A Few More Questions Have Come in About Line Calls

“Code of Ethics” for Line Calls in Pickleball

  1. Only make line calls on your side of the pickleball court and always strive for accuracy.
  2. Only call ‘”out” balls when space is clearly visible between the line and where the pickleball lands.
  3. Call “out” ball promptly.
  4. Use voice and/or hand signals to call “out” balls.
  5. Give the benefit of doubt to your opponents.
  6. If you and your partner disagree, then the ball is “in”.
  7. Spectators should not make any line calls, especially if this is at a match.
  8. Do not question opponents’ line calls unless there is a referee.
  9. You may ask your opponents to make a line call (but then you give up your right to make the call and, if you opponents cannot make the call, the call is automatically ruled “in”.
  10. AN “out” call prior to the pickleball bouncing will be deemed partner communication and not a line call.
  11. You may overrule a line call that is to your disadvantage (and in favor of your opponents) at any time.

We Are Just Beginners, What Are The Rules?

Well, that is a good question, but could require a long answer. Let’s start with a few basic rules and then you can build on these.

10 Must Know Pickleball Rules

  1. The serve must be underhand.
  2. Both the serve and the return of serve must bounce.
  3. The first side to serve in doubles pickleball only has one serve: then, each side has two serves.
  4. Only the serving team can score points, and the serving team switches side of the court after each point won.
  5. The serve must call the score loudly before each serve.
  6. No volleys are allowed in the Non-Volley Zone (also known as the Kitchen).
  7. Shots after the pickleball bounces are allowed in the Non-Volley Zone.
  8. Shots on the lines of the pickleball court are generally “in”, with one exception – the Non-Volley Zone line on the serve (because it is considered part of the Non-Volley Zone).
  9. “Out” calls are made by the pickleball players on the side of the pickleball court where the pickleball bounces.
  10. If the pickleball hits you, then you lose the rally.

The #1 Move to AVOID in Pickleball

Court Sign-up

If you are not using a court you reserved, remember to delete your sign up.  Folks are complaining about empty courts that are reserved.  Your friends are also trying to organize a time to play.

Participating in Events

Events are planned based on your committed registration. If you cannot make this commitment for the full 1.5 hours due to scheduling or for health reasons, please cancel your registration.

Hey, Al, What Did Bob Say About The Pickleball Ten Commandments?

Good question, one Bob spoke these divine words:

  1. Thou shalt have no other sport before it. Thou shalt not make for thyself a softball diamond, a football field, a basketball court, a ski run, an ice-hockey rink or any likeness of any sport that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not admire them or train for them; for Pickleball is a jealous sport, punishing for generations those who confuse it with tennis but showing steadfast improvement to those who love it and keep its commandments.
  2. Thou shalt not curse thy opponent nor hold him in contempt for placing the ball out of thy reach; neither shalt thou blaspheme thy partner for missing the shot down the middle, which was clearly his forehand.
  3. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it fun. six days you practice, and do all your drills; but the seventh day is an amusement day to Pickleball; in it thou shalt not beat thyself up nor allow thy sons or daughters or spouses or the new person who joined the Church just this week to force feelings of inadequacy upon you; for, while for six days Pickleball may have handed thee thine buttocks upon a platter, it has blessed the sabbath day and made it blissful.
  4. Honor thy coach and his spouse, that your invitations to return may be plentiful.
  5. Thou shalt not kill the pickleball either by striking it too high and thus sending it to the neighbor’s yard or too low and propelling it mightily into the net; for the pickleball is a marshmallow and must be dinked with softness and suppleness and, above all, self-control.
  6. Thou shalt not commit schadenfreude; neither openly by shouting “YES!” and pumping thy fist when thy opponent blunders his return, nor in thy heart, nor even in a small, gleeful upturning of the corners of thy mouth.
  7. Thou shalt not poach from thy backhand position.
  8. The shalt not bear false witness against the landing of the ball on the wrong side of the line; neither shalt thou bear ANY witness to its placement if thou be on the other side of the net.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy opponent’s partner. Be thee satisfied with whosoever has been randomly paired with you and communicate often with them.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy opponent’s paddle, or his shoes, or his coordinating clothing ensemble, or his ox or ass, or anything that is your opponent’s. These earthly things will not make purchase of thy game; keep thy head clear, thy feet emancipated, and thy paddle prepared.

