Pickleball is an exciting and fast-paced sport that requires quick reflexes, agility, and skill. One of the most essential aspects of the game is the ability to hit a good volley. A volley in pickleball refers to hitting the ball in the air before it bounces on your side of the court.

Volleys are a critical part of net dominance in pickleball and are one of the primary skills that separate advanced players from the rest. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about volleys in pickleball.

What is a Volley in Pickleball?

Put simply, a pickleball volley is when you hit the ball out of the air before it bounces on your side of the court. Volleying allows you to take control of the game by forcing the opposition to react to your shots instead of the other way around.

It requires quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination, but it's an essential skill to master if you want to play at a competitive level.

What Is the Importance of a Volley in Pickleball?

Volleying allows you to be more aggressive and take control of the net. When you're at the net, you can dictate the speed, direction, and angle of the ball, making it harder for your opponents to return it.

If you can successfully get your opponents on the defensive, you'll have more opportunities for a winning shot. Additionally, by taking control of the net, you can better protect your side of the court and set up your partner for a winning shot.

Rules For Volleying In Pickleball

There are specific rules that players must follow when volleying in pickleball. According to the USAPA Official Tournament Rulebook, a player must not volley the ball in the non-volley zone unless their foot is behind the non-volley line when they hit the ball.

Additionally, a player must not touch the net with their body or paddle during a volley. If a player violates any of these rules, they lose the point.

The non-volley zone is a seven-foot area on each side of the net, and you cannot volley the ball inside this zone. The non-volley zone line, commonly referred to as the kitchen line, marks the boundary of the non-volley zone.

When Should You Hit a Volley in Pickleball?

Knowing when to volley is just as important as knowing how to volley. Volleying is an excellent technique to use when you're near the net or when the ball is at a comfortable height.

Volleying from the back of the court can be riskier and is not recommended as it's harder to control the direction and speed of the ball. Additionally, you may want to avoid volleying when your opponent is in a good position to return your shot, as this could give them an opportunity to get back control of the net.

Knowing when to volley in pickleball is crucial to your success on the court. It's important to note that you should never volley inside the non-volley zone. You should only volley when the incoming ball is at a comfortable height, and you're positioned outside of the non-volley zone, close to the net.

How Should You Hit a Volley in Pickleball?

When hitting volleys in a pickleball game, it's important to keep in mind the non-volley zone line and make sure you're positioned properly outside of it. Focus on hitting the ball with the paddle face square to the net, as this will help control the direction of your shot.

Additionally, if you're hitting a volley deep in the court, aim for a lower trajectory to give you more time to reset your position. Remember to keep your body and paddle still when hitting the volley, which will help you maintain better balance and control.

You can also aim for the opponent's feet, as this will make it more difficult for them to return the shot. By hitting the ball in this way, you can force your opponent to hit up and create a weak return, allowing you to confidently and aggressively attack the next shot.

When preparing to hit a volley in pickleball, it's important to be in the ready position with your knees slightly bent and your weight evenly distributed on your feet. Keep your paddle facing forward with the wrist firm, but not rigid, and the paddle slightly open to generate more spin on the ball.

Remember to maintain your balance and follow through with your swing, allowing the paddle to travel through the shot smoothly.

Types of Pickleball Volleys

There are two primary types of volleys in pickleball, the forehand volley and the backhand volley. The forehand volley is used when the ball is hit at a player's forehand side, while the backhand volley is used when the ball is hit on the backhand side.

Both types are equally important in advancing your game and dominating the net. The overhead volley is used when a high ball is hit over a player's head.

A forehand volley is typically the easiest to learn and execute, as it allows for a more natural hand position and swing. By keeping your paddle in front of your body, you can quickly react to incoming shots and direct them back toward your opponent.

On the other hand, a backhand volley can be a bit more difficult to master, but it offers greater control and finesse. By using a more compact swing and making contact with the ball slightly in front of your body, you can place shots with greater accuracy and spin.

Aside from the forehand and backhand volleys, there are also specialized volleys that players can use to outmaneuver their opponents. One of these advanced techniques is the drop volley.

As the name suggests, the drop volley involves hitting the ball lightly and intentionally dropping it just over the net. Drop volleys can be an effective way to throw off your opponent's rhythm and force them to make a difficult return.

Another specialized technique is the dink volley. This type of volley involves hitting the ball softly with just enough energy to clear the net and land in the non-volley zone on your opponent's side. The dink volley is an excellent way to throw your opponents off balance, as it requires them to run forward quickly to make a return shot.

Another specialized technique is the punch volley. The punch volley is a powerful shot that is executed with a quick punching motion, sending the ball back over the net with greater force and speed. This can be a useful technique to use when you need to get out of a defensive position or when you want to put pressure on your opponents.

