Everything You Need to Know About “The Kitchen” in Pickleball
Pickleball has quickly grown in popularity as an accessible and enjoyable racquet sport suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. One unique aspect of pickleball that sets it apart from other racquet sports is the “non-volley zone,” or the kitchen, in front of the net that requires players to abide by specific regulations to ensure fair play. This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about using your kitchen to your advantage.
The non-volley zone, commonly called “the kitchen,” is a seven-foot area in front of each net that restricts players from hitting the ball when standing within it. The kitchen prevents players from creating an unfair advantage by standing too close to the net; staying back from it and behind baseline lines ensures that players hit balls with good trajectory – one of the core principles of pickleball!
One of the defining rules of pickleball is its prohibition against hitting the ball from standing inside the kitchen unless hit first by your opponent, or it bounces; that is, no ball should be hit while standing within it unless someone hits first or it bounces – otherwise known as hitting in the air while standing within the kitchen – this ensures that net players do not gain points by intercepting its flight path, making the game more strategic and fair.
When serving, players must ensure their feet do not touch the kitchen line while hitting the ball. If their foot touches it while hitting, their serve is considered a fault, resulting in a point loss. Note: the non-volley zone does not count as part of the service area – therefore, no balls should be served into this area to start their game!
If a player hits a ball while standing in their kitchen and passes over the net without being struck on either side, that shot is considered an error and awarded to their opponent as one point. If it hits the ground first before crossing over, it remains suitable for play, and the rally usually continues.
Remember to consider the kitchen as a resource in pickleball! It provides an ideal place to take refuge when under pressure or trying to reset play, while its seven-foot area gives ample space to return the ball and plan your moves. But be wary – leaving an unoccupied kitchen unattended can allow an opponent to hit past you!
A pickleball kitchen is an integral component of every game, providing all players with an even playing experience and fair gameplay. While its rules may initially seem intimidating, you will quickly become an expert player with some practice. Stay behind the baseline to strike balls with a decent trajectory while using your kitchen as part of an effective winning strategy!