What are the Pickleball Serving Rules, and How can you master The Sport?

The most crucial aspect of pickleball is serving the ball to the receiver and returning it to the server. However, people new to the game tend to ignore the pickleball serving rules and focus on the format’s regulations. But indeed, it is their grave mistake to do so. 

The pickleball serving rules are, in fact, the foremost aspect one must scrutinize while learning the sport. You cannot become utterly familiar with the singles and doubles format without attaining rudimentary knowledge about the serving regulations.

What are the Pickleball Serving Rules and How can you master The Sport

But do not worry! If you are unfamiliar with the pickleball serving rules, the following guide may prove extremely helpful. In the below context, we have detailedly discussed pickleball serve rules 2024. 

What are the Pickleball Serving Rules? 

If you have some fundamental knowledge about the serving rules, you may already know that it comprises two formats, i.e., singles and doubles. You can check our website for a comprehensive guide on these two formats and their differences. 

The two pickleball formats constitute varying pickleball serving rules. Therefore, while discussing the new pickleball serving rules, we must describe them under the singles and doubles context.

What are the Pickleball Serving Rules Singles? 

Pickleball singles are the most straightforward format of the sport. But if the pickleball serving rules singles are not aptly acknowledged, you can face difficulty understanding this format. Below are some central points you must consider while serving the wiffleball/pickleball in the singles format. 

  • The server initiates the game by serving the pickleball from the right side of his court area. If the server scores a point, he moves to the left side of his courtside while the receiver moves to the right. In short, the serve is only made from the right side of the respective players. 
  • The server must make the serve with an underhand motion. The delivery should also be made below the waistline, below the naval point of the server. In case of violation, there will be a fault, resulting in a point being given to the receiving side. 
  • In the singles format, points are only scored or lost upon the serve. It is because the game has a single serving side, while the other behaves as a receiving side. 
  • Each game elongates up to 11 points. The first one to score 11 points (end with 2 points) is declared the match’s winner. 
  • The serve should hit diagonally into the receiving side. 
  • In case of a ‘short’ serve where the pickleball lands into the receiver’s non-volley zone, a fault occurs. 
  • Both the server and receiver must observe the “double-bounce” rule. A fault will be considered in case of a violation from either side. 
  • Except for the “let” scenario, the server can only make a single attempt to deliver the ball. 

What are the Pickleball Serving Rules Doubles? 

Now you have analyzed the pickleball serving rules singles; it is the turn to scrutinize pickleball serving rules doubles.”Doubles is the most widely played format of the pickleball sport. In this format, there should be a minimum of four players, i.e., two on the serving side and two on the receiving side. While serving the pickleball doubles game, you must consider the below pickleball serving rules doubles. 

What are the Pickleball Serving Rules Singles? 
  • The serve should again be made via the underhand motion, below the waistline, and under the naval point. 
  • Typically, the doubles matches are also of 11 points. But if the score is not achieved by a double-point win, the match can extend to 15 or 21 points. 
  • Only one player from the serving team, standing on the right side of his area, can serve the ball. 
  • The first server continues serving the ball until a fault happens. When it does so, the serving right goes to the second server. 
  • After scoring a point, the serving team players must switch sides with each other. 
  • Each team can make a single serve per turn except when the’ let’ condition arrives. 
  • Both teams must observe the double-bounce rule. 
  • The serve should be again made diagonally. The team will score a fault if its players violate this rule. 
  • If the serve is too short and touches the non-volley zone, the fault will occur, and the point will go to the opposite team. 
  • The players in the volley zone cannot strike the pickleball before it bounces. 
  • When the score is even, the serving team delivers the pickleball from the right side of their area. But if the score count is odd, the serve should be made from the left side. 

What are the General Pickleball Serving Rules Common in Singles and Doubles Format? 

Though singles and doubles are two distinct formats, a few official pickleball serving rules are common in both. These are counted as the “fundamental” pickleball rules, which form the basic principles of the sport. 

  • The serve should be made with an underhand motion and below the waistline. 
  • The server begins the game and delivers the ball diagonally. 
  • If the server makes a quick delivery, it will result in a fault. 
  • If the ball hits the clothing or any body part of the player, it will again be considered a fault. 
  • If the ball hits ceilings or the net, the serving team will get a fault, giving a point to the receiving side.      
  • An “in” will be considered if the served ball touches the baseline or the sideline of the arena. 
  • However, it will be a fault if the ball does not come in contact with the baseline or sideline. 
  • Each team on the receiving or serving side must observe the “double bounce” rule. It will result in a fault if they fail to do so.

What are the Illegal Pickleball  Serves?

There are a few serves in the pickleball game which are considered illegal. In case of illegal pickleball serves, the serving or the receiving team (depending on the situation) will get a fault. When a fault happens, a point goes to the team opposite to the one responsible for the fault. Also, check the History of Pickleball.

The illegal pickleball serves can either make you win or lose the match. That is why players need to avoid illegal pickleball serves during the match. Below are the serves which are illegal in pickleball and frequently result in a fault. 

  • If the players violate the pickleball serving order and make the serve, it will be a fault. 
  • The serve is illegal if it is not made via an underhand motion or is above the waistline. 
  • Overhand strokes are illegal in pickleball. 
  • Delivering a short serve that lands into the opponent’s non-volley zone are illegal. 
  • If the paddle head crosses the highest wrist part of the player, it will be a fault. 
  • The serve will be illegal if the player’s feet touch or cross the baseline zone. 
What are the Illegal Pickleball  Serves

What is Pickleball Serving Rules Lines? 

If you are familiar with a pickleball court, you may know that it is divided into multiple sections with the help of certain lines. These lines specify the volley zone, non-volley zone (kitchen), baseline, and sidelines. 

These sections are not randomly structured; they also have a few obligations. These regulations are commonly referred to as the pickleball serving rules lines. Let’s review them so that you can consider them and not miss out on them while playing the game. 

  • The players must refrain from stepping into the kitchen or the non-volley zone while serving the pickleball. 
  • The players must not step into the baseline or sidelines while serving the ball. 
  • No two players can stand in the same zone in the doubles format. It implies that one player must stand on the right side of the court while the other is on the left. 
  • The player must not step onto the baseline or the sidelines while serving the ball.
what is pickleball serving rule Lines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many serves in pickleball singles?

Unlike the doubles format, the pickleball singles game has only one serving side.

What are the 3 basic pickleball serving rules?

a. The players cannot touch the baseline. 
b. Players must deliver the ball by following the drop or volley serve conditions.
c. The ball should be served diagonally and must not land in the opponent’s non-volley zone, also called the ‘kitchen.

Who serves first in pickleball doubles?

Only one player from the serving team, standing on the right side of the court, serves the ball first in a pickleball doubles match.

How many attempts do you get for serving in pickleball?

In pickleball, each player gets only one attempt to serve the ball. If the serve is faulty, it results in a fault, and the serve passes to the other team.


Here we conclude our comprehensive guide on pickleball serving rules. As stated, serving the ball is the most crucial aspect of the pickleball game. If you don’t follow the rules properly, your team will get more faults, and you will ultimately lose the game.

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