Pickleball Magazine 1-3 - Page 20

PICKLEBALL INSTRUCTION

STACKING 101

Tired of being stuck in the same positions ? Want to exploit your team ’ s strengths or cover a weakness ? Your solution is stacking !

WHAT IS STACKING ?
Stacking is a strategy used in pickleball when players on a team are not in traditional positioning and are instead rearranged in order to keep one player on a particular side of the court . Unlike traditional play , the stacking team will start on the same side and then once the serve or return is hit , they shift into the desired positioning .
WHY STACK ? There are a few reasons a team should utilize the stacking strategy :
• Stacking can allow a team to maximize their strengths . For example , if a player has a strong forehand , stacking can be used to keep that player ’ s forehand in the middle . This allows for more forehand poaching opportunities .
• If one of the players is left-handed , stacking can be used to keep both forehands in the middle .
• Stacking can be used to hide a player ’ s weakness ( backhand weakness , for example ).
• Stacking can be used to maximize team mobility . For example , with a right-handed player , the more agile person could be on the ad side in order to cover overheads for the less agile player .
HOW TO STACK ?
First , it is important to understand traditional positioning . Traditional player positions are when the players on each team start with a player on the ad side and a player on the deuce side . The serving team rotates back and forth when they score . The returning team players stay on their respective ad and deuce sides .
Diagram 1 : Traditional positioning . Players A and B are the serving team and C and D are returning . In this example , Player A is the first server and is serving to player D . All players are in traditional positioning . On both teams , there is a player starting on the ad ( right-hand ) side and a player on the deuce ( left-hand ) side . As long as Players A and B are the serving team , they will rotate sides after each point they score . On the returning side , Players C and D will not rotate while they continue to be the returning team and their score stays the same .
Stacking on Serve
When stacking on serve , you usually see both players start on the same side ( ad or deuce ) and then one player will slide over to the open side .
Diagram 2 : Stacking on Serve . Players A and B are the stacked serving team and Players C and D are returning in traditional positioning .
In this example , the serving team or Players A and B are stacked and are trying to move Player A to the ad side . Unlike traditional positioning , both Players A and B are starting the point on the deuce side . After serving , Player A will shift to the right side or ad side . Since Player A is the first server , the team will be stacked when their score is odd but will be in traditional positioning when their score is even . This will allow Player A to always be on the ad side after the serve and Player B to always be on the deuce side .
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