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.

Yelling “out” after the ball bounces, on the other hand, is considered a line call that ends the rally.  In this case, the “out” call was made before it bounced. Therefore, the rally continues. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

What Should Be the Height of the Net?

We always hear people complain when their excellent return hits the net and does not make it over, “the net is too high.” Or adversely, you hit the ball, it hits the top of the net and always drops on the other side. Your opponent complains, “the net must be too low.” So what is the correct height?

Pickleball nets should have a height of 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches high in the middle. The top of the net should be covered with a 2 inch wide binding over the net cord. The net posts should be at least one foot outside of the sidelines.

How Long and Wide is a Pickleball Court?

The total playing area is 20 feet x 44 feet. The lines should be 2 inches wide.

Let’s get into a few more specifics.

Non-volley Zone

The non-volley zone (NVZ) is 20 feet wide and 7 feet long. It runs the entire width of the court and measures exactly 7 feet on either side of the net, for a total length of 14 feet. Also called the kitchen, the NVZ should be painted a consistent color on both sides of the net, but usually contrasts slightly with the rest of the pickleball court. 

Left Service Area

The left service area is made up of the left sideline, the baseline, and the centerline. It also sits directly underneath the kitchen, however, the kitchen lines are not considered as part of the service area. Both the left and right service areas measure 10 feet wide and 15 feet long.

Right Service Area

The right service area is made up of the right sideline, the baseline, and the centerline. It measures 10 feet wide and 15 feet long, including lines. 

Both sides of the pickleball court are symmetrical and have the exact same measurements. Similar to tennis, it’s common for competing teams to switch sides of the court during a pickleball match to ensure no team has an advantage due to sun, wind, or other court factors.

Q. After stepping in non-Volley Zone (NVZ) then stepping out of NVZ with one foot can I then step back in to NVZ?

A. Let’s clarify. The kitchen is a non-Volley Zone and it is a more accurate name for the kitchen, so from now on we will refer to the kitchen as the non-Volley Zone (NVZ).

As always, the ball must bounce on your side before you can step into the NVZ. You must get out of the NVZ before you can hit the next ball.

The answer to the question above: This is a foot fault.

From the rulebook: 9. D. If a player has touched the non-volley zone for any reason, that player cannot volley a return until both feet have made contact with the playing surface completely outside the non-volley zone. A maneuver such as standing within the non-volley zone, jumping up to hit a volley, and then landing outside the non-volley zone is prohibited.

Q. Is It Important to Wear Court Shoes When Playing Pickleball

A. Yes, court shoes improves your stability and reduces injury.

It is important to wear court shoes when playing pickleball. They have the right kind of grip for the surface and provide the proper support for the quick movements. Having the right kind of shoes are important for comfort and injury prevention. Most players are going to be using tennis shoes for indoor and outdoor play. The challenge is finding the right court shoes for you.

A. Yes, court shoes improves your stability and reduces injury.

It is important to wear court shoes when playing pickleball. They have the right kind of grip for the surface and provide the proper support for the quick movements. Having the right kind of shoes are important for comfort and injury prevention. Most players are going to be using tennis shoes for indoor and outdoor play. The challenge is finding the right court shoes for you.

If you go to a department store to buy tennis or court shoes, you may be misled. The salesperson may think that a cross trainer or running shoe will suffice but they would be wrong. Many local sporting good stores don’t offer much better advice.

I have found students coming to a lesson in running shoes. They may be comfortable and often they are lighter. However, a running shoe is designed to move forward. It also often has a lip on the side. This design will snag when you make quick lateral movements, causing you to fall. Wearing running shoes when playing pickleball can lead to injury.

Wearing a high-quality court shoe makes it easier to move properly on the court and will minimize your risk of injury.

How Often Should You Replace Your Tennis Shoes? How often should you be buying new shoes? How do you know when it’s time to replace your tennis shoes? Well, one way you can tell is to look at the bottom of your shoe. If you are starting to wear through the different layers of rubber you will be losing traction. You are not going to get as good of a grip out on the court and you may slip. It may be time to go get a new pair of tennis shoes.

There is a rule of thumb on this and it is that, if you play tennis 2 to 3 times a week in one pair of shoes, you probably need a new pair of shoes about every six months. Also, you need to consider if you are walking on the outer or inner edges of the sole. Then you could be wearing out the support your shoe provides.