There are certain rules to playing every single game of pickleball so you should pay attention and obey them. From underhand serves to contact with the paddle being below the waist.
Where your feet are positioned is important yet the Kitchen (another name for the area known as the Kitchen) is key too.
Players will be penalized for volleying the ball in the Kitchen and it does have a specific area to abide by.
In this guide, we will look at what is the no volley zone in pickleball. That includes its dimensions, why one exists, what you can do in the zone, and the areas on the court where you can play a volley.
The Dimensions Of The Non-Volley Zone In Pickleball
The dimensions of the pickleball court should be exactly identical to those of a double’s badminton court which are 20 by 44 feet.
Then there is a net that is hung at 36 inches on each end but should only be at a height of 34 inches in the middle.
The Kitchen will extend for seven feet from each side of the net which leaves another 15 feet to play from, on either side of the pickleball court.
Why There Is A Non-Volley Zone In Pickleball
The Kitchen is an area measuring 14 feet by 20 feet which lies in the middle of the pickleball court.
Though the rules that apply to the zone can be tricky to learn at first, they do make the game of pickleball more nuanced than others.
In order to play the game properly, you should practice keeping a good distance from the Kitchen if the pickleball is in the air to allow it to bounce.
Should you be playing in a doubles match, the Kitchen becomes important as it allows players to dictate certain areas of the court.
Perhaps one of the duo is better at volleying than the other, in which case it would make sense for them to stay at the back.
That’s not to say that the Kitchen is a no-go zone when the ball is in the air, you can stand there while your partner hits the volley but it is not necessarily recommended.
For one, you may be in the way of the eventual shot or the opposition player may want to test your judgment.
That may be from playing tempting shots in the air for you to have to wait for the pickleball to bounce, especially if you are inside the Kitchen.
What You Can Do In The Non-Volley Zone
Of course, you cannot volley the pickleball while standing in the Kitchen but there are several things that you can do instead which are deemed fair.
These include allowing the pickleball to bounce and then hitting it. If you are playing a doubles match, you can let (see also: What Is A Let In Pickleball?)the pickleball pass you by to allow your partner to play it from behind you.
Whether your shoes are actually in the Kitchen is also something you should consider. Some shoes curl at the front but as long as they are not making contact with the Kitchen line then no fault is likely to have occurred.
That may be at the discretion of the referee who can call for a foot fault should the shoe look to overhang on the line.
While the shoe may not be making contact, the referee could see that the type of shoe gives the player an unfair advantage.
The Areas On The Pickleball Court Where You Can Play A Volley
Basically, you can play a volley anywhere else on the pickleball court, apart from in the Kitchen.
That includes the baseline or in the surrounding air above the Kitchen, as long as your feet are not placed in the zone. You can also hit a volley from the area from the side of the Kitchen, outside of the court.
Make sure that both of your feet are touching the court from outside the Kitchen as even one foot on the line will be penalized. The act of moving your feet to strike the pickleball from outside the Kitchen even has its own name.
That’s called ‘re-establishing your feet’ and becomes a skill to be learned in the game.
Be careful whenever you are standing in the Kitchen and become tempted to play a volley.
Even if you are standing in the Kitchen, jump to hit the pickleball in the air, and land behind the line, you should still expect to be penalized.
That’s because you failed to re-establish your feet on the surface of the court before volleying the pickleball.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Shot Known As The Erne?
Named after Erne Perry, the Erne is where a player either hits the pickleball outside of the kitchen at the side of the Kitchen or in the air around it.
Perry became renowned for the shot as it was known to put pressure on opponents to make good shots so they would make more unforced errors.
The sight of a player running across the court or jumping around can quickly make a player lose focus.
If you are tempted to make the shot, decide on which sideline the ball is likely to go to and make sure that you stand outside the Kitchen when you hit the shot.
Why Is the Serve So Important To The Kitchen In Pickleball?
Of course, the serve should go over the net (though it can hit it) and land in the area which includes the one directly behind the line for the Kitchen.
That area extends to be bordered by the sideline, baseline, and centerline diagonally across from the server on the court. The serve strictly must not land in the Kitchen, or even on the line dictating the Kitchen.