We have gotten several questions lately that relate to when a pickleball point is over. It would seem an obvious, easy question to answer. But let’s look at the rules and then you decide.
Touching the Net
One of our readers’ offered the following scenario:
My paddle touched the net after I returned a ball. However, since the ball had bounced twice on the other side of the court before I touched the net, I didn’t consider this a fault. What do you think?
This would seem to be an easy call as the rulebook states in 7.E: “[A fault is when] A player, player’s clothing, or any part of a player’s paddle touches the net or the net post when the ball is in play.”
However, in this case, the rule clearly limits the offense to “when the ball is in play”. So in this case, he argued that the point was over based on Rule 8.B: “A ball is not declared dead until it has bounced twice or has violated one of the fault rules (See Section 7).” Since the ball bounced twice BEFORE he touched the net, he argued it was not a fault. I have to agree with him. In this case, the pickleball point was over when the ball bounced twice.
Before you get too excited and exclaim, “I knew it wasn’t a fault because I didn’t fall into the NVZ until after the ball bounced twice”…read the rulebook again. Rule 9.c clearly states: “A fault will be declared if, in the act of volleying the ball, the player’s momentum causes the player or anything the player is wearing or carrying to touch the non-volley zone or touch any non-volley line. It is a fault if the player’s momentum causes the player to touch anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including the player’s partner. It is a fault even if the ball is declared dead before the player touches the non-volley zone.“
To my way of thinking, if the player does not re-establish his or her position outside of the non-volley zone after hitting a volley…the pickleball point is not over until the next serve is struck.
What do you think?
Have you encountered situations that cause you to wonder when a pickleball point is over? If so, contact us or use the comment section below. We also want to encourage you to take the time to read the rulebook. It is available free online.