Ever heard someone disagree about a non-volley zone foot fault? Look no further! This fun video is the most complete 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!

Read the kitchen rules for yourself by checking out the Official USAPA rulebook, Section 9, at www.usapa.org/ifp-official-rules.

And to further clarify the rules, check out the rulebook changes at www.usapa.org/rulebook-changes.

Additional pickleball resources can be found at the USAPA website at ‪www.usapa.org

==========  WATCH ANOTHER GREAT VIDEO  ==========

pickleball_411_pbcCheck out this hilarious video we created to answer the most frequent questions we’ve gotten about the kitchen.  At some point every pickleball player has had to clarify the unique rules that surround the non-volley zone, or kitchen.  Watch Alex Hamner and Jennifer Lucore, two top pickleball pros, and Rusty Howes of Pickleball Channel, demonstrate in a fun and fanciful way exactly what you can do with this part of the court.  Knowing these details will help improve your game and get to that ball faster!  Enjoy this video now as they debunk in high-spirited fashion the three most common myths of the kitchen!

Pickleball Channel is powered by the wonderful support of our friends and partners, Hyland’s Leg Cramps. You can also learn more about our partners at hylands.com/products/hylands-leg-cramps

Stay here to watch more #pickleballvideos!  #pickleball


  1. enjoyed the video. learned that when in kitchen must retreat and establish both feet out of kitchen before volleying. Now here is a wild question. never seen it but very interesting ..my opponent.has been pulled off the court wide and hits ball back on court down the line but around outside of post before ball lands in play.can anticipate this predictable return and step off the court in the alley and cut off the shot before in lands back on courts ..my return shot is on the court and play resumes SO in review my opponent has hit the ball one bounce while off the court I am also off the court and cut off his curving ball heading onto the court and I too hit the ball while off the court.((to make things more complicated can I be parallel to kitchen area on my side of court???????????

    • Hi Scott – great shots! And all good even though you’re off the court when they’re made. It’s similar to standing behind the baseline and returning serves or other shots – just in your scenario you’re off to the side rather than the back. Just don’t hit the ball if you’re not on your side of the net 🙂

  2. Great summary and examples. One you didn’t cover is that some players think the ball has to bounce IN the NVZ to be okay to enter the NVZ. You correctly said the ball must bounce; but some folks will add ‘in the Kitchen’ in their head.


    • Glad you like it George! Watch the “3 Myths…” video that is referenced with this video where the “when is it okay to enter the kitchen” question is answered. Have fun!

  3. All good points ! But, good luck getting anyone to call the violation on themselves ? Defending teams too busy chasing the ball to watch opponents feet.

    Also, still some bray area on what constitutes ” momentum ” ?

  4. Nice video. I have a question regarding the play around the 4 minute mark of the video. The guy hits a volley and his momentum begins to carry him into the kitchen, the opponent returns his shot, his partner hits a volley, the opponent hits it into the net, then the guy steps into the kitchen. At what point can you step back into the kitchen? I would have thought this is a legal play, maybe once his partner hits a shot?

  5. 2018 RULES, 9.B.1 A fault will be declared if, in the act of volleying the ball, a player or anything THE PLAYER TOUCHES THE NON-VOLLEY ZONE.
    A paddkle that falls from a player’s hand is no longer “contacting” the player w3hen it lands in the on-volley zone, so how can it be consid3red a fault?

  6. OOPS! Rule 9.B.1 Should Read: A fault will be declared if, in the act of volleing the ball, a player or anything the player touches the non-volley zone.

  7. For some reason, what I type is being modified. I will try once more.
    Rule 9.B.1. SHOULD READ: A fault will be declared if, in the act of volleying the ball, a player or anything CONTACTING the player touches the non-volley zone.
    Now go back and read my original comment!

  8. It really is The Most Complete Non-Volley Zone Video EVER! Great job guys…I am going to suggest to all 72 instructors in The Villages (FL) Beginner Pickleball program to encourage our students to watch this. Well done!

    • Thanks Rob! It took a ton of work and Rusty wrote and re-wrote the script over and over again and kept polishing until the very end. We think it paid off. We love to hear encouragement and knowing people are using the videos we make to improve the sport of pickleball. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Jim Mayall sighting!

  10. Great video, THANKS! I forwarded the video to our local team of players and received feedback that questioned one of the fault scenarios.
    Official rule 9.B states: “A fault will be declared if, in the act of volleying the ball, a player or anything contacting the player touches the non-volley zone”. Objects that fall from the player are not in contact with the player. How is that a fault?

    • Hi Tony! Thanks for checking in and we have heard this question from others as well. The first part to understand is that the rule defines volleying as including the momentum created from volleying. The idea of being able to control your body and the objects in contact with your body is also an important part of the rule. If you are in the act of volleying and you are not able to control the objects on your body from falling into the NVZ then it’s a fault if the object touches the NVZ. The objects falling from the player are only falling from the player because of the momentum created in the act of volleying. And since momentum is part of the volley, the object is included in the fault because it was contacting the player. Hope this helps!

  11. Thanks Meredith. I had an inkling that momentum was the gotcha on the object falling in NVZ scenario. 11.H also corroborates end of play:
    11.H. Items on the Court. If any item a player is/was wearing or carrying lands on his/her side of the court, unless the item lands in the non-volley zone as a result of a volley, the ball remains in play even if it hits the item.
    Thanks again for the reply, and for the excellent video!

