Woman serving in Pickleball game

Pickleball Rules 101: What is a let serve?

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In our Pickleball rules series, we will be explaining some of the lesser understood concepts of the game. Knowing how to play Pickleball properly will make this sport even more fun!

While the majority of the rules are easy to pick up, the “let serve” can take new players by surprise.

How to serve in Pickleball

  • In Pickleball you must serve underhand while holding the paddle below your waist.
  • The paddle must make contact with the ball at this level.
  • The top of the paddle face must be below the wrist.
  • To begin, you must have one foot behind the baseline and neither foot can touch the baseline or court until after you have hit the ball.
  • Ensure your opponents and partner have their paddles up and are ready to receive.
  • The ball must be hit into the court diagonally opposite in the service area, past the non-volley zone.
  • You are only allowed one attempt to serve, unless you get a “let serve”.

What is a let serve in Pickleball?

A let serve means very simply: “let’s try that again!”. Say you have hit the ball. It touches the top of the net, yet still makes it across the net, beyond the non-volley zone and into the correct part of your opponent’s court.

This wouldn’t class as a good serve but it is not a penalty either. The server would be able to play this again. However, just touching the net does not make it a let serve. It must pass over the net into the intended part of the court.

How many let serves are allowed in Pickleball?

Is there a limit to the amount of let serves allowed in a match? Two per game?

No! There is no restriction on let serves during a game. You can keep going until you get a quality serve or a fault. Although it may be frustrating for other players as it can slow down the match.

More Pickleball terms you need to know

Now you’re clued up on a let serve, if there is anything else confusing you on the court, don’t worry we’ve got it covered! Head over to our Pickleball definitions glossary to find definitions for everything from a “dink”, “the kitchen”, to a “falafel”.

Or maybe you’re wondering why everyone is referring to themselves by numbers, or want to know the difference between a 3.5 and a 4? Our detailed guide to Pickleball skill levels is on hand to help.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or join our free Facebook community.

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