Everything to Know About Pickleball Serve Rules
By: Tony Roig | January 19, 2024 |

Everything to Know About Pickleball Serve Rules (2024 Update)

Do you know the new rules for the drop serve as well as the volley serve?

Let’s start with the drop serve-

There are no rules on how the paddle has to move. There are, however, some rules about the drop itself.

  • 1st thing- When you execute the drop, your opponent has to be able to see it. You have to do it with an open hand or you can’t hide, you can’t turn. The opponent has to be able to see the drop.
  • 2nd- You cannot propel the ball in any manner. A drop serve is simply, I’m here and I allow the ball to drop. I am not allowed to take the ball and send it down to the ground in any way.

I’m not allowed to propel the ball in any way. So just think drop and opening your hand. What you do with the paddle really doesn’t matter.


Both serves;

  • On both serves, the feet have to be where I make contact with the ball. When I’m making contact with the ball, my feet have to be behind the baseline. They cannot be touching an imaginary extension of the center line or of the sideline.


The volley serve;

A volley serve is a ball that we hit out of the air. So no drop involved, just taking the ball from the air.

There are three common rules.

    1. The paddle needs to be traveling low to high. The paddle cannot be traveling equally or in a downward motion.
    2. At the point of contact, the highest part of the paddle needs to be below my wrist. In the volley serve, again, it has to be traveling upward. And at the point of contact, the high part of the paddle needs to be below the wrist.
    3. The point of contact needs to happen below the waist. The serve rules are forcing the server to make an upward motion on the ball versus a sidearm type of motion or a downward type of motion.

Watch the full video for more tips on how to deal with a player at rec level that you think may have an illegal serve.

Want to find out your pickleball level? Or your biggest pickleball mistake? Take the Quiz and find out now: https://betterpickleball.com/quiz/

Tony Roig

Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.