What is Pickleball Stacking

What is Pickleball Stacking? How to, Rules & More

Stacking pickleball is the act of placing pickleball paddles and balls on top of each other in a pile. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a quick rundown: it consists of the court being divided into thirds, and then players play in teams, with players “stacking” on top of each other.

The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent by hitting a ball over the net and back into your opponent’s court. It’s getting somewhat popular, because not only does it not require a lot of athletic ability, it can be played just about anywhere.

What is Stacking in Pickleball?

Stacking is a pickleball strategy in which one player, usually the server, begins a rally by hitting a ball that lands in front of the backline—the line that separates the back half of the court from the front half. The receiver then hits the ball over or below the other player’s backline, which forces a backcourt shot and forces the stacker to keep the ball moving forward.

Stacking forces the receiver to shoot the ball over a backline, and since it’s much harder to control a backcourt shot, the receiver will hopefully mishit the shot, allowing his or her opponent to hit the ball into the backcourt, too.

What is Stacking in Pickleball

Pickleball Stacking Rules: Is Stacking Lawful in Pickleball?

“Stacking” is a term that directs to putting two balls into play at once. This can either be done legally, or illegally, depending on whether the player is able legally to put the ball back into play. Legal stacking allows a player to legally put the ball back into play after bouncing it off a paddle, while illegal stacking refers to when a player puts the ball back into play before bouncing it off a paddle.

“Stacking” is when a player gets a tricky number of legal points while the competitor is out of position and is incapable to see the result or react in time. In pickleball, stacking is defined as using your paddle to hit the ball after your opponent has moved his shot to cover the ball.

This serves two purposes:

  1. It prevents your opponent from being able to cover your shot, and
  2. It puts your opponent out of position, or off-balance, when he or she tries to hit your shot.

Why Should You Stack in Pickleball?

The stacking technique can come in handy in certain situations. You can use it to play to your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. You can also choose to stack to confuse your competitors.

  1. You might choose to target a team member who is weak or has a poor backhand.
  2. If your teammate has a strong forehand, you can take advantage of it by positioning yourself in a way that covers more middle ground.
  3. When one player is lefty and the other is right-handed, it can be beneficial to stack them.

The stacking technique will only work if you and your teammate are well-synchronized.

How to Stack in Pickleball? Stacking Strategy

The pickleball ball sits in the center of each pickleball court, which means players often have to “stack” their shots. It’s no coincidence that the word “stacking” rhymes with “backhand.” By stacking the balls, players can deliver a powerful shot by hitting the ball high. However, it’s critical that players understand how to stack their shots correctly.

How to Stack in Pickleball

Stacking Technique During Serve

During serving, it is important to have a good stacking strategy. This means that you should stack the balls in a way that makes it easy for you to reach them. When serving, you move to your right, where your partner is. You both serve on the same side and then switch sides after. This is a universal rule. You should also make sure that the balls are stacked in a way that makes it easy for you to hit them.

Stacking Technique During Return of Serve

The game of pickleball requires good hand-eye coordination and correct ball placement. During return-of-serve in pickleball, players must hit the ball toward the net where their opponents are waiting.

There are basically three ways to hit the ball during the return of serve: the smash, the dink, and the drop shot. The smash is the most powerful of the three and is used when the ball is going to be hit at a high angle, resulting in a high bounce.

The dink is used to hit a ball low to the ground and close to the net, and the drop shot is used when the ball is going to be hit at a low angle, resulting in a low bounce. Since the drop shot has the lowest trajectory, it is commonly used in doubles and triples play.

Full Stacking vs Partial Stacking

If your team elects to stack on every serve and return, that is full stacking. It can give you an advantage, but it can be confusing as it can be difficult to track who should stand where.

If your team is partial to stacking, they may only elect to do so when serving. When serving, you only need to change your position if you have to, but when returning the serve, you can stay in your traditional position.


Stacking is a very useful strategy in pickleball, and when combined with proper blocking techniques, it can be a very effective way of winning a point. A stacking pickleball technique is a backhand shot that lands in front of the net, thereby blocking the hit of an opponent’s return shot.

This technique is useful when a player is serving and the opposing side’s player is returning shortly to that side of the court. Pickleball players use stacking to achieve the maximum distance and improve their strategy and attack.

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