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Q&A – Bouncing Serve

Rules Refresh Mark Peifer 02-14-2024

By Mark Peifer, USA Pickleball Certified Referee; Past Chairman, USA Pickleball Rules Committee

QUESTION:  Can I hit the pickleball and bounce on my side of the net and then over the net like in ping-pong? In other words, can I bounce it over the net?

ANSWER: Based on the way the rule is written, it’s perhaps understandable why you are asking this question, but no; after the paddle contacts the ball on the serve, the ball must travel over the net and into the correct service court.  The rule that governs this is Rule 4.A.2 of the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook; “The server must serve to the correct service court (the court diagonally opposite the server).  The serve may clear or touch the net and must clear the NVZ and the NVZ lines.  The serve may land on any other service court line.”  The rulebook makes no allowance for bouncing the ball on the server’s side of the court after the ball is struck on the serve.  

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