How to win in pickleball using stacking (or what the pros are doing)

How to win in pickleball using stacking (or what the pros are doing)

September 14, 2018 0 Comments

What is stacking?

When you position yourselves as a team to get your stronger player’s forehand or backhand in the middle of the court.

Why should you use it?

You want to maximize the strength of your team.  If you have a stronger forehand or backhand, you want to focus on your best stroke and not your weaker one.  For example, you can highlight your forehand and hide your backhand.

Click here to learn more in-depth stacking advice for serving and returning of serves.

What does it look like?

One player moves to the other side of the court so that both players are on the same side for serving and returning.  After the ball is in play, the player moves back to their regular position.

When stacking on a serve, both players start on the same side and then one player will slide over to the open side.

When stacking on a return, both players will start on the same side with the returning player at the baseline and the non-returning player next to the kitchen line.  The returner will cross-over to the opposite side while the other player slides into the volley position near the kitchen. 

If the score is even, the person on the team that started the game must return from the deuce side.  If the score is odd, it's from the ad side. 

Sounds great, but is it legal?

Yes, the rules for pickleball mandate which player must hit the serve and return of serve and which side of the court they must be on.  They don’t say:

  1. Where your partner must stand
  2. Who must hit a shot once the serve and return are hit
  3. Where on the court a shot must be hit from once the serve and return are hit

How to play against teams that stack

Play the same way you always do.  You may be able to catch them off guard when they are on the move.  Continue to hit the ball deep in the court and aim in between the players.

Items to remember

  • If you start in the wrong position on the serve or return, you will lose the point
  • Return stacking requires more running to get the returning player in the right position
  • You can use this strategy the entire game or sprinkle in at different times
  • Be sure to practice with your partner before you incorporate into your tournament play

Want to learn more about serving and returning of serves?  Our newest course, Serving for Gold is available

Click here to learn more:  Serving for Gold

As always, feel free to forward this to a friend!

Good luck on the court,



Quick Pickle- For the Love of Pickleball

© Quick Pickle 2018

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