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Pickleball kitchen rules

The Pickleball kitchen rule is one in which you can’t touch the kitchen line while volleying a ball. This rule is also for the partner and any objects connected to you.

The term Pickleball Kitchen is formally referred to as Non-Volley Zones (NVZ) but it is most commonly stated simply as the kitchen. To comply with the pickleball kitchen rule, a player is required to hit the volley outside the non-volley zone

Every time players volley the ball, they cannot step into the kitchen or come into contact with the kitchen line. Pickleball’s kitchen rule is a little bit more complicated and is composed of eight rules that are all grouped to form a single rule.

In a kitchen, there is a total of 7-foot-deep area on both sides of the net that extends the entire width of the court. Most Kitchen lines are two inches thick all pickleball court lines are and they are considered part of the kitchen.

Reason for kitchen rules

The rules of the kitchen are established to prevent players from hitting the ball directly over the net. Without this rule, a pickleball match or game would be very difficult to play fairly, allowing for more than just smashing the ball over the net and into your opponent’s racket.

In the pickleball kitchen rule, the idea is to provide a well-balanced system of movement by eliminating the types of hits that happen in other sports, such as badminton, tennis, squash, or racquetball.

If there is a smash hit of the ball close to the net, then it puts the opposing team at an immediate disadvantage because of the quick, hard hit. It is legal to have your paddle over the kitchen line when volleying a ball however you cannot touch the line or stand inside the kitchen while doing so.


When a player strikes the ball before it bounces, then it is called volleying.


Dinking is about bouncing the ball once over the net and then returning it. A lob or dink over the net is a very strategic part of a pickleball game. It enables your partner to avoid smashing the ball back to your side. It is very strategic and interesting to have a “dink ” rally in pickleball.

In defining the pickleball kitchen rule it is important to keep in mind that it pertains to the physical ground and not to the physical space above.

The USAPA Rule Book

According to the USAPA rule book, the pickleball terms for the game are explained below:

Rule 9. A:

This rule states that the non-volley zone is the only area in which volleys can be initiated. Wheelchair users or players may experience a non-volley zone contact when they use their front wheels.

While standing outside the kitchen they have to volley the ball (hit the ball before it bounces) without touching the kitchen line or being inside the kitchen. It gets more complicated to understand theoretically even if it is quite simple.

Rule 9. B:

While you are in the act of volleying, it is a fault to touch the non-volley zone with the volleying player or with any objects that have contact with the volleying player.


According to this rule, volleying is an action that involves swinging, following through, and gaining momentum from the movement.


If the paddle touches the non-volley zone before or after contact with the ball, it is considered a fault during the volley motion.

This rule says that you cannot volley with your feet in the kitchen or on the kitchen line, so it seems a bit tricky.

Your paddle, your hands, etc. are all considered to be part of your body and in which case, if you volley the ball and then drop your paddle or anything else around the kitchen after the volley, then its a fault.

Rule 9. C:

It will result in a fault if a player’s momentum causes him to make contact with anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including his partner.


If the player reaches the zone before declaring it dead, the ball will still be considered dead.

Keeping out of the kitchen is always very serious. Except only when the player knows that the ball has bounced. It is a fault if a player he puts his paddle in the water after losing his balance during a volley or lands in the kitchen. In addition, it’s a fault, if it’s dead.

Rule 9.D:

A player may not volley a return if his or her feet have touched or entered the non-volley zone if the player has touched the non-volley zone in any other way.

This means the player cannot stand in the non-volley zone, jump to hit a volley, and then land outside the non-volley zone.

He should always stay out of the kitchen. If the ball hasn’t bounced yet.

Rule 9. E:

Just make sure that both of your feet stay on the ground when volleying the ball. Players may enter at any time other than when they are volleying the ball in the non-volley zone

Rule 9. F:

A player may enter the non-volley zone If they return a ball that bounces.

Rule 9. G:

A player can stay inside the non-volley zone to return a ball that has bounced. Players do not violate any of the non-volley zones if they do not exit the non-volley zone after hitting a bounced ball.

Stay out of the kitchen if you don’t see the ball bounce.

Rule 9. H:

If the ball is returned to their partner while they are standing in the non-volley zone and there would be no violation committed by the player.

According to pickleball, the kitchen rules a player.

  • Should not touch the kitchen line or be in the kitchen.
  • Players cannot Involve any part of their body or any object they are in contact with in any way. Even if it is touching the kitchen line or their partner or paddle physically being in the kitchen.
  • Touch the kitchen line to hit the ball. When a player leans in to hit a volley then there is no need to worry about your paddle hitting the ground, because the paddle sits above it.
  • A player should stay behind the kitchen line and must always stay out of the kitchen area.

Pickleball kitchen rules will surely make the kitchen seem like an endless pit of lava once you begin playing more.

The kitchen is an amazing place to practice groundstrokes. Keep your strategy stronger by making a calculated and steady stroke as that will help you to win.


What should be the ball’s maximum distance from the non-volley zone in pickleball?

The pickleball players can hit the ball outside the non-volley zone as the ball bounces.

What other name do we use for the non-volley zone?

The non-volley zone is also termed the “kitchen”.

Can you play pickleball in the kitchen?

If you are playing pickleball then you can go to the kitchen at any time but still, you cannot volley the ball while you are in the kitchen.

What is the kitchen in pickleball?

Pickleball’s kitchen is that area on both sides of the net that is seven feet from the net and connects to both sidelines. In the beginning, this area was entitled to a non-volley zone.