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Is the pickleball spin serve really banned in 2023?


The official rule changes for 2023 by USA Pickleball are now available and have the pickleball community talking. The one-handed, pre-spun serve in pickleball is currently forbidden.

Why was this decision made, and how will this rule adjustment influence a normal pickleball game?

Let’s learn more about the one handed spin serve announcement, its new rules and other associated pickleball rules in this post.

What is a pickleball pre-spun spin serve?

The history of spin serves began in 2022 with the chainsaw serve of Zane Navratil. Nevertheless, the regulation change restricted play to one hand. Eventually, the PPA Tour experimented with pre-serve spin at the professional level.

First, note that the USA Pickleball Rule Book addresses two forms of legal services: the Volley Serve and the Drop Serve.

Rule 4.A.5 deals with the Volley Serve. This proposed rule change will prohibit impart manipulation or spin to the ball BEFORE serving.

Indeed, the 2023 rule change will prohibit pre-spinning the ball before the serve.

We shall refer to the prohibited action all through this post as the “pre-spun serve.”

Before throwing a volley serve, a pre-spun serve in pickleball involves adding spin to the ball using your fingers or hand rotations. Before striking the ball with the paddle, players may pinch the ball to impart excessive spin.

Pre-spin serves make it more challenging for novice players to return since they unexpectedly bounce on the other team’s court.

The USA Pickleball rulebook for 2023 will forbid any ball manipulation or spinning before being struck with the paddle to deliver the serve. Here are some further details:

The one-handed spin serve is no longer permitted by the pickleball rules of 2023. Specifically, while some natural rotation of the ball is fine during any release of the ball from the hand, the server must not apply manipulation or spin to the ball’s release just before the serve. This is true for both volley and drop serves.

According to the USA Pickleball Rules Committee, the following was the justification behind this modification:

  • The serve’s main goal was to start the game rather than to gain an advantage over the opposition;
  • Most competitors are unable to deliver a spin serve that is genuinely effective or to return a decent spin serve;
  • More court space is necessary for effective spin serves so that the recipient has time to respond;
  • Pickleball players who have mastered this are few in number, giving them an unfair edge; and
  • For novice players, the spin serve is extremely lethal.

After a thorough study and voting process, the prohibition of pre spun pickleball serve was included in the rules. Yet, this does not exclude using spin with the paddle when striking the ball.

Pickleball prohibits only pre-spun serves!!!

Understanding More On The Pre Spun Pickleball Serve

To recapitulate, the notion that spin cannot be applied to a serve is not correct. The pickleball rule modifications are limited to spin BEFORE the serve is struck.

One may apply the spin by hitting the ball with the paddle after the ball has been thrown or dropped. As long as all prerequisites for a legal pickleball serve are met, this might take the shape of either top or side spin.

It is hard to legally add backspin to a volley serve since backspin demands a downward strike on the ball. Yet, it’s effective with a drop serve wherein with fewer requirements.

Each form of spin affects the way the ball bounces and its trajectory in the air differently.

Spin is generated depending on the angle and direction of the paddle face when it touches the ball. The friction between the paddle and the ball causes the ball to rotate.

The inclination and velocity of your paddle determines the amount of spin applied when it strikes the ball.

Once you have learned the essential abilities for a successful serve and dink in pickleball, learning spin can help enhance your game, so it is worthwhile to practice!

A Look At The New Volley Serve Rule 

The server must only employ a one-handed spin serve while releasing the ball during the serve. Though some natural rotation of the ball goes intended upon any release of the ball from the hand, the server must not manipulate or impart spin the ball upon release prior to the serve. The referee and the receiver must be able to see the server release the ball. If the referee determines that the ball has been manipulated or spun, or if the ball’s release is not visible, he must call for a reserve.

In tournaments without a referee, the server’s release of the ball must be visible to the receiver. Before the serve, the server shall not impart, manipulate or spin the ball. If the receiver determines that there is manipulation or spin, or if the ball’s release is not apparent, the receiver must immediately request a reserve.

There is also a change if a wrong score is called. Now, in 2023, if the wrong score is announced, you may return or serve to remedy it. In addition, there are service motions, rejection of rally scoring, line calls, and editing modifications.

How Does Pickleball rule changes that prohibit pre-spun serves affect a normal game?

If you seldom face opponents with spin serve, the new regulation will not affect your routine matches.

If your opponents previously employed this style of spin serve, they will no longer do so. And their serves will be more consistent and perhaps simpler to return. As part of their serve, players can provide either topspin or underspin to the ball.

In addition to changes to serve regulations, there are modifications to equipment timeouts also. Players may take equipment time-outs even if the team uses all of its time-outs since they fall under a distinct category. In addition, a new regulation specifies to avoid wearing clothing that is the same as the ball color throughout the game. If you are wearing apparel of the same color, you may need to change.

What The Spin Serve Ban Means for Recreational Play?

The ban on spin serves to achieve more than simply maintaining the same speed of play for singles and doubles. This modification to the pickleball serve rules enables more players of varying ability levels to play effectively together. In sports such as tennis and table tennis, the player with the superior serve might instantly assume control of the match.

But, now that the pre-spin serve has prohibition, both expert and novice players can play more successfully together.

What Pickleball Players Have To Say About The Pickleball Rule Challenges?

Several players support USA Pickleball’s position that outlawing the pre-spun spin serve will keep the sport accessible to novice players. As a result, it will make things fair for everyone and encourage more effective rallies.

Others argue that there has been a prohibition on finger spin serving in table tennis since the 1930s for identical reasons as pickleball, specifically with regards to the small court space, which does not enable enough time to respond to a spin serve.

Some players believe that prohibiting pre-spun serves is essentially a penalty against experienced players who have developed tactics to gain an advantage, only to have the rules amended to prohibit such advantages.

Now, onto the local rules. Individual clubs or tournament directors may choose to prohibit the pickleball spin serve for a variety of reasons.

Thus, it is clear that there are equal arguments and viewpoints for and against this rule modification.


The USA Pickleball rules committee found that the pre-spun serve reduces the game’s accessibility for beginners and casual players. One of the advantages of pickleball is that it’s simple to learn, regardless of age or physical ability.

The game is far more enjoyable when players can engage in longer rallies. Making it harder to return serves contradicts this objective.

As per USA Pickleball, in line with the game’s original intent, you should not use the serve to score, but rather to begin play. Yet, various players have various views on this new rule of the ban of this type of pickleball spin serve.

There is still plenty of potential for players to be inventive with their serves, and there is little doubt that the audience will continue to create more competitive strategies.

This is exactly what makes pickleball such an interesting activity to take part in. We are at the forefront of something that is still fresh and developing.

What are your opinions on this new rule prohibiting pre-spun serves in pickleball? Do you acknowledge this rule amendment?

Have you ever faced an opponent with a spin serve? How did it impact your performance? Let us know your views of the spin serve!

Also, now that you’re familiar with the most up-to-date pickleball regulations in 2023, it is time to keep on playing the fastest growing sport in the nation and making pickleball and the pickleball community stronger than before.