How to Perfect the Underhand Serve in Pickleball?

By: Brandon Fritze

Do you find executing the proper underhand serve challenging and consistently placing the ball where you want? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we’ll go over the specifics of the pickleball underhand serve and provide step-by-step instructions and guidelines to help you get better at the sport. Let’s know everything about this service!

What is an Underhand Serve in Pickleball?

The underhand serve in Pickleball is a technique used to start a point.

Instead of swinging overhand like in tennis, the underhand serve involves hitting the ball with an underhand motion.

You can do it by holding the paddle with a low grip, swinging it forward and upward, and making contact with the ball below the waist.

Underhand Serve in Pickleball

How to Underhand Serve in Pickleball?

Ready to learn how to perform an underhand serve in Pickleball? Great!

Simply adhere to these easy instructions of USAPA, and you’ll soon be serving others like a pro:

1. Position Yourself

Stand behind the baseline, with both feet planted comfortably and shoulder-width apart. Make sure you’re in a balanced stance.

2. Hold the Paddle

Grip the paddle with a relaxed and comfortable grip. The handle should rest comfortably in your hand, providing you with control and flexibility.

3. Position the Ball

Place the Pickleball in your non-dominant hand (the hand not holding the paddle). Hold it at waist level, slightly in front of you.

4. Start Your Swing

Begin the service by bringing the paddle back and down behind you. Keep your eye on the ball as you do this.

5. Swing Forward

In a fluid motion, swing the paddle forward and upward, making contact with the ball below your waist. Keep your swing smooth and controlled.

6. Follow-through

After making contact with the ball, continue the motion of your swing.

Allow your arm to extend forward naturally, maintaining balance and control.

7. Aim and Trajectory

You should aim to clear the net with a low, arcing trajectory.

Pickleball Underhand Serve Rules

These are a few essential rules to remember regarding the underhand serve in Pickleball.

1. Underhand Motion

The serve must be performed using an underhand motion. Unlike in tennis, where overhand serves are common, Pickleball requires players to swing the paddle underhand.

2. Below is the Waist Contact

When executing the underhand serve, contact with the ball must occur below the waist.

3. Diagonal Serve

The underhand serve must be hit diagonally across the court. In Pickleball, the serve should always cross the net and land within the opposite diagonal service box.

This rule encourages strategic placement of the service and helps create a fair start.

4. One Attempt

Players can only make one attempt to execute a successful serve. If the server fails to clear the net or lands outside the designated service box, referees consider it a fault.

The serving team loses their chance to score a point, and the serve goes to the opposing team.

5. Serving Order

The serving team must follow a specific serving order throughout the game. The first serve of each game is determined by a coin toss or another predetermined method.

After the initial serve, the serving team alternates players for the next serve until a fault occurs. At that point, the serve passes to the opposing team.

FAQs: Underhand Serve in Pickleball

1. Can you serve underhand in Pickleball?

In Pickleball, serving underhand is the standard and most commonly used technique. Unlike in tennis, where overhand serves are prevalent, pickleball rules require players to use an underhand motion for the serve.

It promotes a more level playing field and emphasizes strategy and placement over power.

2. Does the serve have to be underhand in Pickleball?

Yes, according to pickleball rules, players must execute the serve using an underhand motion. They must hit the ball below the waist level to ensure that opponents can return the serve at a suitable height.

Serving overhand is not allowed and will result in a fault, giving the opposing team a point.

3. Can I return a serve underhand in Pickleball?

Certainly! When returning a serve in Pickleball, players can choose between various shot techniques, including returning the serve underhand.

Just like the serve itself, players can make the return using an underhand motion, allowing for better control and placement.

Final Thoughts on Pickleball Underhand Serve

The underhand serve in Pickleball is a crucial technique to begin a point. Unlike in tennis, where overhand serves are common, Pickleball requires players to swing the paddle underhand.

Following the steps outlined in this article, players can learn to execute the underhand serve with precision and control.

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