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Kitchen Rules In Pickleball
The non-volley zone or its nickname “The Kitchen” is the court area within 7 feet on both sides of the net extending to both sidelines. As its name indicated no volley—striking the balls before it bounces—is allowed in that zone. A groundstroke—the ball having bounced—is permitted.
The game’s governing body, USA Pickleball published all rules that govern the game. Here are some basic Pickleball rules about “The Kitchen or Non-Volley Zone.
No volleys in the non-volley zone
First rule: No volleys when in Kitchen
As its name states clearly, it is not permitted to volley the ball if standing in the zone.
All volleys must be initiated outside of the non-volley zone. For players using wheelchairs, the front (smaller) wheels may touch the non-volley zone during a volley.
The act of volleying the ball includes the swing, the follow-through, and the momentum from the action. If the paddle touches the non-volley zone during the volley motion, before or after contacting the ball, it is a fault.
During the act of volleying, it is a fault if the volleying player’s momentum causes the player to contact anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including the player’s partner. For players using wheelchairs, the front (smaller) wheels may touch the non-volley zone.
It is a fault even if the ball becomes dead before the player contacts the non-volley zone.
If a player has touched the non-volley zone for any reason, that player cannot volley a return until both feet have made contact with the playing surface completely outside the non-volley zone. A maneuver such as standing within the non-volley zone, jumping up to hit a volley, and then landing outside the non-volley zone is a fault. If the rear wheels of a wheelchair have touched the non-volley zone for any reason, the player using a wheelchair cannot volley a return until both rear wheels have made contact with the playing surface outside the non-volley zone.
A player may enter the non-volley zone at any time except when that player is volleying the ball.
A player may enter the non-volley zone before or after returning any ball that bounces.
A player may stay inside the non-volley zone to return a ball that has bounced. There is no violation if a player does not exit the non-volley zone after hitting a ball that bounces.
There is no violation if a player returns the ball while their partner is standing in the non-volley zone.
Pickleball ball cannot touch the kitchen line
Second rule: The ball cannot touch the Non-Volleyball line during a serve
A served ball that clears the non-volley zone and lands in the correct service court or on any correct service court line is in.
If the ball hits the kitchen line during a serve, it is considered out.