Pickleball: Kitchen (NVZ) Help

After a pickleballer plays their first several games, they soon understand that the Non-Volley Zone (see diagram below) is often referred to as the Kitchen.


NVZ or Kitchen in Pickleball
Picture Courtesy of School Specialty – Modified for this post.

It is interesting to me that I will often be approached by a pickleballer who asks me: “Do I have to wait until the ball bounces to go into the kitchen?” or “When can I go into the kitchen?” At times, these are people who have been playing for years. Somehow a number of players are under the impression that it is a fault just to step into the kitchen; anytime.

As always, let’s check to see what the rulebook tells us about this situation. SECTION 9 of the 2019 USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook (pp. 36-37) goes into detail about the non-volley zone rules.

It seems to me there are four important subsections regarding this discussion.

9.A. All volleys must be initiated outside of the non-volley zone.

It is a fault if a person volleys the ball (hits it in the air. i.e without a bounce) while standing inside the NVZ. NOTE: It would also be a fault if a player volleys a ball and their foot is touching any part of the NVZ line even if the rest of their body is not in the kitchen.

9.E. A player may enter the non-volley zone at any time except when that player is volleying the ball.

It is not a fault to enter the NVZ at any time as long as that player does not volley the ball. A player can remain the NVZ the entire game if they wish. Of course this is not a good strategy and would be a rather absurd behavior, but there is no rule against it.

9.F. A player may enter the non-volley zone before or after returning any ball that bounces.

A pickleballer is allowed to enter the NVZ to return a ball that bounces. They may enter either before or after the ball bounces to return a ball that has bounced in the NVZ.

9.G. 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.

A player may remain inside the NVZ after a bounced ball is returned. They do not have to exit the NVZ at any specified time interval.


NVZ Best Practice in General

Most accomplished players remain very close to, but not in, the NVZ during much of the game. If a ball falls into the NVZ and bounces, they quickly go after the ball, return it and then step back out of the NVZ. This enables the player to volley a ball that comes their way because they have vacated the NVZ.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out another important, and often misunderstood nuance about the NVZ highlighted below in section 9C.

9. C. – It is a fault if the player’s momentum causes the player to contact anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including the player’s partner.

9.C.1. It is a fault even if the ball is declared dead before the player contacts the non-volley zone.

A player’s momentum cannot carry them into the NVZ after a volley or it is a fault. Even if the ball is dead at the time, their momentum cannot cause them to step into the NVZ after a volley. A player may not touch their paddle down in the NVZ or drop anything into the NVZ or that too is a fault if it is done in the act of volleying.

NOTE – These are not the ONLY rules regarding the NVZ. I only selected those sections that help to answer the underlying basic question of when a player can enter the NVZ without creating a fault.

I believe any serious pickleball player can learn quite a bit by reading the USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook. You can order your copy HERE! You can also download a free PDF HERE.

If you have questions, leave them in the comment section and I will do my best to answer them.

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Pickleball – You Make the Call – NVZ Partner Grab Answer

Original Scenario Posted on 20181016

The Scenario:

You and your partner are involved in a multi-shot exchange at the non-volley zone with the other team. After a couple of back-and-forths a ball is hit to your partner and he volleys it. In the act of the volley he begins to “teeter” toward the NVZ and it becomes apparent that he is going to step into the NVZ.

According to USAPA rules, it would be a fault if a player’s momentum forces him to step into the NVZ after a successful volley.

Would it be legal, according to USAPA rules, for you to grab your partner to pull him back to avoid his entering the NVZ after such a volley?

The Answer according to USAPA Rules:

It would be “legal” for a player to grab or pull their partner to prevent them from entering the NVZ and avoid causing a fault AS LONG AS the partner doing the grabbing is not themselves in violation of the NVZ rule, i.e. remains outside the NVZ during the maneuver.

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©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball – You Make the Call – 20181016 – NVZ Partner Grab

You and your partner are involved in a multi-shot exchange at the non-volley zone with the other team. After a couple of exchanges a ball is hit to your partner and he volleys it. In the act of the volley he begins to “teeter” toward the NVZ and it becomes apparent that the is going to step into the NVZ.

According to USAPA rules, it would be a fault if a player’s momentum forces him to step into the NVZ after a successful volley.

Would it be legal, according to USAPA rules, for you to grab your partner to pull him back to avoid his entering the NVZ after such a volley?

Leave your answer in the comment section! The answer will be presented next week (+/-) in a follow-up post.

 

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Pickleball: Video- Dink Destroyer

Jordan Briones of Prime Time Pickleball demonstrates what he considers a major mistake many people make in their dinking technique. After describing and explaining the issue, he offers tips and a practice exercise to help overcome a habit that may destroy the best approach to successful dinking.

