Pickleball Spin Serve Rules 2023-What You Need to Know

I’ve got some news for you! There are new rules coming into play that will have everyone talking. One of the most talked about changes is the ban on the spin serve.

Yes, you heard it right In 2023, the USAPA took a bold step by banning the spin serve in pickleball. This change levels the playing field, ensuring fairness and exciting gameplay for all. Remember, no spin allowed; it’s a whole new game! 

Here I’ll dive into all the details surrounding the new Pickleball Spin Serve Rules for 2023. So grab your paddle and let’s get ready to serve up some knowledge!

The Spin Serve Rule in 2023

One of the most noteworthy changes the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) decided to ban the spin serve in their 2023 rule changes. 

In the past, some players were adept at adding spin to the ball right before serving, making it incredibly challenging for their opponents to predict and return the serve effectively. However, in 2023, this practice is explicitly disallowed.

New Rule: Manipulating the ball to add spin during the release of the ball is not allowed. While some natural rotation of the ball when it is released is acceptable, the server must not intentionally impart manipulation or spin prior to striking the ball to serve. This rule applies to both the volley serve and the drop serve.

Here are some of the key points to remember about the spin serve rule in pickleball in 2023:

  • The server is not allowed to impart any spin on the ball before hitting it.
  • This applies to both the volley and drop serve.
  • If the server is caught imparting spin on the ball, the serve will be ruled illegal.
  • The opponent will get a point and the serve will be replayed.

Pros And Cons Of The Spin Serve In Pickleball


  • I think spin serve can be very difficult to return, especially for amateur players.
  • It can give the server an unfair advantage.
  • It can make the game more strategic and challenging.
  • It can be a lot of fun to try to master.


  • The spin serve can be frustrating for the opponent.
  • It can make the game less fun for some players.
  • It can be difficult for beginners to learn how to do it effectively.
  • It can be illegal in some tournaments.

Whether or not the spin serve is a good thing for pickleball is a matter of opinion. There are valid arguments to be made on both sides of the issue.

Spin In Pickleball Before 2023

The spin serve was first used in pickleball in 2018 by Zane Navratil, a professional pickleball player. He developed a technique called the “chainsaw serve” where he would flick the ball with his pickleball paddle to create a lot of spin.

The spin serve quickly became popular among pickleball players, especially at the higher levels of competition. However, it also began to cause some problems. 

Some players felt that the spin serve was giving the server too much of an advantage, and was making the game less fun for the receiver.

Reasons Behind The Ban

According to Betsy Kenniston, USA Pickleball gave five reasons for banning the pre-spun spin serve: The original purpose of the serve was just to begin play. Most players cannot master hitting or returning a truly effective pre-spun serve.

Effective pre-spun serves to require more court space to allow a receiver to react. Only a number of players have mastered the spin serve, giving them an unfair advantage.

Player’s Opinions About Spin Serve Rule In 2023

USAP players are split on whether or not they support the 2023 changes to rule 4.A.5, which forbids the pre-spun serve. 

Views from players who support the pickleball pre-spun serve ban are that it will make the game more fair and less intimidating for new players.

Since many players spend countless hours practicing and perfecting their spin serves, this rule change may feel like a setback or even unfair. It may take time for them to accept and embrace alternative serving techniques.


With the spin serve taking a back seat in 2023, players will undoubtedly need to adapt their serving techniques. It’s a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity for players to explore new strategies and refine their skills.

So, as you step onto the pickleball court in 2023, keep these rule changes in mind, and let the game continue to be a source of enjoyment, challenge, and camaraderie. 

After all, it’s not just about the rules; it’s about the passion and spirit that drive us to play this fantastic sport.


What’s the impact of the spin serve ban on the future of pickleball?

The impact is ongoing, with differing opinions. Some see greater fairness and inclusivity, while others miss the spin serve’s excitement. The future remains uncertain.

Are there penalties for using a spin serve in 2023?

Yes, using a spin serve results in a fault, granting a point to the opponent and requiring a replay of the serve.

Could the spin serve ever make a comeback in pickleball?

While unlikely in the near term, the future of the spin serve depends on the evolving dynamics and discussions within the pickleball community.



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