Though the rules of pickleball are quite clear, players are often seen asking the question; can paddle touch net in pickleball?
Pickleball is a truly exciting game that can leave you biting your nails and jumping off your spectator seat all the same time. Imagine how exhilarating the game must be for the players when it’s causing so much excitement and impatience among the spectators? The game is rather simple, with the rules set out clearly. But at times, players are declared at fault when they don’t really know what they did wrong. Most of the time, it’s the paddle touching the net.
When you’re playing pickleball, the paddle shouldn’t touch the net. Let alone the paddle, any part of the player’s body or the player’s clothing shouldn’t touch the net. Even the slightest contact with the net will put you at fault, and you might lose the serve, and your opponent will gain a point.
Pickleball is a very simple game to understand. Even the beginners can quickly get hold of the game. As for the seasoned players, pickleball can get really heated up into a fierce competition. It’s a fun sport that brings together badminton, tennis, and Ping-Pong elements. It’s a paddle game that’s played on a Badminton-sized court. It’s played with a Wiffle ball that’s the size of a baseball. That’s how pickleball is a fusion of 3 different games. It can be played both indoors and outdoors and is enjoyed by people of all ages and all skill levels. This is one of the many reasons why pickleball is so popular.
Pickleball looks very easy, and it is too, but there are some important rules that not many people are aware of, which cost them penalties. We’ve seen people lose pickleball games on blunders as small as the paddle touching the net. Our point is; that no fault in this game is too small or unimportant, which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with pickleball rules.
How is Pickleball Played?
Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. The players are positioned on either side of the net. There’s a No-Volley Zone on either side of the net that’s 7 feet long on both sides. The players on both sides of the net have to allow the ball to bounce once before they’re allowed to volley.
The first short must be placed off of the bounce. It means that the receiver should allow the serve to first bounce before hitting it with their paddle, and the server must allow the returned serve to first bounce before playing it. The ball can then be played off the bounce or volleyed after these 2 bounces have been successfully completed.
The serve is made diagonally. It should start with the service square on the right hand, and the sides should alternate with every serve. The server mustn’t step into the No-Volley Zone; otherwise, they’ll be at fault.
The server continues to serve the ball till they make a fault. When a fault is made, the serve is transferred to the opponent. The first side to score 11 points, with a lead of at least 2 points, wins the game.
Can Paddle Touch Net in Pickleball?
The paddle shouldn’t touch the net in pickleball. This is one of the most important and often overlooked rules of the game. You won’t even know when you touch the net and when you do, you’ll lose the serve, and the opponent will gain a point.
According to the game’s rules, the player’s paddle shouldn’t touch the net or even the net post when the game is in play. The paddle and any part of the player’s body or clothing shouldn’t touch the net.
The moment it does, you’ll lose the rally, and your opponent will get the benefit. The chances of the paddle of the player touching the net (even a little bit) are quite high when you’re returning the ball that’s extremely close to the net, but that’s where your test lies; how strategically you play the ball without touching the net!
Some Lesser-Known Pickleball Rules
Just like not many people are aware of the rule that their paddle shouldn’t touch the net during the game, there are plenty of other rules that most beginners aren’t aware of. If you want to get better in the game and improve your chances of winning, it’s extremely important that you familiarize yourself with all the pickleball rules.
Serving as the first step of the game is the most important. Not many people are aware of the serving motion rule. According to the serve motion rule, the serve should always be underhand, and the paddle should always be below the waist level. Both the server’s feet should be behind the backline at the time of serving. It’ll be considered a fault if the paddle level is above the waist.
As long as no fault in serving is made, the server will continue to serve. When there’s a fault, the service will be granted to the opponent.
According to another serving rule, the player’s arm should move in an upward arc. The paddle head should be below the waist level when the player strikes the ball. This is the underhand serve. Many people often hit the ball above the waist level and even slice down on the ball, but all of these practices are incorrect, and they might become the reason for you losing a tournament that’s being conducted in a sophisticated and professional setting.
Most beginners don’t know that they’re bound by a time when it comes to making the serve. While you may assume that it’s okay to take your time to decide the strategy of your serve, in reality, you’ve got only 10 seconds.
Under the 10-seconds rule, the server and receiver both have got only 10 seconds after the score is called to serve the ball or be ready to serve. It’s the responsibility of the server to ensure the receiver is ready for the serve.
Most players serve in less than 10 seconds but did you know the clock’s ticking while you tie the shoelace or take a quick water break? If you take longer than 10 seconds to ready yourself to make or receive the serve, the referee can give out a warning. If you continue delaying the serve, your opponent will get the point.
In case you really need a break, you’ve got to call out for a time-out. A single time-out can last for as long as 1 minute, and each player (or team in case of doubles) gets 2 time-outs. You can’t call a time-out if the serve has been made or the server has already gotten into the serving motion.
Everything you do during the pickleball game counts, even if it’s something as small and insignificant as calling out to someone loudly or stamping your feet. Well, all of these actions are considered distractions as they may distract the opponent when they’re preparing for the serve motion or playing the ball.
The rules are clear in this regard. The players shouldn’t stamp their feet or yell or do anything that can distract the opponent while the game is in order. Not only are the players told not to make any distracting noises, but they shouldn’t ever wear or carry anything that might cross the plane of the net.
When you’re playing doubles, you’ve got to be extremely careful about your volume when communicating with your teammate. If you’re too loud and the referee thinks that it distracted the opponent, they may call an earlier rally, and it won’t be in your favor.
Non-Volley Zone Rules
The Non-Volley Zone, as we’ve already explained, is the 7 feet long zone on both sides of the net. There are some strict rules relating to this zone. The player can’t enter this zone while they’re volleying the ball. The player and even the player’s paddle and clothing shouldn’t touch this zone. In case it does, it’ll be considered a fault.
The players can only enter the Non-Volley zone when they haven’t hit the ball or aren’t about to hit the ball as a volley. The players can also jump over this zone to reach the out-of-bounds area of the court when they’re volleying.
No matter how small or unimportant they may appear, not complying with the rules will cost you. You’ll lose the rally, and your opponent might score a point.
About THE AUTHOR
Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.Read More About Michael Stevens