Where Does the Server's Partner Stand in Pickleball

Where Does the Server’s Partner Stand in Pickleball?

Even if you have played pickleball for quite some time, you might find that you are still learning about the game’s strategies. For instance, where does the server’s partner stand in pickleball? Knowing these little things is important since they can help you learn more about this popular game.

So, where should you stand if you are the server’s partner? In this situation, you will also be standing on the baseline, particularly in the box beside the server. Since you are not the server, you can put your feet right on the baseline or a little bit in front of it. Because you are the server’s partner, it is your job to watch the return shots from your opponent. If it is deep, then you should stay back with your partner. However, if the opposing team is not hitting deep returns, you can move up and let your feet stand on the baseline or much closer if you feel comfortable.

However, you should be careful. If your partner is serving and you are positioned near the kitchen line, you will become your opponent’s target since you have not provided enough room for the shot to bounce.

Keep reading to learn more about serving in pickleball, where you should stand during the game and many more.

How Do You Know Which Side Serves First in Pickleball

To know who will be the first server, a game such as rocks/papers/scissors will be played by one player from each team. The winner will decide whether he wants to serve or receive the ball. When serving, one foot should be behind the back line. The server should do an underhand when serving. It is required that the paddle should go below the waist. Also, the server should strike the ball in the air.

On the server team, the first one to do the service should be positioned on the right-hand side. Servers are permitted to bounce the ball and then hit it. When serving, it should be done diagonally across the court and past the non-volley zone. There should only be one serve attempt except if the ball touches the net during the service and lands on the appropriate service court. When this happens, the service could be taken over.

At the beginning of each new game, the team who will serve first is permitted to have only one fault before the ball is given to the opponents. Afterward, both players from the two teams can serve and fault before turning over the ball to the opposing team. If the service is won by the receiving team, The serve should always start on the player positioned on the right-hand side. 

Does Server Alternate Sides in Pickleball?

In pickleball, points can only be earned during the service; unfortunately, the receiving team will not be able to score any points. At the start of the game, the server will be the player on the right-hand side. When serving, it should be done diagonally on the opposing court. Once a point is scored, the server will move to the left-hand side of the court. Afterward, the server will serve diagonally toward the receiving team.

Players on the serving side will continue to switch from right to left, then from left to right, if a point is scored. However, if no point is scored, then the players on the serving team are not allowed to alternate sides. On the other hand, the players on the receiving side should never switch sides.

The player who performed the first serve will continue to serve until the time comes that the serving team has lost a rally, which means they have committed a fault. When this happens, the service will be turned over to the second server on the serving team. If the second server does not score a point on the serve, then the service will be turned over to the opposing team, and the player positioned on the right-hand side will be the one who serves first. This pattern will go on and on throughout the game.

Where Do You Stand on a Pickleball Court?

The serving team or player should stand behind the baseline to do the service and stay there or just within to strike the serve return once the ball bounces, also referred to as the double bounce rule.

Usually, the receiver will stand at or close to the baseline so that he can return the serve. However, the receiver should be watchful since there is a possibility that he might need to move forward in case he needs to return a shorter serve. While the receiver’s partner is allowed to stand anywhere, typically, he is positioned at the non-valley zone line on the receiving side of the court.

In pickleball, only one rule requires the player to stand in a particular place during the serve. The player must stand behind the baseline, which is the area between the sideline and the extended portion of the center line in the court. Practically, the receiver should stand anywhere on the side of the court where the ball is expected to land after the server hits it. 

Can You Bounce the Ball Before Serving in Pickleball?

Whether you are a beginner, an experienced pickleball player, or a player in a wheelchair, there are some confirmed changes to the game’s rules for the 2022 season. As anticipated, the service is one of the specific areas where some changes will happen. Since the previous year, serving has been the most popular topic, and some players have been wondering if they are allowed to bounce the ball before serving in pickleball.

Ultimately, players can bounce the ball in pickleball before serving, also known as drop serve. The ball can either be dropped from the paddle or released from the hand, from any height, before the server hits it. The ball can bounce several times before the server strikes it. 

In the 2021 season of pickleball, a provisional rule was implemented wherein a server is allowed to bounce the ball before serving. This rule change was created to make it easier for new players to learn how to serve since the traditional method is somewhat difficult to master. 

Is It Proper To Bounce The Ball Prior To Serving?

In pickleball, bouncing the ball before serving was first launched during the 2021 pickleball season. Players who think this current way of serving is helpful will be glad to know about Rule 4.A.6.a, which can be found in the official rule book The International Federation Of Pickleball (IFP) and the USA Pickleball Association (USA Pickleball) for 2022.

Rule 4.A.6.a, as verified by the USA Pickleball, is an interim rule of 2021 that discusses bouncing the ball before serving, also referred to as the drop-serve. This becomes an official rule for pickleball for 2022 and the years to come.

The following is the details of the rule, which can be found on page 25 and 26. This is regarding dropping the ball and striking a serve after bouncing the ball.

The server must release the ball from one hand at any height, provided the ball should not be bounced with force off the court or tossed upwards.

After the ball bounces, the server should hit it.

The server can drop the ball off the paddle’s face at any height.

When releasing the ball, be sure that it can be clearly seen by the receiver and the referee.

If there is no referee in a particular match, make sure that it should be visible to the receiver when releasing the ball.

In case the ball is not visible to the referee, receiver, or any party when it is released, the service should be repeated.

The server can bounce the ball as often as he wants before hitting it.

After the score is called, the server must strike the ball within 10 seconds.

The service ball can bounce anywhere within the playing surface of the pickleball court.

The server can either hit his service shot with the use of the backhand or the forehand.

When hitting the ball, there is no restriction regarding how high your paddle should be.

The player can hit the ball from high to low movement.


When playing pickleball, there are specific rules that need to be followed. That is why knowing where the server’s partner stands in pickleball is important. Pickleball is a great sport that is easy to learn. If you haven’t played it, you should try it.

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