This guide will go over 5 faults in pickleball that you should take very much into account. Pickleball is a fun and challenging sport with a very particular set of rules. Learning how to play it implies becoming familiar not only with the ways in which you can win. It’s also important to become intimate with the moves that you should avoid in order not to lose.
5. The Receiving Team Touches the Ball Before It Hits the Court
One of the most important and essential rules of pickleball is that the ball needs to clear the net before the opposing team can answer it. Another important rule is that, after a serve, the ball needs to bounce on the opposing team’s court before they can answer it.
Players are at risk undermining both these rules whenever a member of the receiving team touches the ball after it cleared the net and before it bounced on their side of the court. As a matter of fact, in order for players to take one as a legal serve, the ball must clearly land on the court surface.
For that reason, interfering with the ball in any way before it completes both steps is clearly a fault. Whenever this happens, the receiving team is at fault. In other words, a point goes to the serving team, no questions asked.
4. Having the Ball Touch Any Permanent Object Before the Court
Out of the 5 faults in pickleball discussed in this guide, this may be the most contentious. Similarly to the last fault explained, this one happens when, during a serve, the ball touches something it is not supposed to before touching the court.
In this particular case, however, what the ball touches is not another player. Instead, this fault happens when the ball touches a permanent object or fixture before hitting the surface of the court. Typically, the objects that the ball can hit to cause this type of fault are things like the ceiling, light fixtures, basketball rims or other gym equipment. For that reason, this fault is most likely to take place when the pickleball game takes place indoors rather than outdoors.
3. Volleying the Ball in the Non-Volley Zone
Without a doubt, volleying the ball in the non-volley zone is the most common of all the 5 faults in pickleball described in this guide. As the name clearly describes, this fault takes place whenever a player hits a volley hit while his or her feet are on the non-volley zone of the court.
To be clear, a volley shot is what happens when a player hits a ball before it has bounced once on their side of the court. After each serve, the ball needs to bounce once on each side of the court before it can be volleyed. After that, the volley shot becomes legal.
However, it can only be performed when the player is not standing in the non-volley zone of the court. Nonetheless, this fault is not limited to the player’s feet. If anything the player is wearing or carrying touches the non-volley zone while performing a volley shot, others are safe to call the fault.
2. Volleying the Ball Before It Is Allowed
Quite simply, this type of fault is referred to as breaking the two-bounce rule. As was just mentioned in this guide of the most common 5 faults in pickleball, there are some conditions that need to be met for a player to produce a volley shot legally.
First of all, everyone has to be standing outside the non-volley zone of the court. Secondly, any player that attempts to hit a volley shot needs to wait until the right time comes for him or her to do so. This time arrives when the ball has bounced at least once on each side of the court after a serve.
If a player hits a volley shot before this has happened, he or she is considered to be at fault. As a result, either the serving team gets a point, or the point is lost and the ball goes to the other team for serving.
1. The Wrong Team Member Making or Returning a Serve
The last of the 5 faults in pickleball described in this article has to do with failing to enact the correct service sequence during a point. The rules of pickleball clearly state the order in which the players on a team should serve or answer serves.
During the first hits of every point, each of the two teams has to take responsibility for the positioning of its teammates as well as the order in which they answer balls. As a result, a fault ensues whenever the wrong player in a team serves the ball.
As if that wasn’t enough, a fault is also called whenever the wrong player in a team answers a serve. In the first case, the serve is lost and it goes to the other team (an action that is also referred to as a side-out). In the second case, however, the fault results in the loss of the point for the team that made the mistake.
Often, it happens that various rallies unravel (and teams earn points) before players recognize a mistake of this kind. However, it is not possible to call out the mistakes made by a team before the last rally. If an error of this type is called out, a fault is given to the offending team regardless of who won the last rally.
At that point, the players on both teams should re-position themselves and regain the correct hitting order. All the prior rallies and points remain just as they were.
After going over this 5 faults in pickleball guide, hopefully, you have a better understanding of what it is that could get you in trouble during a game. Do you think we missed any important pickleball faults? If so, leave a comment down below!