Rule Review: Serving Zone
When you are serving you must stand behind the baseline and between an imaginary extension of the side line and the center line on your court. You are not allowed to be outside of this zone when you connect with the ball. Both feet must stay behind the baseline until the ball leaves your paddle, although it is ok to move across the baseline with your follow through after the ball is hit.
Playing Tip: The Third Shot Matters
What does it mean when people say they want to practice the 3rd shot? Why is it important?
Most points in pickleball are won at the kitchen/non-volley line. That means the serve and return of serve are just introductory shots leading up to the important play. Whichever team gets to and controls the front part of the court first usually wins.
The receiving team already has an advantage because 1 of the 2 players, that’s 50% of the team, is already standing at the kitchen line. As soon as he returns the serve, the receiver can join his partner up front. Meanwhile, the serving team must stay back at their baseline until the return of serve bounces.
The best strategy to take that advantage away from your opponents is for the serving team to place that third shot softly into the kitchen. A short, soft shot means your opponent will have to take the ball on the bounce. That takes away his chances of slamming it into your court and keeping you back at the baseline. The short shot buys you time to move forward and get in position for the volleying to come.