Top Illegal Pickleball Serves You Need to Avoid

Top Illegal Pickleball Serves You Must Avoid to Play Fair

Do you think you know all the intricacies of pickleball? It’s time to expand your knowledge and enhance your playing skills! Being aware of illegal serves will not only help you prevent getting on the wrong side of the rules but will also enhance your understanding of the game.

With a unique set of rules and regulations, including specific guidelines on serves, it is crucial for every pickleball player to be aware of the illegal pickleball serves that may go against the spirit of the game.

Here are the top illegal pickleball serves you need to watch out for:

1. The Missed Serve

According to the official pickleball rules, if you fail to make contact with the ball while attempting a serve, it is regarded as an illegal pickleball serve. Whether it’s due to a momentary lapse of focus, a slippery paddle or the wind blowing the ball away, you ought to be alert and avoid such mishaps during the serve.

2. Stepping on or Beyond the Baseline

While serving, the server’s feet must be behind the baseline during the serve attempt. If either foot touches or crosses the baseline, it’s considered a fault and an illegal pickleball serve. To avoid this, ensure that you maintain proper balance and footing throughout your serve.

3. Bouncing the ball before serving

You must hit the ball in the air directly after tossing it up. If the ball bounces on the ground before the server hits it, it’s considered a fault.

4. Failure to strike the ball cleanly

When serving the ball in a game, you must hit it with your paddle cleanly. This means you cannot catch it, hold it, or scoop it. If you do not hit the ball cleanly, that is called a fault.

5. Serving into the wrong court

The server must serve the ball diagonally to the opposite court. If the server serves the ball into the wrong court, it’s considered a fault.

6. Serving out of turn 

It’s super important to make sure you’re serving in the correct order, otherwise it’s also considered a fault. So make sure to pay attention to the rotation and who’s up next for serving.

7. Screen serve

When you’re serving, it’s really important not to block the receiver’s view of the ball. If they think you’ve done this, they can claim it was a fault. So just remember, make sure the receiver can see the serve clearly to avoid any issues..

8. Hitting the net with the serve

If the ball hits the pickleball net while you’re serving and doesn’t go over, it’s a fault. Believe it or not, this is a pretty common mistake that many beginner players make. So, make sure you give it a good shot and aim high enough to clear the net.

After reading this you’re probably thinking “what CAN I do when I serve?” Great question, check out of article on Rules for a Pickleball Serve here.

Why Are Rules Important in Pickleball?

Playing pickleball without knowing the rules is like eating a taco without salsa – it’s just not as fun. Whether you’re a seasoned pickleball veteran or just starting out, it’s important to review the rules before every game. 

This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all of your pickleball games go off without a hitch. Trust us, reviewing the rules can be helpful even for those who consider themselves experts in this fun sport! 

Familiarizing yourself with the rules could even give you an edge up and make you look extra smart during friendly pickleball competitions. So, don’t forget to brush up on your skills, warmup those limbs, stretch those muscles, and take five minutes out of your day to double-check on any rule changes before getting active.

Pickleball just isn’t as satisfying if it’s not played by the established pickleball rules!

Top Illegal Pickleball Serves You Must Avoid to Play Fair mad player

Basic Pickleball Rules to Keep in Mind

1. Don’t be a dick

This is perhaps the most important rule in pickleball. Simply put, don’t be a jerk. There’s no need to trash talk your opponents or get overly competitive. Just relax, have fun, and play the game.

2. Use proper pickleball etiquette

Pickleball etiquette is similar to tennis etiquette. For example, players should remain silent while their opponents are serving. Additionally, players should avoid making any noise that could distract their opponents, such as coughing or sneezing.

keep pickleball court clean

3. Keep the pickleball court clean

Players should take care to keep the pickleball court clean and free of debris. This includes picking up any balls that are hit out of bounds and not leaving any trash on the court. Learn more about pickleball court maintenance here.

4. Respect the pickleball equipment

Players should respect the pickleball equipment and not abuse it. In other words, you shouldn’t hit the ball with excessive force, throw a paddle after a missed shot, or stomp on a pickleball out of frustration.

5. Follow the rules of the game

Of course, it is important to follow the rules of the game when playing pickleball. These rules include serving properly, keeping score, and hitting the ball within the boundaries of the court.


If you’re willing to take risks, and be a little imaginative, you can come up with some pickleball serves that aren’t within the standard rules of the game. But it’s essential to remember that illegal serves are not recommended by pickleball officials, and you may get a disqualification or penalty for using them in official tournaments. 

Let’s also not forget the importance of honing your legal serves, and practicing until you are confident with your go-to moves. With some practice and creative flair, you will eventually ace your opponents with great serves.

All the best on unleashing the pro within you! For tips on getting sponsored in pickleball click here.


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