Is a backhand serve legal in pickleball?

You have commonly seen the professional players playing a forehand serve in pickleball. But you haven’t seen anyone playing backhand serve in pickleball and it creates a thought in our mind that: Is a backhand serve legal in pickleball?

I have been playing Pickleball from more than a decade and the same case is with me. Even I haven’t seen any player starting the game with a backhand. And the same question arises in my mind and the curiousity to know the reason helped me to find out the answer. So, continue with me here to know whether a backhand serve is legal or not in pickleball?

For those who doesn’t know, what a backhand serve is actually. Let me telll you that when you serve from the opposite side of your dominant hand with the opposite face of the paddle, then such a serve is considered as a backhand. And when you serve along the direction from the side of your dominant hand, then it’s a forehand.

Is a Backhand serve legal in pickleball?

Here, along with the answer of curiosity of legality of backhand serve in pickleball, I will be answering the rules associated with the backhand serve and what pros and cons you have to came across when you play a backhand serve in pickleball. So let’s discuss.

Is a backhand serve legal in pickleball?

The answer is Yes.

It is just a misconception among the pickleball enthusiast and players that playing backhand serve in pickleball is illegal as they haven’t seen anyone playing this before. But, when you go through the rules and regulations associated by the USA Pickleball Association, you came across the fact that playing backhand serve is totally legal and they have set up some rules that you have to follow while playing backhand serves.

But what are those rules which you have to carry forward to play a legal backhand serve in pickleball? Let’s discuss in detail.

Rules associated with Backhand Serve in Pickleball:

You can do a backhand serve in pickleball as it is legal to do and comes under fair serve. But, it’s important to be familiar with all the rules related with backhand serve in pickleball otherwise your serve may be declared illegal and you may loose a point to your opponent. And sometimes these silly faults lead to defeat in game.

  • Whenever you are going to serve a backhand serve in pickleball, you must remember that you have to serve underhand. It means your hand should move towards the upward direction from the lower end.
  • Before making a backhand serve, you need to bounce the ball on the court surface otherwise it will result in a foul.
  • When you serve backhand, the contact point of the ball with paddle must be below your waist.

Also Read: How many square feet area do you need for a pickleball court?

Advantages of Backhand serve:

As you know, playing backhand serve is more complex than the forehand serve, but what makes you to play a Backhand serve. What advantages you may get when you serve backhand in pickleball:

  • Backhand serve allows you to cover more area on the court, so you can serve backhand while standing on the centre of the court. So, the backhand helps you to do more quick reflexes to your opponents upcoming shots.
  • Forehand serve is very common and predictable but this case is not same with the backhand serve. So, it’s difficult for your opponent to predict the direction and hitting area of a backhand serve and it confuses your opponent. So, you may have the chance to get the lead by a point.

Disadvantages of Backhand serve:

As most of the players don’t play backhand serve in pickleball, what’s the reason behind it. Is there any disadvantages that you’re not aware of?

Playing a backhand serve is a game of accuracy and skills. If your opponent hits the ball back towards the opposite side of your hand then it becomes difficult for you to return the ball back. You may loose your control in such situation.

Also Read: How long does it take to play pickleball?

What should you play- Backhand or Forehand?

So, after knowing the different aspects with pros and cons of a backhand serve, you are surely in confusion that which serve should you prefer to play in game.

On the behalf of my personal experience in playing both the serves, I will suggest you to go with forehand serve. It’s easy to play and maneuvering is also easy in forehand serve. While the backhand serve requires seperate practice and advanced playing skills, which you may lack as a beginner or intermediate player.

Also Read: What type of Ball is used for pickleball? 7 Important factors to consider


Hope, you got the answer of your curiosity to find out: Is a backhand serve legal in pickleball? It’s important to consider your playing style and skill level before trying to play backhand serve as the backhand serve is not so easy to play. The maneuvering of your hand should be flexible or smooth. Also you have learnt what pros and cons, you will have to face if you shift from forehand to backhand serve.

If you have any more question, then comment section is open for you and also tell me in comments that will you try to play backhand serve or not in your upcoming games. And now your curiosity is over, so it’s time to over the curiousity of your friends too regarding the legality of backhand serve. So what are you waiting for, share this article with them. Have a great day!

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