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.
First rule: No volleys when in the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) / 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.
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.