However, it requires a lot of practice and skill to master, as mistiming the punch can result in the ball going out of bounds or hitting the net. With the right technique and precision, the punch volley can be a game-changing shot that can lead to victory on the court.

Finally, there is the roll volley, which is a more advanced technique that involves hitting the ball with topspin so that it bounces low and hard on your opponent's side of the net. Roll volleys can be difficult to execute, but they can be devastating when done correctly.

By mastering these different types of volleys, players can gain a significant advantage over their opponents on the pickleball court. With practice and patience, even the most challenging shots can be executed with precision and accuracy, making for an even more thrilling and competitive game.


Overall, the volley is an essential skill to master in pickleball. It allows you to control the net, be more aggressive, and set up winning shots. Remember to follow the rules, know when to volley, and practice different types of volleys.

Practicing pickleball volleys is essential to becoming a better player on the court. With practice and patience, you can master different types of volleys such as forehand and backhand volleys, drop volleys, dink volleys, punch volleys, and roll volleys.

By mastering these techniques you will be able to outmaneuver your opponents on the pickleball court and gain an edge over them in terms of control and precision. So don’t hesitate – start practicing today!

If you're looking for the best pickleball equipment, check out our top picks! We've done all the research for you, so you don't have to!

Be sure to check out our other pickleball and sports & fitness blog posts!

Pickleball Rules: The Top 9 Things Beginners Should Know
If you’re just getting started with pickleball, make sure you read these top 9 pickleball rules and tips to help get your game off to a great start!
Where to Stand in Pickleball: Winning Shot Positions
Learn the winning shot positions in pickleball so you can gain a competitive edge while playing singles or doubles. Get ready to ace your next game with these tips!
Pickleball Singles Strategy: 10 Tips for Smarter Play
Take your pickleball singles game to the next level with these ten smart strategies. With this advice, you can win more and show off on the court like a pro!
Pickleball Doubles Strategy: Top 10 Winning Tips Revealed
Have you hit a wall when it comes to pickleball doubles strategy? Check out our top 10 winning tips that will help you get the edge and win more games!
The Best Pickleball Set for 2022 - Our Top 5 Picks
We’ve compiled a list of the best 5 pickleball sets on the market, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Read our recommendations!
10 Beginner Pickleball Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Game
Are you ready to master the game of pickleball? Learn the basics and hone your skills with these ten easy-to-follow pickleball tips and tricks. Find out more!
10 Pickleball Shots That Will Make You a Better Player
Ready to take your pickleball game to the next level? Here are ten essential pickleball shots that will make you an unstoppable player! Read more!
Top 20+ Pickleball Terms Every Beginner Should Know
Learning the language of pickleball is essential for success on the court. Here’s a list of must-know pickleball terms to get you started! Read more!
Master the Pickleball Backhand with These 7 Simple Tips
Get an edge over your opponent and up your pickleball game with these simple tips to master the backhand. Learn 7 easy ways to improve your shot today!
10 Pickleball Drills to Take Your Game to the Next Level
Looking to dominate on the pickleball court? Check out these 10 pickleball drills that can help you reach your goals and become a master of the game in no time.
Can You Play Pickleball on a Tennis Court? Let’s Find Out!
Curious about whether or not you can play pickleball on a tennis court? Here’s how to do it - and some tips for making the switch. Read more!
7 Best Pickleball Warm-Up Exercises: Energize Your Game
Get ready for your pickleball match with these seven energizing warm-up exercises! Find out how to get ready for the court with these easy tips!
5 Tips to Improve Your Pickleball Serve and Win More Points
Want to start winning more points when playing pickleball? Start with these five tips for improving your pickleball serve. Check them out!
What Is The Kitchen In Pickleball? Briefly explained
Ever heard the “kitchen” in pickleball but had no idea what it means? Let’s dive into what a kitchen is and why it matters when playing pickleball.
What Is The Double Bounce Rule In Pickleball? Briefly Explained
The double bounce rule is an essential part of pickleball. Let’s go over what this rule is, why it’s important, and how to use it on the court.
Pickleball Scoring: Learn the Basics and Rule the Court!
Ready to be the master of pickleball? Here is your beginner’s guide to understanding the basics of scoring this exciting game. Find out more!
Pickleball for Beginners: A Guide to Starting Strong
Grab your paddle and get ready to play! Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to pickleball for beginners, so you can start having fun right away.
The Top 10 Pickleball Etiquette Rules You Should Follow
Make sure you follow proper pickleball etiquette when playing with others! Here are the top 10 rules for having an enjoyable experience on the court.
Share this post