Is a Backhand Serve Legal in Pickleball

Is a Backhand Serve Legal in Pickleball? (Explained)

Pickleball rules are relatively easy to follow. Except for maybe one thing— serving. Hence, equipping yourselves with the correct information about serving rules will help your overall gameplay to improve. 

To do a backhand serve in pickleball, the tossing hand should be below the hand holding the paddle. Both hands should cross each other. Then, you must hit the ball below your waist to avoid being called for a fault. That said, is a backhand serve legal in pickleball?

A backhand serve is legal in pickleball. Players’ most common mistake in doing a backhand pickleball serve is to swing the ball without an upward arm movement. In that case, an illegal hit will be called. Also, many players are hitting the ball above their waist, which is also considered a fault.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about legal and illegal pickleball serving. Some tips and tricks to improve your pickleball serves will also be provided, so make sure to read until the end.

Let’s get started!

What Are The Advantages Of Using A Backhand Serve?

There are a couple of reasons why players love using a backhand serve in the service area. First, you can put a very good spin using a backhand serve. A spin on the ball can throw your opponents outside of their zone. This also enables you to control the ball’s direction from 1 to 5 feet, hence controlling your opponents’ movements as well.

Second, the backhand serve uses a natural motion. It allows you to use a swing that can really utilize your shoulders. This allows you to mix it up when it comes to strategizing your serve. A lot of possible options can be done with a backhand serve.

Ultimately, backhand serves make you unpredictable. Your opponent can get lost in your rhythm because of this kind of serve. Thanks to the good spin and bounce backhand serve to your ball. So, it’s time to try utilizing backhand serves to add a little variety to your gameplay!

What Is Considered An Illegal Serve In Pickleball?

Again, pickleball serving can be a little more complicated than any other rules of the sport. Hence, knowing which service is illegal should be a priority. There are two reasons why making the most out of your pickleball service is essential.

First, you only get one chance to serve in a rally. If you commit a fault in the service line, you lose the chance to serve. Second, only the serving team can win a point. Hence, if you lose the chance to serve, you also lose the chance to score.

Here are the considered illegal serves in pickleball:

You Used an Overhand Stroke While Serving

The general rule is that you serve using an underhand stroke in an upward motion. This should create an upward arc with the ball after you serve it. 

Now, you can actually use an overhand stroke when hitting the ball anytime in the game, except when serving. Doing this on the serve will be called an illegal hit.

You Served the Ball Above Your Navel Level

The general rule is to serve the ball below your waist, or navel, level. If you hit the ball above it, the serve will be considered illegal, and you will lose it.

The Paddle Head Goes Above Your Wrist

This rule is one of the most confusing, especially for beginners. When you serve, the only part of the paddle that can be above your wrist is its handle.

If any part, aside from the handle, goes above your wrist, then the serve shall be considered illegal, and you will lose the service.

You Served Beyond the 10-Second Rule

Before you serve, whether playing on singles or doubles, a recount of both teams’ scores will be made. After this, you only have 10 seconds in the service line before you serve the ball.

If you served beyond this 10-second rule, the serve will be considered illegal, and you will lose the service.

Your Serve Landed in the Kitchen

You must clear two areas when you serve— the net and the kitchen zone. If your service does not go beyond the kitchen zone, the serve will be considered illegal, and you will lose the serving opportunities.

Your Feet Went in Front of the Baseline

The general rule is that your feet must always be behind the baseline when you do a pickleball serve. Once your feet go over beyond the baseline, the service will be considered illegal, and you will lose the chance to serve.

You Serve the Ball Not in the Adjacent Service Court

The ball should land on your court’s adjacent or diagonal side when you serve. If your serve landed anywhere but this area, then the service will be considered illegal, and you will lose the serve.

Is The Drop Serve Still Legal In Pickleball For 2022?

A drop serve is a kind of service where players let the ball bounce first before hitting it with the paddle. Before the rules changed in 2022, this kind of serve is “provisional” only.

After updating the official pickleball rules in 2022, the drop serve is now considered a permanent option for players. However, you must remember that in performing a drop serve, the ball should only be bounced and not thrown down or forcefully on the surface before hitting. 

What Are The New Serving Rules In Pickleball?

Starting from January 1, 2022, updates in the official pickleball rules will take effect. The USAPA is the one responsible for facilitating these changes. The players have been given a chance to have a role in the process by submitting their own suggestions to the board for approval.

After much deliberation, several pickleball serving rules have been updated. Here are the notable remarks about the new serving rules in pickleball:

The Drop Serve Is Now Permanent

As mentioned above, players can now have a permanent option to use drop serve. By not being provisional anymore, expect players to use this to create variety in their services and become less predictable.

The Chainsaw Serve Is Now Banned

Among these pickleball serving rule changes is the prohibition of the chainsaw serve. Players can now only toss the ball with the hand that is not holding the paddle. If players are unable to use it, they may only use their paddle hand at that time.

You cannot spin your paddle or use your paddle hand while serving. You can, however, spin with your non-paddle hand. With this new rule, many players will use one-hand spins, so keep an eye out for this type of service.

No Lets Will Still Be Allowed For Serves

Many pickleball players advocate reintroducing the let serve. However, they failed to do so. According to the 2022 rules, even if the serve hits the net and goes over the correct court, it is still considered good because it is beyond the kitchen zone. Many players are expected to propose reintroducing serve-lets in the future.

Tips On Avoiding To Commit Illegal Pickleball Services

Keep in mind that it is normal to commit faults from time to time. No one plays the perfect gameplay of pickleball. However, you can avoid the possibility of committing multiple faults by focusing on the right things to do.

To help you avoid committing pickleball serve faults, here are some tips and techniques for you:

Practice, Practice, Practice

Nothing can polish your serving more than a series of training and practice. If you want to improve your gameplay, you must put time and effort into practicing your serving abilities.

You can practice some drills that you can do even when you’re alone, so there should be no reason for you not to have some practice.

Improve Your Agility

Practicing off the court is also important to improve your gameplay. Some agility exercises off the court can increase your coordination, speed, and control. If you also put your heart into working with agility, you will notice its effects once you step on the court and play.

Familiarize Your Self In Every Type Of Serve

It’s good that you can master a service that best suits your gameplay. However, it will give you an edge if you practice each kind of service. Not only that, it can add variety to your attack, but understanding their characteristics will teach you how to receive them when your opponent serves a particular service.

Final Thoughts

It may be confusing and complicated to study pickleball serving rules. But if you put your heart into it, it can be a very great advantage on your end. Aside from the fact that you can avoid committing illegal services, you can also add variety to your gameplay.

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