Imagine you are about to hit a volley, and you are just one step away from winning, and just then, you enter the kitchen zone, and your hard work goes in vain. Well, this happens mainly because of the pickleball kitchen rules.
The kitchen rule is quite simple, and you just cannot enter the kitchen zone when you are about to volley a ball. That is pretty much it. But there are a lot of things involved in this rule. So, keep reading to find out all about it.
What Exactly is Pickleball Kitchen?
The Pickleball court is mainly divided into multiple parts just to make things easier for the players. One of these parts is called the non-volley area or the kitchen. This area basically is the area from the net to the non-volley line. The non-volley line and the net usually have a distance of about 7 feet.
This particular area of 7 feet has very different rules than the rest of the court, which is why the beginners often ignore it. But, it often results in fault and might cost you a game which is why to make sure to know all about the pickleball kitchen rules before playing pickleball.
Hitting a volley is not that easy, and most people like to go for a groundstroke because it is easier to do, and you can also master it conveniently. But, if you really want to learn pickleball like professionals, you need to learn how to hit a valley while avoiding the kitchen zone.
The pickleball kitchen has an elaborate set of rules too that are not just limited to non-volleying. We are going to look into it now.
What are the Pickleball Kitchen Rules?
If you want to score better and take the lead in the game, you need to understand and implement the pickleball kitchen rules. Make sure that you understand each rule properly because all of them are very important.
Even if you ignore any one of the rules, it is not going to be good for your overall game. So, for the sake of improving your game and having an understanding of pickleball in a professional manner, let’s get into it and find out what exactly are the pickleball rules.
1. Rules for Partners
Pickleball kitchen rules for partners are quite strict and clear-cut. You or your partner cannot enter the kitchen zone at all, or it will surely be considered a fault which is not going to be good for your game.
What your partner can do is he can hold you back while hitting a volley just so you do not slip or accidentally cross the line. Most people also cross the line mainly because of momentum, but the partner is allowed to stop that.
Moreover, if you are not touching the line yourself but your clothes or any object that you are wearing touches it, it would also be considered a fault. So much so that players had gotten a fault even when their hat flew off and landed on the kitchen zone.
So, it is better to be careful than to be sorry and make sure to keep an eye on your partner so they do not touch the line as it can most certainly save you from a fault and would be very helpful for you in the long run during the game.
2. The Non-Volleying Zone
The kitchen zone is the non-volleying zone, and it is the most famous and understood rule of pickleball. If you do not keep this rule in mind, you cannot really win the game because it is one of the very basics that you need to understand and keep in mind.
You cannot hit a ball out of the air when you are in the non-volleying zone, or else it will be considered a fault. Make sure that if you are striking a ball, it has bounced already to save yourself from a fault.
Also, it is important to know that you can only hit the volleys between the non-volley line and the baseline in the court. You can not go past the non-volley line, and neither can any of your belongings, including shoes or hat, because it can result in a fault.
The rules for the kitchen zone are strict, but that does not mean you cannot go to the zone at all. You are not supposed to hit a volley in the air when in the kitchen zone, but the rules are a little different for groundstrokes.
You are totally allowed to hit groundstrokes from the kitchen, and it does not result in any penalty or fault. Also, if you are about to hit a volley, make sure that both your feet are outside of the kitchen zone.
If they are not, it would be better to go for a groundstroke, or else you need to face the penalty or, in a simpler language, the fault. Also, the volley that you can hit needs to have at least two bounces, and then you are allowed to hit it.
The first bounce is from the serve who hits the ball initially, and the second bounce is the return. So, groundstrokes might not be as effective as hitting a volley in the air, but they still can help you win the game.
4. The Non-Volley Line
There are certain pickleball kitchen rules for the non-volley line too. First of all, the non-volley line is the part of the kitchen zone, so if you touch the line, it means you are in the zone. If you want to score a volley, your foot should not be touching this line.
The rules of the non-volley line are very strict, which is why you are not allowed to cross the line even during the follow-through. So much so that even the racquet during follow-through should not cross the non-volley line. Even after you have hit the ball, the rules for the non-volley line are not softened, and you should not be compromising them at all.
People often think that rules for the dead balls would be different but even during the ball is dead and is on the side of your opponent, you should still control the momentum and not enter the kitchen zone.
Can You Stand in the Kitchen?
Well, technically, yes, you surely can stand in the pickleball kitchen, but it makes things a lot difficult for you. There is no harm in standing in the kitchen because you would not be doing anything, right?
But, what would you do if a volley came in your way? You would either have to hit it or miss it. But, while standing in the kitchen, if you miss a volley, it is going to be quite bad for your overall game.
On the other hand, if you decide not to miss the volley and initiate a strike, it is going to be a clear-cut fault. That is mainly because when you are in the kitchen, you cannot really initiate a volley, and for that, you have to be out of the kitchen zone.
What you can do is just hope that the ball bounces and then comes to you so you can score without having to face a fault in the kitchen zone. But the chances of that happening are very low, almost impossible.
So, it is better not to take a risk and avoid standing in the kitchen because no good can come out of it. If you still want to stand, try to only hit groundstrokes and make sure to avoid any volley, and if you notice any ball in the air, immediately rush out of the kitchen zone and hit it, so it is not a fault.
How to Stay Close to Kitchen Without Getting a Fault?
It is also important to stay as close to the kitchen as possible because it helps with hitting more volleys and improving your game too. But as a beginner, it could be a little hard to stay close to the kitchen without crossing that line.
So, make sure that you realize that you are standing a few inches away from the non-volleying line, and once you start playing the game more often, you will automatically have this sense of where the kitchen zone is.
It could be a hassle to imagine a non-existent wall, but once you get the hang of it, you will automatically avoid the kitchen zone as it will become your impulse in no time. However, make sure to keep practicing, and only then can you stay close to the kitchen zone without getting a fault.
Also, while you are playing the game, try to run-up to the kitchen zone as much as possible because it will make you realize how far the zone is. You can also practice the pickleball kitchen rules in a better way by doing this.
Playing pickleball is very easy, but understanding and implementing all the pickleball rules is quite difficult. Especially the pickleball kitchen rules are particularly tricky and could take months to master.
But, we have tried to simplify it for you, and we hope that now you have an idea of when and how you are supposed to avoid the non-volleying line. If you are a beginner, do not worry at all because you are definitely going to master this sport, and all it will take is a couple of months and some dedication.
Just grab your notebook and write down the rules of the pickleball kitchen so you do not make a mistake again—Adios from our side.