When I watch novices/beginners play pickleball, I see this mistake many times. Another mistake that beginners often make is taking a step backward at the NVZ hoping to “catch a better bounce” of the ball. Learn to take it in the air if you can.

1 – It avoids the ball taking a funny bounce

2 – It keeps you in position

3 – It takes time away from your opponent.

More Pickleball Videos and Information

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©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: All the Non-Volley Zone Rules and No No’s

VIDEO: Jennifer Lucore and Alex Hamner explain and clarify Non-Volley Zone faults.

This is the paragraph that accompanied the Pickleball 411 video above.

“Ever heard someone disagree about a non-volley zone foot fault? Look no further! This fun video is the most complete pickleball non-volley zone rule video ever! Packed full of information, it is a one-stop shop for you to have all your questions answered and learn more about the multi-faceted non-volley zone rule in pickleball. Hear from pickleball champions Alex Hamner and Jennifer Lucore alongside our host Rusty Howes, as they break down the non-volley zone rule in its entirety as well as show some helpful real-life examples of actual NVZ faults. Reviewed by the USAPA, this video is a necessity in understanding this fun game of pickleball!”

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: Oh, Oh…Move Back!

When I am playing at one of the Community Centers and I watch the games, I notice that most of the time, when a player is at the ​NVZ (net), they tend to stay there in almost every situation.

There is one school of thought that actually recommends this strategy, but there are times when it might be better to back up to give yourself more time to return a ball coming at you quickly.

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports has video to explain why…

Pickleball Strategy: 3/4 Court Defence

If you can’t get enough of pickleball and you like to listen to podcasts (web broadcast like radio), Mark also has ​a ​Pickleball Problem show. You can download them into an app or listen to them directly from the web page

Pickleball Problems

There are some very good hints and you get to hear what ​pickleball ​problems others are having.

More Pickleball Videos

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Kitchen Basics & Myths

As a Pickleball Ambassador for the N. Phoenix area and community center instructor, I am often surprised by the following questions:

  • 1. Can you go into the Non Volley Zone (NVZ) or Kitchen before the ball bounces in it?
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  • 2. How long can you stay in the NVZ?
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  • 3. Can both players on a team be in the NVZ at the same time?
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This leads me to wondering: How many people know the correct answers? If you have any doubts about the answers to the questions posed above, the video below might be of interest to you!


Three Myths About Being in the Kitchen | Pickleball 411

More Pickleball Videos

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©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: After the 3rd Shot – Then What?

To the net? Not to the net? That is the Question!

Pickleball players are taught from the very beginning that the “best” place to be is close to the net just behind the non-volley zone (NVZ) line. This is often true, but it isn’t always the case.

The serving team puts the ball in play (Shot 1) and stays back because of the two bounce rule. The opposing team will try to hit the ball deep (Shot 2) so the player returning the serve has an opportunity to advance to their NVZ.

As the video below points out, now comes the question – What does the serving team do after the third shot? Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports explains: “That depends.” And he is so right.

Beginning players often run to the NVZ willy nilly no matter what, but that could be a big mistake. Watch the video to find out what you should do after the third shot. Read the note below the video which may also be very helpful.

 

NOTE – Did you notice the point Mark was making about how the players on each team should generally be at the same relative depth on their side of the court? Having one player back and the other up creates an angled zone with a big hole that is very hard to cover. Ideally, both players should be at, or very near the same depth on their side of the court.

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Return of Serve


In the last post from Jeff Shank’s tips, he addressed where to serve the ball. In this portion of his 100 Pickleball Strategies, he provides pointers regarding the return of serve.

Not only does Jeff discuss where to return the ball, he explains how to handle different types of pickleball players such as those who hit the return of serve hard, i.e. bangers and those with weak backhands.

He also talks about one of my favorite service returns and that is down the middle, slightly to the even server’s side to cause confusion. Watch for this at about the 5:08 mark.

Jeff also gives some pickleball pointers for those who are a bit slower getting to the Non Volley Zone (NVZ).

NOTE – To find out about this series of posts – 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank– read the first post HERE

 

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

Pickleball – You Make the Call – 20160121 – Answer

The Question:

A pickleball player is standing at the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) and the front of his shoes curl up in such a fashion that they are actually beyond the NVZ line, but because of the curl, they are not touching the line.

A ball is hit to that player and he makes a return volley back to the opposing team. If an imaginary line was extended downward from the tip of his shoe to NVZ line his foot would have been over that line; is this a fault?

 

The Answer according to USAPA Rules Chairperson:

“The NVZ, including the NVZ line, is a two dimensional part of the court. So, the tip of the shoe can overlap the line, but if it is not touching the line at the time the player is volleying the ball it is not a fault. The shoe must contact the line in the process of volleying the ball for it to be a fault.” [emphasis mine]

 

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JBRish.com originally published this post