Pickleball Guides

What Is a Non-Volley Zone in Pickleball? – Here’s All You Need to Know

What Is a Non-Volley Zone in Pickleball
Written by Alex

Pickleball is a fun and recreational sport that has everyone around head over heels and it’s pretty evident the popularity of this sport isn’t stopping anytime soon. But then again, considering the appealing core mechanics and thrilling adventures this game takes you on, it goes without saying how addicting it can get.

But when it comes to getting into this sport, I have seen many players complain and even scratch over the logic of “Non-volley Zone” since that’s a game mechanic you won’t see elsewhere in other contrasting sports.

So What Is Non-Volley Zone In Pickleball? And what exactly is its significance in the sport you may ask? Well, let’s dive down below.

What Is a Non-Volley Zone In Pickleball?

As the name suggests, a Non-volley zone is an area in the court that restricts a player from hitting shots directly in the air when they are standing in that area. If you aren’t aware of the court zones, allow me to demonstrate various areas in the court.

Various Zones In The Pickleball Court

A pickleball court, in general, is around 44 feet in length and is 20 feet broad. The length and width of the court remain the same regardless of the format that it is played in i.e. Duos and singles. 

The court, itself is then divided into two segments which assign each team an equal space to be used as their playing field. Since both of these segments are equally divided, each team gets 22 feet of length on their side.

However, in those 22 feet of playing surface, there is a special zone that is otherwise known as the “Non-Volley Zone” or Kitchen which measures up to 7 feet in length and prohibits a player from hitting a ball in the air when stepping into that specific zone.

This zone is located near the net which hangs at a 34-inch height at the center while being 36 inches at the side posts, the net is located at the middle point, where the court is usually divided into two segments.

Keep in mind that each segment is then divided into two blocks, which assigns each player in a team their respective space, measuring up to 10 feet in length, however, this measurement is irrelevant once the team plays in the single format as players from each team can now use full 20 feet surface width of the court. 

Regardless of the settings, all of the players are liable to comply with the 7-foot range of the “Non-Volley Zone” or kitchen as long as they are standing in it.

Lastly, if a player does violate the volley zone while standing in this specific zone, their team would loose a point eventually resulting in fault.

What Is The Purpose Of Non-Volley Zone?

Non-volley zone has quite a major significance in this sport and without it, the game would be pretty much non-playable. Since there is more than one purpose of this specific zone, in order for you to better understand its significance, I have subdivided each use case down below.

1. Removing One-Sided Factor

Nobody likes to be hammered whenever they are caught in a rough spot, if you barely have a clue what I am talking about, then imagine a player that is standing near the net that is smashing the ball whenever it makes its way across the court.

For another player that is located on the other side of the court, this form of strategy is pretty much a nightmare especially if they aren’t really proficient in this game. 

Non-Volley Zone or kitchen prevents players from abusing this strategy so they can move around the court and execute other forms of executions which are much more forgiving, making the game quite fair and seamless.

2. Encourages Rallies

The beauty of pickleball lies in the rallies of the game, smashing the ball upfront is frowned upon because it takes the essence of the game, rallies, and groundstrokes on the other hand, allow you to prepare and strategize according to the situation. 

In other words, players are encouraged to partake in plenty of other ways to score points, which makes the game much more interesting. This also makes the game much more rounded as players are required to utilize finesse rather than relying on cheap tricks to overcome their opponents.

3. Interest Factor

Sometimes you have to create a spectacle for the viewers watching your game and since pickleball is all about showing your nature as a gentleman, performing mind-blowing strategies and executing shots like lobs, dinks, Drives, and ernies will create an environment much more cheerful and you will be seen as a player that is quite proficient in this sports. 

If it wasn’t for the Kitchen or Non-Volley zone, the game would be pretty much concluded in around 5 minutes at tops, making the sports sound and look much more boring and dull.

To add a unique twist and increase addiction, the Non-volley zone is seen as a dynamic that slows down the pace of the game so that it stays and aligns with the original core principle of the game which was meant to be recreational.

Why Is It Called Kitchen?

As you may have noticed, this specific zone that ranges up to 7 feet is also often called a Kitchen for a whole lot of reasons, however, nobody is certain about the logic of such a term. Although, there are a few theories bubbling around which are listed below.

1. It’s A Hot Zone!

Every building has a kitchen, whether it is your grandma baking you a cake after you visit her in summer or a restaurant where the chef is present that is overlooking the cuisine. Regardless of the situation, you are supposed to respect the place and cannot run around causing a mess, it’s a place of discipline where reckless behavior isn’t welcomed. 

Henceforth, this is where Pickleball attained its special zone terminology as you cannot run around smashing balls while staying close to the net.

2. Shuffleboard Theory

If you haven’t heard of the game shuffleboard, you may be astounded to know that this extracurricular activity also has its own kitchen zone, where players are supposed to use cues to push a weighted disc that lets the puck slide down to the kitchen zone so that they could score a point. The resemblance allows players to share the same terminology used for the zone that is deemed special in this sport.

Final Word

Ultimately, it goes without saying that Kitchen Or Non-volley Zone is not just a rule for a 7-foot zone in the court of pickleball but it also acts as a unique core mechanics that change the dynamics of the sports, allowing players to execute different strategies rather than sticking to one that could nullify the essence of the sports and make it much more boring.

Moreover, it also makes the game much more enjoyable and failure to follow the rule will result in consequences as your team will lose points. So, make sure you are mindful of this zone and play accordingly while enjoying each session to its maximum capacity, after all the end goal is to have fun.

Enjoy Your Game.

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

Leave a Comment