History of the "Kitchen Zone" in Pickleball
Anyone who plays pickleball knows that the sport is played on a court that is identical to a badminton court... except for one crucial difference. While badminton's short service line or "no volley zone" line is 6 feet 6 inches (198cm) from the net, pickleball's no volley zone line is 7 feet (213cm). Why is the kitchen zone longer in pickleball than in badminton? There's a very simple, unexpected answer to that: It just feels really good.
The answer comes from Dennis Dacey, USAPA rulebook chairman, who explains that "in the first two years of the sport's development, the No Volley oneZ was conceived and the line tried out in various 6-inch (15cm) increments. To At the time, everyone involved agreed that the 7-feet line worked best. It had nothing to do with the badminton line, then or now. Dacey goes on to explain, "You wouldn't believe it, but you would do 6 inches makes a big difference when playing the game with advanced players. The extra 6 inches (15cm) makes it easier to make good drop shots and creates a more balanced playing field with players large and small. While pickleball borrowed the court size from badminton, pickleball is faster and played with a ball that bounces and moves differently than a shuttlecock. So it makes sense that a no volley zone that works perfectly in badminton isn't necessarily ideal for pickleball.
Want to learn more about the history of Pickleball? Watch an interview with Barney McCallum, one of the inventors of this sport, here . The video titled 'Pickleball Barney McCallum Interview' is at the bottom of the page.