What is "The Kitchen" in Pickleball?

what is the kitchen in pickleball?

In pickleball, the "kitchen" refers to the non-volley zone (NVZ), a crucial area of the court directly adjacent to the net. The kitchen measures seven feet on both sides of the net, before intersecting with the centerline. While there are a lot of jokes associated with the kitchen, it is a strategic and important area for playing the game of pickleball. This blog will discuss the key rules associated with this zone.

Location and Size

What is the kitchen in pickleball? The kitchen is the area of the court that extends seven feet from the net on both sides, spanning the full width of the court. It is marked by lines parallel to the net.

No-Volley Rule

There's a reason the kitchen is also called the non-volley zone. Players are prohibited from volleying the ball (hitting it out of the air before it bounces) while standing in or touching the kitchen line. This rule is designed to prevent players from executing smashes from a position too close to the net, which would make the game less competitive and fun.

Stepping into the Kitchen

Players can enter the kitchen to play a ball that has bounced within this zone. However, they must exit the kitchen as soon as they have completed their shot if they intend to volley a subsequent shot. If players hit the ball out of the air while in the kitchen, it is a fault.

Momentum Rule

Can you enter the kitchen after hitting the pickleball? If a player volleys the ball while jumping, they must ensure that their momentum does not carry them into the kitchen or onto the kitchen line. This is true even after the ball is dead.

Faults Related to the Kitchen

If a player violates any of the above rules concerning the kitchen, it results in a fault, and the point is awarded to the opposing team.

Ready to Hit the Kitchen?

These are the basic rules of the kitchen in pickleball. These rules are designed to maintain the game's strategic and skillful play by limiting overly aggressive net play. For more detailed information on the rules and strategies related to the kitchen in pickleball, you can refer to the official pickleball rulebook. Also, check out our FAQ and pickleball glossary

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