Serving Basics

  1. The purpose of the serve (at the developing levels) is simply to place the ball in play and is not intended as an offensive weapon.
  2. The serve must be hit with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below the waist, defined as the navel. The arm must be moving in an upward arc and the highest point of the paddle head shall be below the wrist when it strikes the ball. The highest point of the paddle head cannot be above any part of the line formed where the wrist joint bends [Rule 4.A.1]. The ball may not be struck off a bounce.  (See video below for Underhand Serve).
  3. Serve to the diagonally opposite service court from behind the baseline and on or within the imaginary extension of the sidelines and centerline.
  4. Placement should be deep and to the center of the diagonally opposite service court to keep the receiver back.
  5. Follow through toward target and return to the ready position to be set to receive the service return.
  6. Don’t continue into the court; remain behind the baseline until after the 3rd shot is hit.



The Underhand Serve, Pickleball Channel

How to Serve Like the Pros, Mark Renneson