  12. Enjoy your videos. Have question not covered in this latest video. You are about to hit a hard volley and standing close to the kitchen. You realize you may fall in the kitchen and ask partner to hold you before you make contact with the ball (assuming they are close to you. Would having them hold you before hitting the volley be legal? Thanks.

    • Having your partner help hold you is not illegal no matter when it happens. There is no specific timeline in the rules about that. Thanks for watching.

  13. I have a question. Can a person have momentum after volleying, and take Two steps after hitting the ball and step in the kitchen?

    • Hi Conrad, thanks for watching! And NO, if you hit a volley and your momentum takes you into the kitchen, it’s a fault. Doesn’t matter if it’s one step or several steps. Keep loving pickleball!

  14. Hello again. I watch this video many times just for the enjoyment and the presentation. Just two things to point out: Video does not include touching the net when volleying in the kitchen, and a player can step into the kitchen after hitting a ball that bounces outside the NVZ. But is beneficial to get back out in case the opponent returns to you quickly. Thanks for all your videos.

    • Hi John! I love how you keep re-watching this video
      We didn’t cover touching the net because doing so is an infraction regardless of whether the ball bounces or not. It has nothing to do with kitchen violations as the net is its own animal.
      Also, your other situation is absolutely true, and is effectively covered in the related video where we bust 3 kitchen myths, but since no infraction is committed we didn’t cover it in this video!

  15. Hi. Have watched this video for fun many times. Just noticed that Jennifer returned a volley from Alex into the net and stepped in the NVZ before the gentleman lost his balance and fell in the NVZ. Shouldn’t the fault be on Jennifer since she faulted first? Thanks.

    • Hello again John!! The fault is on Jim because he never regained control after his volley, which occurred prior to Jennifer’s volley. So even after the rally was over (when Jennifer hit the ball in the net) Jim lost the point because of his momentum. Hope that clears up your question! Now sees only one more thing to do, and that’s … go play!

  16. Hi, It’s me again. Have a question another player and I debated yesterday. You have a foot in the NVZ and a ball is hit to you and bounces just outside the NVZ. You return the ball off of a bounce with foot still in NVZ. I said it was legal. What’s the call?

    • John, you crack me up. You know you’re right, you just need affirmation for your friend. So you got it! If it’s not a volley, it’s not a problem.

  17. Hello Alex and thanks for the affirmation. Yes, knew I was right, but some folks think the NVZ is strictly for when a bounce occurs inside NVZ and some also don’t know you can momentum in NVZ if ball bounces outside NVZ. Now the proof in the pudding.

  18. Great video. Seeing examples really helps. My question is : if a gust of wind blows my cap into nvz after a volley, is that a fault. My feet etc were still behind . Thanks!

    • Hey Ed, thanks for watching and thinking up obscure “what-ifs” to test the boundaries! I suppose you could try the argument “it was the wind, not my momentum” but since you had just got a volley you need to maintain control of yourself and your belongings. So I’m going with FAULT! (I actually almost had that happen to me at US Open – super windy on center court and my visor flew off while I was at the NVZ. With things happening so quickly up there I don’t know if I had just hit a volley or not, but I got lucky and caught my visor and kept playing with it in my hand! So that’s what I recommend – just catch it and you’ll avert the potential fault ‍♀️

    • Oh, and Ed, I think Meredith covers your question with her response on March 19.

  19. Hi again Alex. Quick question. I know that hitting a volley and dropping paddle in NVZ is a fault. What if the paddle is dropped in NVZ after hitting a bounced ball? Can paddle be quickly retrieved and play continue? Thanks.

    • Hi John! If the last ball you hit was not a volley, there can be no kitchen violation. So pick your paddle up and be ready cuz the next ball should be coming your way!

  20. Thanks Alex. My pickleball family here in Emporia, Va YMCA appreciate your affirmations on these situations. Our local tourney is this Saturday 9am. Men’s dbl’s, Women’s dbls, and Mixed. I am in both. Will focus on quote from Jennifer’s video, “Give me the ball !”.

  21. Hi Alex, Been a while since Feb 4th. I remember on one of your replies to someone that you liked ‘what if’s’. This one is not in the USAPA rule as a possible exception. Here is one that has occurred 3 times this past week at our local Y. 2019 rule 11.L.5.c involves an incident when the ball is struck during play and rolls gently over the net down onto and hits the horizontal bar. My question is: When the ball hits the bar and bounces enough for a player to return off one bounce, can the play continue? Or is the play considered dead when the ball hits the bar and called a ‘let’? Thanks and look forward to your reply.

    • Hey John! The real problem here is that you’re playing with a temporary net Find a real court to play on!!
      However, to answer your question … 11.L.5.b states that if the ball hits the bar (or center base) after crossing the net then a let is played. Doesn’t matter what the ball does after hitting the bar, a re-do is appropriate. The rule you referenced, 11.L.5.c, is the exception to that situation – if it’s a serve and the ball hits the bar then it’s a fault.
      Now, go PLAY!

  22. Hi Alex, Thanks for the reply. Glad to have you back on the NVZ. Just wanted to clarify the possibility of continued play which you have done. One of the players asked. Play well @Texas Open if you are entered.

  23. You show a fault when standing outside the nvz and paddle hits nvz before hitting volley. But if both feet are outside nvz why is this not considered the same as when a foot goes in nvz and then both feet establish position outside nvz before hitting volley?

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