Where to Stand in Pickleball – Useful Tactics

Picking a specific spot while playing pickleball might get a bit puzzling for players, especially the new ones. Usually, people get confused as they don’t have any idea about which boundary to cross either while serving or receiving the ball and hence lose the point. In order to eliminate this doubt, we have come up with this comprehensive guide so that you can understand where to stand in pickleball.

Where To Stand In Pickleball

The two main hotspots, where most of the pickleball players play, are at the baseline and the kitchen. Sometimes they get inside these zones and sometimes they refrain from entering. If you’re someone who has gotten interested in pickleball recently. Then we can understand how frustrating it can get to not knowing what is going on.

Where to Stand in Pickleball:

Basically, there are three positions to stand in pickleball. These positions are, behind the baseline when serving the ball while at the baseline when receiving a serve. Lastly, outside the kitchen line when volleying the ball near the net.

When playing near the Non-Volley Zone, you should be careful as you are not supposed to enter the area and must stand behind the designated boundary when you’re about to smash the ball for a volley. But once the ball either gets out of the kitchen or bounces off the ground. You can strike the ball as hard as you can. 

behind the baseline when serving the ball
Behind the baseline when serving the ball
at the baseline when receiving a serve
At the baseline when receiving a serve
outside the kitchen line when volleying the ball near the net
Outside the kitchen line when volleying the ball near the net

Similarly, you are forbidden to step over the line at the base when serving the ball. If you do, it will be counted as a fault. Although, it is permissible to stand on the line when the opposing team is serving. We know it seems difficult to grasp the concept of all these positions. But don’t worry! We explained all these perplexing rules and regulations about where to stand and where not to stand on the pickleball court in this article below.

Serving the Ball in a Singles Match:

There is basically only one thing to keep in mind when you are serving the ball. That is to STAND BEHIND THE BASELINE. “But where behind the baseline?” one might ask themselves. Well! It all depends on the player. Some players might find the extreme corner of the court as their comfortable spot. While others might just stand somewhere in the middle. Most of the time, you will find players serving the ball from the center as well.

Serving The Ball In A Singles Match
Stand behind the baseline

Another thing to keep in mind here is that you can stand as much close to the baseline as possible. But here’s the catch: we don’t recommend you to do that as there is a chance that you might step over the line and lose a point for a foot fault. Standing near the baseline might give you an advantage as you won’t need much power to serve the ball deep, but the risk of unforced error always lingers.

Similarly, if you stand way too behind the baseline, you will be at a disadvantage in the sense that you’re gonna have to put a lot of effort and muster up all your strength to serve the ball. Moreover, you must stand in your own quadrant. Meaning that you can’t step into your partner’s side of the court while serving the ball.

Serving the Ball in a Doubles Match:

Let’s say that you are playing a double match and your teammate is serving the ball. So the question lies, “where should I stand in this case?” Well, there is no hard and fast rule where the partner of the server should stand. It’s totally up to you to stand behind the baseline, at the baseline, or even beyond the baseline. You can literally be anywhere you would want to.

Serving The Ball In A Doubles Match
Stand behind the baseline, at the baseline, or even beyond the baseline

Although there are some things to consider here. Keep an eye out on the returning shots of your opponents. If they are attacking back with full strength and their shots are landing deep in your side of the net. You should stay back to cover the backside of the court. In the same way, if the opposing team is shooting their shots near the kitchen line, then it is preferable to move up ahead and take care of the front.

Key Takeaways:

  • While serving the ball, don’t stand with your legs wide apart facing the opponent. Instead, keep one leg ahead of the other and get into a more comfortable stance for perfect balance.
  • Make sure to stay back and then move ahead as it is less problematic to move forward than backward.
  • Monitor the game plan of your opponent and act accordingly to their returning shots.
  • Receiving The Serve In A Singles Match
    Stand at the baseline to strike the ball back

    Receiving the Serve in a Singles Match:

    When you’re getting served. You can stand at the baseline to strike the ball back at your opponent. In case you are being served, we recommend you not stand on the baseline. The reason behind this is that you don’t have enough room to move backward if the opponent serves deep. Because then you will be in “deep” trouble (pun intended).

    Furthermore, you should always be on your toes and be ready for anything. In other words, you have to be in a “ready position” all the time. Choose a stance that is most comfortable to you and keep your knees bent to some degree. Always be ready to jump into action.

    Receiving the Serve in a Doubles Match:

    Consider that you are not getting served, rather, it is your partner that is the target. So where should you stand? The optimal position is to stand near the kitchen line or the non-volley zone. We recommend the player who is not getting served to stand upfront so that they can cover the side of the court when the opposing team tries to land the ball in the kitchen zone.

    Receiving The Serve In A Doubles Match
    Stand near the kitchen line or the non-volley zone

    Just like the player who is receiving the service, the partner standing ahead must also be in a ready position all the time. Once the opposing team has served the ball, just be patient and let the ball bounce, then get back to work.

    Key Takeaways:

  • Not recommended on the baseline.
  • Leave some space so that you have sufficient room to move back.
  • Stay in a ready position while receiving the serve.
  • The Third Shot Positioning:

    Now we are back to square one, meaning you are serving, the opponent is receiving, and now you’re preparing yourself for the third shot. It does not matter if you are playing a singles match or doubles. We suggest that you stay close to the baseline. Because most of the time we have observed players that are returning the shot, they try to hit the ball as deep as possible.

    The Third Shot Positioning in pickleball
    Stay close to the baseline

    And again, don’t forget the rule of thumb. Leave some adequate space near the baseline, so moving back and forth won’t become an issue when the ball is either intended to go beyond the baseline or not. In this way, the ball will always find its way in front of you and you’re not going to face any problem when smashing the ball back at your opponents.

    Key Takeaways:

  • Stand near the baseline.
  • Let the ball come near your feet.
  • Always be flexible enough to move quickly back and forth.
  • Summary:

    Conclusively, don’t cross the line when serving the ball, try to stay back when getting served, and don’t enter the NVZ for a volley. These three are the best ways to position yourself on the court. Getting into the position to smash the ball in the correct way is one of the most complicated things to master. But once the player finds the optimum position and the comfortable sweet spot, regarding where to stand in pickleball. Half of the game is already improved.

    HARRY ANDERSON

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