Pickleball skirts

How to Serve in Pickleball: Everything You Need to Up Your Game

A Beginner Lesson For How To Serve in Pickleball Including Rules, Tips, Tricks, and More!

November 25, 2022

In recent years, pickleball has taken over the world of recreational sports. It has gone from being a relatively unknown pastime, to the now common emergence of pickleball clubs and groups forming all over the country. It is almost unheard of not to know at least one person who participates in pickleball nowadays.

With pickleball’s exponential rise in popularity, you may be wondering: “Is this something I should consider picking up? And if so, where do I even start? And where cna I even shop for those cute pickleball outfits?!”. If this sounds like you, don’t worry because you have arrived at the right place!

While it may seem like a daunting task to begin learning the ins and outs of pickleball, it is totally manageable if you section it out at a pace right for yourself. It’s for this reason that today we will solely be focusing on the serving aspect of pickleball.

Today we’ll cover topics such as:

  • Why you should play pickleball
  • How to serve in pickleball
  • Tips and tricks to take your pickleball serve to the next level

Why Should You Play Pickleball?

A group of friends laughing together while bouncing wiffle balls on their pickleball paddles.
Plenty of people love to play pickleball because it is fun, good exercise, and a great way to connect with friends. Image courtesy of The Recreationalist.

There are plenty of reasons why you should take up pickleball. Ranging from its accessibility, to its exercise benefits for people of any age, all the way to its fashion trends, there is truly something for everyone to love. Read on to explore some of the different reasons to play pickleball!

Pickleball’s Accessibility

Because pickleball’s presence has grown so rapidly, it has become an extremely accessible sport to play. There are pickleball clubs popping up all over, tennis clubs that have converted some of their tennis courts to pickleball ones, and even professional pickleball opportunities available.

And, for argument’s sake, let’s say there isn’t a pickleball or tennis club near you. Well, you’re in luck because you can easily make your own pickleball court! All you have to do is locate some outdoor tennis courts and use chalk to mark the pickleball lines. Or, better yet, simply purchase your own pickleball net and play anywhere!

Pickleball Is Great For All Ages

Because pickleball takes place on a smaller court than tennis and normally only plays games up to eleven points, it is a great sporting option for individuals of any age. While it is less physically intensive than tennis, it still provides individuals with the chance to run around, change direction, and use both upper and lower body strength.

This makes pickleball the perfect sport, whether you are sixteen or sixty. It is a great way to stay active as you get older and retain your endurance and strength.

The Fashion is Comfortable and Cute

Blue and pink tennis skirts and tank top.
Cute tennis skirts and tanks, such as the ones shown above, are a staple of pickleball fashion. Image courtesy of Dona Jo.

One of the biggest plus sides of playing pickleball are the fashion trends you can wear both on and off the courts. A great example of this would be the pickleball/tennis skirts trending in the world of fashion right now!

There are plenty of ways to get your money’s worth out of these skirts. You can create a number of outfits simply by pairing the same skirts you play pickleball in with varying types of tops.  

Maybe purchase a black pickleball skirt and pair it with a white fitted tee to go for a more classic look. Or, try a patterned pickleball skirt with a bright tank to achieve a playful vibe.

There truly are endless possibilities to the looks you can create merely through the use of your pickleball closet. Check out @fashionbyvicky’s post to see a flattering look that could be donned on the court just as easily as it could be worn out to lunch.

How To Serve in Pickleball

Now that we have discussed some incentives to play pickleball, let’s hone into how to excel at an essential aspect of the game: Serving. Serving in pickleball has a number of characteristics that are important to cover, such as:

  • Rules of the serve
  • Strategy
  • Practice and repetition

Rules of Serving in Pickleball

The serve is what officially starts off the point. In pickleball there are two ways to serve a ball: Out of the air or a drop serve. In the out of the air serve, the ball is tossed up and hit prior to the ball bouncing on the ground. On the other hand, the drop serve method incorporates a bounce on the ground before the ball is hit.

Whichever method you choose, the rules of serving in pickleball are the same. You must serve underhand while standing behind the baseline and hit the ball below your waist. The ball then must clear the net to the other side of the court, land diagonally, and bounce once between the no-volley line and the baseline. It cannot touch the no-volley line but can touch the baseline. The first serve of the game always starts from the right-hand side.

There is no second serve if you make an error on the first serve and a player continues their service turn until they make an error. An error constitutes the ball not clearing the net or landing out of bounds.


In singles pickleball, there is only one player on each side of the net. When the server’s score is even they should serve from the right-hand side, and from the left-hand side when the score is odd. The server should switch sides every time they win a point.


In doubles pickleball, there are two people on each team and both serve. When each side does their first service turn, only one player serves for each side. After each side has had their first service turn, then both the players will serve during each side’s service turn.

Like in singles, the serving team switches sides every time they win a point.


One of the best ways to catch your opponent off guard with your serve is to develop a solid strategy. You don’t necessarily need the most powerful or fastest serve to be a lethal opponent. Some common serving strategies for pickleball include hitting the ball deep near the baseline, placing the ball in the corner, and periodically changing up the placement and pace of your serve throughout the game.

Practice Makes Perfect

Two players on the same team playing an intense game of pickleball doubles.
The best way to continuously improve your pickleball skills includes both practice and match play experience. Image courtesy of USA Pickleball National Championships.

It takes time to build up your pickleball game so do not be discouraged when you first begin playing. The best way to get better is constant repetition. It is important to attend practice sessions, or practice on your own, so you can learn the skills, but it is equally important to get matchplay experience so you can apply those skills you learned.

Apply Your Newfound Knowledge of Serving in Pickleball

Now that you know the benefits of playing pickleball, how to serve in pickleball, and some strategies, it’s your turn to give it a try! Starting with serving can be a nice introduction to the game.

If you find you enjoy the serving aspect of pickleball, try hitting the ball around a little with a friend to form a rally. Then, if you find yourself really enjoying the game, go ahead and learn the rest of the rules. At this point, you may even want to join a pickleball league yourself!

Whatever you choose to do, just remember to have fun and enjoy the game!

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