You Make the Call!
Here’s the Scenario:
You serve the ball and the served ball hits the receiver’s partner. Fault? What’s the call?
Don’t Interfere with the Flight of the Ball When Returning Serve — Neither Intentionally Nor Unintentionally!
You tend to see this occur from time-to-time on the pickleball courts, particularly in rec play. And, unfortunately, most of the time — without proper knowledge of the appropriate pickleball rules — a fault is incorrectly called. The scenario is this: The ball is served — and hits (or is sometimes caught by) the receiver or partner of the receiver. They may have been inadvertently hit — or they may have consciously caught the served ball because it was “clearly going to land outside of the service box.” As the following excerpt from the 2019 International Federation of Pickleball Official Rulebook clearly states, however, interfering with the flight of the ball on the serve results in a point for the serving team.
What if Receiver or Receiver’s Partner was Standing Out-of-Bounds?
As a follow-up, I’m often asked, “what if the receiver — or receiver’s partner — was standing out-of-bounds when they were hit?” Plain-and-simple, it doesn’t matter where the receiver — or receiver’s partner — was standing. They could have been standing 10 feet out-of-bounds when they were hit. They could have been standing on another court when they were hit. 🙂 It is still a point for the serving team.
2019 International Federation of Pickleball — Official Tournament Rulebook
Receiver Faults. It is a fault against the receiving team resulting in a point for the server if:
The receiver or the receiver’s partner is touched by or interferes with the flight of the ball before it bounces.
[A Fault will be declared for the following]… A live ball that is stopped by a player before it becomes dead. Example: catching or stopping a ball in flight before it makes contact with the court.
Would Love to Hear your Story!
I would love to hear your story. Please comment below if this scenario has ever happened to you. Did you replay the point because you weren’t sure what to do? Did you call a fault on the serve? Or did you correctly award the point to the serving team?
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