What is Volley in Pickleball- An Ultimate Guide & Tips

Volley is playing with the ball in the air without letting it touch the court. Usually, a volley is played to stop it from reaching the non-volley zone and the ball is hit to throw it to the court.

Playing volley in pickleball is the most intense part of the play. Mastering and knowing volley can help amazingly improve your overall pickleball game. Firstly, what is volley? Volley is swinging the pickleball on the other side of the court without letting it bounce.

It’s mostly done on the kitchen-zone line when you are near the net. Also, it is like a push to the ball given by the paddle without letting it bounce. Having your position set to the kitchen zone line or non-volley zone line helps in playing volley successfully. In this guide, we will take you on a knowledgeable ride regarding all you need to know about volley in pickleball. 

Basics of Volley in Pickleball:

  • Volley is hitting the ball in midair and sending it to the opposite side of the court during a rally where rally is an ongoing play that happens between the serve and the fault.
  • The most commonplace on the court where volley takes place is at the non-volley zone line. 
  • Players utilize both forehand and backhand to play volley. Commonly players use backhand. 
  • No swinging is needed, you just have to place the pickleball paddle vertically and give the ball a “push”. 
  • It is recommended best to push the ball far away from the opponent’s net.
  • Having a slight loft on the pickleball paddle helps in hitting the volley flawlessly. 

Importance of Volley in Pickleball: 

Volley in pickleball has benefits like controlling the pace of the game, bringing your opponents closer to the net, etc. It can be a ground-breaking method to score lots of points or lose them. If played perfectly you are certain to score tons of points and win the match. Here is the importance of volley in pickleball matches:

  • Playing volley brings your opponents nearer to the net. You can only volley when you are near the net so your opponent has no choice but to stand on the non-volley zone line
  • Volley helps in taking control of the court. You have higher chances of attacking the opponent’s feet during volley so take the chance and score points.
  • Instead of running all over the court, volley brings the players in one position so it helps in pacing down the game as well. 
  • You get to know how fast your opponent’s reflexes are, if your opponent is slow then you know their weakness. This way you can use a volley to score at a better pace than your opponent. 

Now that you know the importance let us give you a guide on how to play volley. 

Playing Volley in Pickleball:

You can play volley in pickleball whenever you feel like there is a chance to hit the ball without letting it bounce. Let us tell you when and how to play volley in pickleball and when not to. Let us get to it then, 

Types of volley in pickleball:

Punch volley:

The best way to hit the opponent’s feet is a Punch volley. This is hit in a punch motion as the name suggests. You have to keep the paddle perpendicular while letting your arm go further from the elbow and using your wrist to push the ball on the other side of the court.

Punch volley
Punch volley

Roll volley:

You can hit your opponent’s drop shot by using roll volley. If the ball goes below the height of the net you can use topspin to hit the ball without letting it bounce. That’s called roll volley. 

Drop volley:

This volley is the most subtle volley out of all. In this, you need to have a soft grip and suck up the pace of the incoming ball, and usually hit it in the upward direction over the net into the opponent’s court. It’s also referred to as a block or reset volley.  Also, check the What is Let Serve in Pickleball?

Dink volley:

Dink volley is hitting a dink shot without letting the ball bounce when you are standing at the non-volley zone line. This sends the ball into your opponent’s non-volley zone.  

Playing forehand volley in pickleball:

Want to know the best way to get your opponent to balance off? Play a forehand volley and that will do the trick. When you see your opponent in their kitchen zone, you can play forehand volley, here is how to properly execute it:

  • Hold the paddle at a 45-degree angle signed with your face. Make sure you and your feet are positioned at the non-volley zone line. 
  • The wrist should be stable with a firm grip. 
  • Move your arm back a few inches and hit the ball as if you are punching the ball using the paddle.
  • You have hit your forehand volley nicely.

Playing backhand volley in pickleball: 

As told above, backhand volleys are played more often than forehand ones. It is because they are easy to execute and have higher chances of scoring as well. There are two ways you can play backhand volley; you can add topspin or backspin to the shot. Hitting the ball from high to low position when the face of the paddle comes in contact with the ball will add a backspin. Onto the topspin, you have to hit the ball from a low to upward position and hit the ball with power so that it goes further in the opponent’s court. Also, check the What is a Drop Shot in Pickleball?

