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Ins & Outs Of The Drop Serve

Rules Refresh Stacie Townsend 09-20-2021

The pickleball drop serve was originally included in the Official Rulebook for pickleball because it is a better serving method for players with a physical disability (for instance, any player with one arm). However, the pickleball drop serve has other benefits, too, which is why the drop serve has been included as a provisional rule in the Official Rulebook for this 2021 calendar year. These other benefits include that the drop serve may:

  • be easier to teach beginners;
  • give players with the “yips” or “server’s block” an alternative to overcome such “yips” or “server’s block”; and
  • be easier for referees to enforce because referees only need to determine whether the player dropped the pickleball correctly.

To do a pickleball drop serve, you must drop or release the pickleball from any natural height, either by (1) using your hand or (2) letting the pickleball roll off of your paddle, and then hit the pickleball with your paddle after the pickleball bounces on the court.

There are quite a few pickleball rules to know when it comes to the drop serve. Check out the video below for a brief summary of these rules.

Lastly, needless to say, the traditional pickleball volley serve and the pickleball drop serve have some differences. However, they also have some similarities. To understand the differences and commonalities between the two types of serves, check out the Venn diagram below.

Have you added the drop serve to your serving arsenal?

Click here for a deeper breakdown on the pickleball serving rules. And, for a deeper breakdown on all of the rules of pickleball, check out Pickler’s Ultimate Guide to the Rules of Pickleball.

Have you had an interesting rules issue on the pickleball court? Send it to us at, so we can share with the rest of the pickleball community in a future newsletter.


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