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Pickleball Rules to Know – The Start of the Serve

News Stacie Townsend 04-01-2020

When does the serve start in pickleball? Is it when a player bounces the pickleball? Is it when a player tosses the pickleball into the air? Is it when the player strikes the pickleball with his or her paddle?

Rule 4.A.2 of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball provides that the service motion begins with the pickleball player’s arm movement starting the swing to contact the pickleball – whether the movement is backward or forward.

The server may not start this arm movement until after the entire score is called (see Rule 4.A.1). If the server starts the arm movement prior to the entire score being called (for instance, in the middle of the score being called), then the server has committed a fault, and will lose his or her serve.

Have you ever called the score and started your service motion at the same time? Did you realize that that would be a violation of the rules of pickleball?

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