Once you have decided whether you want to add backspin or topspin to your backhand volley, here is what you have to do:

  • Keep the paddle up and above your hand while standing in a ready stance( your knees should be slightly bent)
  • Turn your shoulder sideways and weight on your dominant leg. 
  • Has your paddle aligned with the height of the upcoming ball? 
  • Initiate a side downward swing path using the shoulder then do not use the shoulder and straighten your elbows.
  • Make sure you do not strike the ball with the paddle in a downward direction.
  • Hit the ball and you have shot your backhand volley. 

At what position I should Hit my Volleys?

It really depends upon your rally where you should hit your volley. So you must follow some thumb rules in order to place your volley. 

  • The first rule of the volley says that you must hit the volley at the feet of the opposite player. It is really hard to play volleyball back because of its lower position. 
  • If you hit your volley to either opponent’s shoulder or paddle side hip, your opponent won’t be able to playback because of being in a non-volley position at his backhand. 
  • Hitting the volley away from your opponent towards an open place or gap helps you take advantage of the distance of the opponent. 
  • If you hit the volley deep, your opponent may get stuck to the baseline. But it can also help your opponent to counterattack if he forwards quickly. 
  • You can also play a soft shot to hit your volley to the net, it will help you reset the game if your opponents are driving the ball hard at you. 

Tips on improving volley in pickleball:

After knowing how to play volley we recommend practicing and improving it. Here are some tips based on our experience that will help you in your improvement of hitting and playing volley in pickleball: 

  • Have your weight on your toes, keep your knees slightly bent, and stand in a low squatting position. 
  • Have a light grip on the paddle while letting your wrist move freely. Your wrist should hit the volley so make sure it is steady at all times. 
  • Understand the direction of the ball and make sure you Keep an eye on the ball and don’t lose it.
  • During volley, do not rely on your shoulders for power instead rely on your legs. 
  • Novices can get tense standing near the kitchen zone, make sure to stay calm and hit the ball. 
  • Hit the ball further away so your opponent can miss it. 
  • Having your paddle slightly open helps in hitting the volley.
  • Do not hit the volley in one direction, instead hit it in different parts of your opponent’s court or body so your shots can be unpredictable and you can score points.
  • Practice both forehand volley and backhand volley. We recommend practicing a lot. 

When you should not volley in pickleball:

  • Do not hit the volley when standing inside the kitchen or non-volley zone. It will be a fault.
  • Do not volley at the third shot and wait for it to bounce. 
  • Do not volley a serve shot.
  • Do not volley the ball when it is out of the court.


What is a volley and why do players play it?

A volley is hit to the ball in the air that a player plays for the following reasons. 

  • To hit the ball to keep it away from the non-volley zone. 
  • To keep the ball away from your opponent.  
  • To speed up your game and defeat the opponent.

How can I volley in pickleball?

You can play a volley after the ball has touched the court on each side of the team. But in the double bounce rule, the volley rule is eliminated and rallies are allowed.  

What is the benefit of volley in pickleball?

It speeds up the game of a strong player and the weak opponent is forced to take a position on his back feet while letting you dominate the game.

What is a half volley?

The half volley is when a player hits the ball after it bounces back from the court and is just near the floor. A player has to hit the shot before the pickleball rises to its potential height.

What is the difference between a volley and a rally in pickleball?

A volley is when a player hits the ball in the air without letting it touch the ground. It is played between a rally. While a rally is the regular pickleball game that starts from the service and continues until the fault. 

Meanwhile, a side-out is the situation when a player loses his position of service and the other player is given the authority to serve. 


We trust you got to know about volley in pickleball. In addition to that, you should know when not to volley in pickleball as well. We have broken down all the basics you have to know. Lastly, we have also given tips on how to improve your volley. Just make sure to practice your both forehand and backhand volley to master it quickly. 

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