You Make the Call!
Here’s the Scenario:
You’re dinking with your opponents and they swing you out wide. You hit a shot that goes around the post (not over the net) and is just 2 inches above the ground. The ball lands in and your opponents cannot hit it. What’s the call?
If you’re an avid pickleball player, you likely remember the adrenaline rush from your first successful ATP — “Around the Post” shot. When properly executed, the average rec player without comprehensive knowledge of the pickleball rules would likely deem it illegal. After all, the ball doesn’t travel over the net and — because the ball is often hit low to the ground — is more-often-than-not unreturnable. However, similar to tennis, a shot around the net post is, indeed, legal.
The Around-the-Post Shot is Surprisingly Simple to Execute!
The “around-the-post” opportunity frequently presents itself in pickleball during sharp-angle dink rallies when the ball can be struck beyond the sideline. Look for those opportunities. You’ll likely be surprised how easy it can be executed during these sharp angle dink rallies. It’s not only an effective shot, but it’s also a fist-pumping shot when properly executed. Please let me know in the comments below if you have successfully made an around-the-post shot. I would love to hear your story. In the meantime, here is the official ruling from the 2019 International Federation of Pickleball Official Tournament Rulebook with respect to pickleball shots around the net post.
2019 International Federation of Pickleball — Official Tournament Rulebook
Shots Around the Net Post. A player may return the ball around the outside of the net post.
The ball does not need to travel back over the net.
There is no restriction on the height of the return, so a player may return the ball around the net post below the height of the net.
Need More Pickleball Rules Clarifications & Interpretations?
Please reference our pickleball rules page and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so that you receive additional pickleball rules clarifications and interpretations for many of the common — and not-so-common — scenarios that happen on the pickleball courts. By subscribing to the newsletter you will also receive pickleball tips, strategies, tournament recaps, and more.