Can You Hit The Net On A Serve In Pickleball?

If you are a fresher, you may wonder, “Can you hit the net on a serve in pickleball?“. It can happen in a game when the pickleball net is lower than the tennis and badminton one. However, does it count as a fault in this sport?

We will give you the ultimate guidelines about this game’s simple and fascinating rules below.

A double pickleball game

What Is The Net In Pickleball?

As in other court sports, the net in pickleball is the remark to separate two players and count the score. It’s an important part of the game with strictly required specifications.

In a professional tournament, the wrong specifications of the net may lead to a call point. At the same time, the players must replay the game.

A point is recorded to the opponent if the ball cannot cross the net in a serve or rally. If it clears the net, the game goes on, and the score will happen with other rules. 

What if it hit the net? You will find the answer below.

A pickleball net

Required Specifications Of A Pickleball Net

According to the USA pickleball official rulebook released in 2023, the net may be made of mesh fabric material thanks to its durability. It looks similar to the tennis one but lower. The nets should be at least 21 feet 9 inches long and 30 inches tall.

The rulebook also recommends that 30 inches should be the height of the top center and 36 inches should be the top of the sidelines from the ground.

Two posts to hang the net will be placed on the two parallel borders of the court. They are 22 feet +/- 0.0 inches apart. The diameter of the net post should not exceed 3 inches.

It’s important to follow the above rules, or the referees can call the score if they deem a ball is affected by the draping net.

Can you hit the net on a serve in pickleball but gain points? Stay tuned, and you will find the answer.

Hit the ball in a pickleball

Can You Hit The Net On A Serve In Pickleball?

Yes, but you must know some regulations to avoid losing points or receiving called points.

Your paddle and body can touch the net once the ball hasn’t hit the ground. If it does, you will lose a point. It often happens for new players to violate this rule in a short serve unintentionally. However, you hardly find it in professional tournaments.

If touching the net prevents the opponent from returning the ball, the referee may deem it a fault and give a point to your opponent.

Hitting the net on a serve in pickleball highly leads the ball to go out of bounds, And a point goes to the opponent.

If it’s returning the serve, it’s a yes and a no.

In a nutshell, you can touch the net with your paddle and body and hit your ball to the edge of the net in certain circumstances. It’s vital to practice and avoid losing points for these basic faults.

Can You Hit The Net On A Serve In Pickleball?
Can You Hit The Net On A Serve In Pickleball?

Paddles, balls, and a net in the pickleball

Is Hitting The Net A Smart Move In Pickleball?

From our point of view, hitting the net in pickleball can sometimes be advantageous. 

Imagine that your ball unexpectedly drops due to the contact between it and the net; it surprises and confuses your opponents. In this case, they may make mistakes and lose a point.

Even though it’s also a risky move, if it’s your serve, you must be aware of some situations above to avoid losing points. 

You can and cannot hit the net if you return the serve. The rulebook explains that you have enough time and ability to prepare for your return, so a clear hit is a must.

However, the rule allows you to return the ball and hit the net if your opponent does the same in their serve. It can work well if you apply this technique in your games.

Regarding the rally, it is acceptable to hit the net, and the point will be counted in other rules. So, you can freely use this strategy to win the game.

This strategy hardly works, especially in professional tournaments. It can be a smart move or not.


What Happens If The Ball Hits The Net In Pickleball?

Depending on the action type, hitting the ball leads to different results. You may lose a point in the following situations:

  • Your body or paddle touches the net before the ball hits the ground in your serve;
  • Your action prevents the opponent from returning the ball in your serve;
  • Hitting the net leads the ball to go out of bounce;
  • Hitting the net in your return of serve when the opponent doesn’t play the same in their serve.

If you don’t belong to these faults, the game continues.

The ball hits the line

In Doubles Pickleball You May Hit The Ball Twice To Get It Back To The Other Side?

Yes and no. In the rulebook, it is said in article 11A that a double hit will be legal if it forces to occur throughout an unintentional, uninterrupted, single-direction stroke by one player. 

It will be a fault if it’s not a continuous motion, an act of one player, or not in a single direction.

It’s difficult to perform double hits correctly, and it’s hard for referees to determine whether it is a legal or illegal action in this case. Although risky, it may be a good strategy to swoop the counterpart and earn a point.

Pickleball courts

What Are Other Rules In Pickleball?

Serve Rules

Serving requires the servers to pay attention to their releasing hand, feet placement, and dropping placement.

The server must release the ball with a hand while the other holds the paddle to send the ball to the opponent’s court. Also, they are allowed to use their paddles to perform the volley. This rule is comprehensive for one-hand athletes.

The way you hold the paddle when serving is a basic and critical technique. This sport requires the server’s arm to move upward when hitting the ball. Additionally, the paddle head must not be higher than the highest part of the wrist.

Feet placement can cause big trouble for the players when serving. Accordingly, at least one foot must be behind the baseline’s playing surface. 

It is a fault if their foot or feet touch the court on or inside the baseline. Or the playing surface outside the imaginary extension of the sideline or centerline, a point is awarded to their opponents.

When the athletes use wheelchairs, both rear wheels must be behind the baseline.

They can also lose a point if the ball cannot clear the non-volley zone and the non-volley zone lines. Otherwise, a point is for the servers. They can gain a point if the ball clears or hits the net and touches the opponent’s body.

Two-Bounce Rule

The two-bounce rule focuses on equality for both players. It requires the ball to hit the ground twice before volleying. While the first hit must be on the playing ground, the second one can be anywhere in this area.

Thanks to this rule, the players hardly perform spiking and smashing techniques. Imagine how difficult it is to return a straight-down volley!

The game may not be as thrilling as tennis, but the fairness makes it enjoyable and attractive.

Kitchen Rules

Don’t mistake it for the kitchen in your house! The kitchen is a seven-foot area from the net to the court on each side. It is marked by a baseline to separate it from other regions.

Most of the game activities happen within this section. Specifically, it is the only place to serve the ball. The players cannot hit a volley because they must follow the kitchen zone’s two-bounce rule.

In the rulebook, experts call it Non-Volley Zone, also known as NVZ.

For wheelchair players, it’s legal for the rear wheels to touch NVZ’s baseline when performing volley. Conversely, other players are not allowed to step on it, even when it happens accidentally, due to the strong force of the swing, the follow-through, and the momentum.

Scoring Rules

Pickleball is usually a confrontation between two teams with two members each. The winner is the one who earns 11 points first. 

The rule stays the same regarding singles, which means two players in a game. However, it requires 21 points to beat the counterpart.

When two parties reach a tie (each party gets 10 points for doubles and 20 points for singles), the game still goes on. However, if a party scores twice in a row to reach the tie, it’s the winner.


Can you hit the net on a serve in pickleball? Yes, absolutely! But be aware of the rules, or you may lose a point! You must learn by heart serve rules, two-bounce rules, kitchen rules, and scoring rules. 

Hitting the net can be smart, but it is undoubtedly risky. Don’t forget to practice!

>>See more: How Many Holes In An Indoor Pickleball? – Are They Valuable?