The kitchen is an area on the pickleball court that is located near the non-volley zone line on the serving side of the court. It is marked by a line that is parallel to the non-volley zone line and is approximately 7 feet from it.
Interestingly, the kitchen is an important part of a pickleball court because players are not allowed to volley (hit the ball before it bounces) from within the kitchen. Hence, it has been nicknamed the no-volley zone or the NVZ.
This means that players must hit the ball after it bounces in order to play a shot from within the kitchen, which can make it difficult for opponents to hit a winner or to play aggressively.
Why Is It Called “The Kitchen” Area on a Pickleball Court?
There are a few theories about how pickleball’s kitchen area got its name. One theory is that it is called the kitchen because players are not allowed to “cook” the ball (hit it before it bounces) while they are in this area.
Another theory is that the kitchen area is called this because it is close to the net, and players must be “cooking” (i.e., working hard) in order to succeed in this part of the court.
Regardless of the origin of its name, the kitchen area serves an important role in pickleball by limiting the power of volleys and promoting a more strategic and defensive style of play.
What Are the Kitchen Rules in Pickleball?
The kitchen rules in pickleball are as follows: First, players are not allowed to make a volley while they are in the kitchen. This means that they must let the ball bounce before hitting it.
Secondly, players are allowed to enter the kitchen to hit a groundstroke (a shot that is hit after the ball bounces) or to retrieve a ball that has bounced in the kitchen. If a player hits a volley that lands in the kitchen, it is a fault, and the other team is awarded a point.
On the other hand, if a player hits a groundstroke that lands in the kitchen and is then volleyed by their opponent, the player who hit the groundstroke is allowed to make a volley.
Lastly, If a player hits a shot that lands on the line marking the kitchen, it is considered to be in the kitchen.
Who Calls in The Kitchen in Pickleball?
It is the responsibility of the player or team who hit the ball to determine whether the ball landed in the kitchen or not. If a player hits a shot that they believe landed in the kitchen, they should call “kitchen” to let their opponent know.
If the opponent agrees that the ball landed in the kitchen, they should acknowledge the call, and the appropriate kitchen rule (e.g., no volley) will be enforced.
However, if the opponent disagrees with the kitchen call, they can ask for a line judge to make the determination.
Can a Pickleball Serve Land in The Kitchen?
Yes, a pickleball serve can land in the kitchen. In fact, it is common for players to aim their serves into the kitchen in an attempt to put pressure on their opponents.
Once that happens, the receiver must ensure they adhere to the rules that guide the gameplay in the kitchen area.
What Can You Do in The Pickleball Kitchen?
In the pickleball kitchen, players are allowed to do the following: Hit a groundstroke (a shot that is hit after the ball bounces), retrieve a ball that has bounced in the kitchen and stand in the kitchen while waiting to receive a serve.
Players are not also allowed to make a volley (hit the ball before it bounces) while they are in the kitchen. This rule is in place to prevent players from standing too close to the net and hitting powerful volleys, which can be difficult for opponents to return.
What Can’t You Do in the Pickleball?
In pickleball, players are not allowed to make a volley while in the kitchen. Also, you are not allowed to Stand in the non-volley zone (NVZ) while waiting to receive a serve.
Players must stand outside of the NVZ when receiving a serve. During a pickleball game, you must avoid touching the net or the net posts with your body or your racket while the ball is in play.
Another thing a player should avoid is hitting the ball out of order (e.g., hitting the ball before their partner has had a chance to hit it).
Lastly, should not intentionally distract your opponents while the ball is in play. Violating any of these rules will result in a fault, and the opposing team will be awarded a point.
Should You Stand in the Kitchen Area on Defense?
In order to stand in the kitchen area to defend, there are a variety of factors to consider. These include the player’s skill level, the opponent’s skill level, and overall strategy.
Standing in the kitchen area can be a good defensive strategy if you are comfortable hitting groundstrokes from this part of the court. This can help you neutralize your opponent’s volleys and force them to hit more difficult shots.
However, standing in the kitchen also exposes you to the risk of getting hit by a hard-hit shot from your opponent. If you are not comfortable hitting from this part of the court, it may be better to stand further back and give yourself more time to react to your opponent’s shots.
EndNote: What is the Kitchen in Pickleball?
In conclusion, the kitchen in pickleball is a specific area on the court that is within seven feet of the net on either side.
Players are not allowed to make volleys from the kitchen, and standing in this area on defense can be a good strategy for some players as it can force their opponent to hit groundstrokes.
However, standing in the kitchen also has its drawbacks, as it may leave players vulnerable to lobs and overheads and may make it harder to defend against angled shots.
Whether or not to stand in the kitchen on defense ultimately depends on the player’s strengths and the specific situation of the game.