborated below

1. The Classic Lob:

To make a classic lob shot, the player’s grip varies from being strong and as strong as a hammer to attempting the continental grip.

The classic lofted shot is a little narrow compared to other shots, and the player should bend forward slightly to shift the body weight on the legs so they can make a full shot with force.

The racket’s movement is at such a pace that it is similar to projectile motion; the racket ascends from a lower position and moves to a very high class so the ball can fly up the opponent’s head. 

2. The Lifted Lob:

The lifted lob plays an attacking strategy when the opponent moves near the net. Much damage has not been done to the player attempting the shot. In this case, the ball speeds over the head of the opponent across the court without giving the opponent a chance to chase it.

The player's position while attempting a lifted lob is that: the head is close, knees are bent, and the body weight is shifted to the back leg. The player should initiate the shot in a forward way and back leg in the tilt position so that the ball can be met in a dynamic upward motion.

3. The Slice Lob:

The slice lob is considered to be a defensive shot. It is played in such a way that the player plays a high shot to gain time to switch his position within the court so that he can again play the shot by his opponent in good motion and good order so that he can score against his opponent.

The racket’s and player’s positioning is also considered during the play. The racket is placed practically at the ankle level with the heads in the open position. The body weight is shifted to the back leg area with the knees bent. The player should thrust the shot upward and turn the body towards the sky to meet the ball in the ascending trajectory.

What Is a Lob in Pickleball

When Should a Lob Shot be Played?

According to the professional players of pickleball and the American pickleball association, a lob shot should only be played when the player thinks it is necessary to be offensive against the opponent to gain a score.

A condition in which the player thinks it is needed to go on defensive foot to gain time for a quick and calculated shot, which could help the person achieve a score against the opponent.

It means that a lob shot is only played so that the ball can be sent high above the opponent’s head so that he does not find enough time to maneuver within the court to play a responsive shot. As a result, the score can be developed in favor of the player making the lob shot.

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):

Should a player lob in pickleball?

If you observe that your opponent leans forward in the non-volley zone, hit the pickleball lob. Keep the head and chest up when attempting the hit in the non-volley zone line. If the opponent’s head drop in the non-volley zone line, it becomes difficult to retrieve the well-hit lob in the zone.

What do you mean by a drop shot in the pickleball?

A drop is a soft shot that hits off a bounce deep in the court. This shot intends to land in the opponent’s non-volley zone area close to the net. The hitting team can follow the shot to the non-volley zone line.

When should a player use the lob shot?

A player should only attempt the lob shot if some cushion is under the ball. If it is rough to sit down, you can pitch it to the green and hope to get out the shot with minimal damage to the scorecard.

What is the difference between a dink and a drop shot in a pickleball game?

The dink shot is different from the drop shot as it is hit from the non-volley zone, while the drop shot is hit from the back half of the court.

What do you mean by third shit drop in the pickleball?

The third shot drop is the shot that is taken after the serve return that lands softly in the kitchen of the opponent. This shot prevents the opponents from attacking and gives some time to the team to advance the net and neutralize the court’s control.

What should a person not try to attempt in pickleball?

The beginners make some mistakes in the pickleball that should be avoided:

  • You cannot win the point if you cannot get the ball into play. It is called the fault on the serve.
  • If a player misses the return of the opponent’s serve, it is considered a mistake.
  • It is not allowed to let the shots go out toward the opponents.

How can you set up a lob wedge in the game?

A player can set up the lob wedge with the ball in the middle of the stance, and weight is distributed on both sides of the feet. The shaft is perpendicular to the ground and leans slightly towards the target. The clubface in the game should be square with a slight opening.

Which is the most common shot in the pickleball game?

Groundstroke is considered the most common shot in the pickleball game as it is made after bouncing the ball. Most of the shots made in the pickleball game, including dinks, exemplify groundstrokes.

Can a person attempt to hit the topspin in the pickleball?

A person can easily attempt to hit the topspin in the pickleball by making the contact point come out in front of the body where the hip and shoulder come in direct contact with the ball. After that, you can extend out and around to finish it, and the hit should be loose enough from a low-to-high stroke. This low-to-high brush of ball generates the topspin on the shot in pickleball.

What three key things should a person focus on while playing pickleball?

There are three main key things that a player should keep in mind while playing pickleball. These are:

  • The selection of a target
  • Watching and observing the ball
  • Hitting the three balls

Which is the most effective position for playing pickleball?

The effective position of playing the pickleball is side-by-side in the attacking position on one foot behind the non-volley zone line.