Pickleball Kitchen Rules Explained – What, Why, Where, When, How …

In pickleball, the court is divided into different sections with their names. The kitchen is one of those sections that have the most infamous and kind of funny rules. Like all other games, pickleball has its own rules.

The kitchen rules are precisely related to them that the player can’t play a volley while standing in the kitchen or when you play volley, you can’t be touching the kitchen area.

Sounds unfamiliar if you are a beginner but let’s go through all the things that belong to the pickleball kitchen and its rules.

Pickleball has different rules on the basis of different things like:

  • Court rules
  • Serving rules
  • Net rules
  • Scoring rules
  • Kitchen rules
  • Call out rules

But here our main topic of discussion is kitchen rules. For this, first of all, we should know about what the kitchen is in pickleball and what the pickleball kitchen rules are? What is the importance of the kitchen?

What is pickle ball’s kitchen?

In a pickleball court kitchen is the area near the net. The kitchen area is actually the non-volley zone which is 7 m away from the net on each side.

You can either say it kitchen or a non-volley zone. This area of the pickleball court is also highlighted with different colors to show its boundary. In this area, the volleying or hitting of the ball is not allowed. Actually, it is a prohibited area and the players are not allowed to step out of and on the line of the boundary. Otherwise, you make a mistake. It is also a fault if the player’s clothes or any other thing touches the non-volley zone.  However, standing in the non-volley zone is totally illegal in the game.Pickleball Kitchen Rules

Why is it called a kitchen?

Kitchen is a term that seems quite odd in a sport. Like we think what a silly term it is. Like many other stories the term kitchen as a zone in pickles also has its own story.

According to one story, this term was invented by three dads. They find this term more interesting and appealing.

However, in the second story, it was told that this term is borrowed from the game of shuffleboard, in this area the players of shuffleboard lose their points. 

Similarly, there is another story according to which the term kitchen is taken from badminton. In badminton, this is the area behind the scoring place and the players lose their points in this area and also lose the game.

Size of the kitchen in court

As far as the size and dimension of the kitchen are concerned, it is not a very big zone in the court. It is usually near the net with a width of 22 feet on both sides of the net. Commonly its dimension is 20×44 feet. The kitchen zone of pickleball is of the same size that the double badminton court has. Mostly the game is played out of the non-volley or kitchen zone. Also, check the Best Quiet Pickleball Paddles.

Is the non-volley and kitchen zone the same?

Yes! The non-volley and the kitchen zone in the pickleball are the same. Kitchen is actually another name for the non-volley zone. The area where volleying or scoring is not allowed.

Pickleball kitchen rules:

  • There are many interesting rules of pickleball. Like different parts of the court have different rules, similarly, the non-volley zone or kitchen zone has several rules. We should know these rules, so we don’t make a mistake and get out of the game.
  • There are two situations when you can’t hit the ball. One is when you are standing in the non-volley zone. And the second condition is when you are touching the non-volley zone boundary.
  • You should take care that your feet should be out of the non-volley zone of the court when you hit a shot. Otherwise, you will lose your points.
  • This non-volley zone is a quite critical zone that if even your belongings touch the boundary you will make a fault and lose your points.
  • During a double game in pickleball, your partner should also follow the rules and play an important part in-game. Your partner also takes care that you will not go in the non-volley zone.
  • Both you and your partner can’t hit the ball when you both are standing in the kitchen zone.
  • The one most important rule about pickleball is that both feet should touch the surface of the volley zone when you are going to hit a shot.
  • In order to cross the kitchen zone by jumping, you must jump in such a way that your feet would completely cross the non-volley zone before touching the ground.

Faults in the kitchen zone

  • If the shot made by the player is not landed in the volley zone it will be considered a fault.
  • If the ball hits the net then it is also considered a fault and you will lose your points.
  • If you touch the boundary of the non-volley zone, even if your accessories touch the kitchen line then it will also be considered a fault.
  • If the ball bounces two times before the receiver hits it then it will also be a fault.
  • The serve should be underhand otherwise it will be a fault.
  • If the shot hit by a player touches the non-volley line, it’s a fault.
  • If the ball even touches or hits the player or anything that belongs to the player, it’s a fault.
  • If the ball is hit out of the boundary then it will be considered a fault.

Why is it necessary to know the kitchen rules?

The kitchen zone is basically one of the most important zones of court and has rules. Now a question arises why we should know these rules? Actually, these rules tell us what precautions we should take during the game. The kitchen zone is a zone of no volleying. So if our ball falls in this zone or even touches the zone’s boundary we make a mistake and lose our points. So it is very much necessary for a person to know how he can save him from making faults. It will also help you to become an expert in your game. And play a perfect game.

What is a dead ball?

A dead ball in a pickleball is a shot that scores no points. If we violate the rules of the game then our shot is called the dead shot or the ball is called the dead ball. If you continuously make the dead shots then you would lose the game. Moreover, you can also get eliminated from the game.

How to play?

We discuss the rules of the game in the above portion. Now let’s talk about how to play pickleball. What rules do we have to follow during the game?

Ball serving

First of all, the ball should be served underhanded, diagonally with the right hand. Before hitting the shot the player should clear the non-volley zone. The serve should be from below the waist. Both the feet of the server should be on the ground before serving. The player will serve continuously until he makes a mistake. It is not allowed for the server to bounce the ball.  The server who started the game allowed only one fault before the ball was received by the opposite person. You Can also check the Pickleball Strategies Guide.


Basically, volleys are the zone in which the player hits the shot. In this zone, the server can serve the ball without bouncing. If bouncing occurs then the player makes a fault. Volleys are 7 feet away from the net after the non-volley zone.

Double bounce rule

According to this rule, the serving team should have to bounce before returning to the opposite team, and similarly, the opposite team has to make a bounce before the ball returns to the serving team. Hence two bounces occur, therefore it is called a double bounce rule.


When you serve the ball from the right hand you will get a score. The score that the serving team makes, decides what will be the position of the serving team.

Th It is then called the serve score. Only the serving team can score a point, not the receiving team. When the serving team serves the ball diagonally, it gets a point. On scoring a point, the players continuously move from left side to right side and vice versa. You Can also check the Best Elongated Pickleball Paddles.

Drop shots

The shot which is soft and can’t go to the opposite side instead of this falls into the non-volley zone near the net. This shot is quite difficult to score as compared to other shots.

Returning shot

The player must bounce the ball before returning. The returning shot should be at baseline. Otherwise, the serving team gets an advantage. Decide a perfect position for the shot, so that the ball should cross the non-volley zone of the court. Hit the shot from behind the baseline, so that a perfect shot can be made. In this way, we can play pickleball by following the rules easily. With the help of these rules, the games are enjoyable, playable, and disciplined. You Can also check the History of Pickleball.

Frequently asked questions:

When you can Step into the Kitchen While Playing Pickleball?

If you are not playing volley, you can step into the kitchen anytime. You can play the groundstrokes from the kitchen, but to play a volley make sure to keep both feet out of the non-volley zone or the kitchen.

What is the Purpose of the Kitchen in the Pickleball?

The purpose of the kitchen is to keep the players at a distance so that they could not smash the ball.

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