Playing Points

You Make the Call

Summer 2018


Here’s the Scenario:
Team A returns ball high and with backspin. A Ball hit just over net on Team B side then comes back over to Team A side without Team B touching it. The ball then hits Team A player foot before hitting floor. Who gets the fault and why?

It’s a fault on Team B because they did not strike the ball when it was on their side of the court or (as Rule 11.I.1 allows) when it passed the plane of the net back to Team A’s side of the court. It does not matter that it hit Team A’s foot.

Here’s the Scenario:
The ball is in the air. Your partner yells “out.” The ball lands in. However, your opponents stop playing because of the “out” call. What’s the call?

This scenario plays out seemingly all the time on the pickleball courts. Luckily it is explicitly addressed in the pickleball rulebook where it states that calling the ball out before it bounces is considered partner communication. Therefore, the ball can still be played if it lands in.

Rule 6.D.12: While the ball is in the air, if a player yells “out,” “no,” “bounce it,” or any other word to communicate to his or her partner that the ball may be out, it shall be considered player communication only and not considered a line call.

Rule 6.D.12: If an “out” call is made after the ball bounces, it will be considered a line call. The ball will be considered dead and play shall stop. If a player on the receiving ream or the referee upon appeal then indicates the ball was in, it is a fault against the receiving team. Exception: If the match has line judges, the baseline and sideline judges are responsible for the call.