What Is A Lob In Pickleball?

Pickleball has been popular in the US for a number of years, but it is now growing into an international sport that is gaining interest by the day.

With elements of various sports, this game has a lot to offer, and a lot of rules, serves, shots and techniques to consider. 

What Is A Lob In Pickleball?

One of the many questions we get asked is what a lob is in Pickleball. A ‘lob’ is a term that is used often to describe a shot in Pickleball, but if you’re looking for more information then you’re in the right place.

Let’s go over some of the basics of Pickleball, exactly what a lob is, and how to hit one yourself. 

About Pickleball

Pickleball is a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. With this game, you will use a ping pong-like paddle, on a badminton size court with similar rules to that of tennis. 

You can play Pickleball indoors, or outdoors, and there are now various competitions you can participate in across the globe, but the sport is most widely popular in the US.

There are lots of rules and regulations when it comes to Pickleball, but the basic premise is that each point starts with a serve, which must be done diagonally across to your opponent. 

The serve must be underhand, and each point or serve continues until there is a fault. With this game, a fault is committed in three ways.

This is if the ball is hit in the ‘kitchen’ area, the ball hits the net, or the shot goes out of bounds. In addition, you cannot volley in the kitchen, or the ‘non-volley zone’. 

As this game involves hitting the ball until a fault is made, there are a range of shots that you can use. So, what exactly is a lob? 

What Is A Lob In Pickleball?

According to the USA Pickleball site, a lob is basically a lofted shot that is used to send the ball high, deep, and overhead.

It is a type of high lofted shot, and its main purpose is to send the ball over your opponent so that it falls and bounces in the back area of the court. 

When done correctly, the trajectory of the lob shot should send the ball over the opponent’s paddle, and land inbounds near the baseline of the court.

The lob is a highly effective shot to use during a game, as it is great for taking your opponent by surprise, or utilizing the space when your opponent is near the net or the non-volley zone. 

Should You Lob In Pickleball?

What Is A Lob In Pickleball?

Yes, you should lob when playing Pickleball. The lob is best used offensively, rather than defensively. You should only use the lob defensively if you are running out of choices. 

If you are using the lob offensively, ensure you use it unexpectedly to lob from the non-volley zone line over your opponent as they are running back towards the net.

If you are using the lob defensively, then it is best to lob from the baseline, giving time to the lobbing team to move to the non-volley zone. 

When executed well, a lob shot can be the perfect offensive weapon to use against your opponents. 

How Do You Hit A Lob In Pickleball?

The best way to utilize an offensive lob shot is when your opponent or opponents are leaning into the non-volley zone line, or when you are dinking.

This type of shot is best if you are playing against shorter opponents, or ones who are not good at overhead shots, or if your opponents are slower on the court. 

This shot will take them by surprise and requires them to move at a fast pace if they want to receive the shot, so they will have to act fast. If they cannot, then it’s a simple way to win the point.

If you want to execute the perfect lob shot, then you will need to be able to hit the ball over your opponents head or shoulders, and land it within the baseline of the court.

If you make contact with the ball too forcefully, you could end up out of bounds. 

For the perfect lob, you will need to stand from the baseline, and take a backswing. Make contact when the ball is in front of your body, keeping the paddle face open in order to lift the ball up and send it high over.

Ensure that you follow through fully with your paddle ending up at least head high in the air. 

To master this shot, be sure to have your paddle open just a little, moving it from downwards to upwards. Use your arm, and the force of your body while you swing. You can execute a lob with a backhand swing or a forehand shot. 

How To Defend Against A Lob In Pickleball

The most effective way to defend against a lob shot is to use an overhead smash. If you can reach the lob out of the air before it bounces, this is even better.

You will need a quick and strong overhead motion, and you’ll want to hit at a slight angle to win the point. 

To do an overhead smash, you will need to hit downwards into your opponent’s side of the court. Keep your paddle extended high in the air, with your elbow straight as you make contact with the ball, and smash it! 

Final Thoughts

To summarize, a lob in Pickleball is a type of shot. The aim is to complete a high lofted shot that will send the pickleball ball over the opponent, high and deep, landing in the back of the court, but still within the lines. 

This shot can be used tactically to surprise your opponent, and keeps them on their toes. Therefore, a lob is an effective way to keep your opponent moving, get them away from the non-volley zone, and to win the point. 

Michael Walter
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