Please indulge me momentarily as I get something off my chest. Many will likely roll their eyes – but the fact is, it bothers me. I mean it really bothers me. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves on the pickleball courts. My guess is it happens 30% of the time – it’s likely even more frequent than that.
Selecting the “Perfect” Ball Prior to the Match
Prior to starting a pickleball rec game with your foursome, as a group you will likely spend considerable time meticulously inspecting and “negotiating” for the “best” pickleball available. You’re likely looking for a ball that has a little zip – but not too much as to render the dinks and short game ineffective. You will likely squeeze four or five balls – and pick the “perfect” one for the match – one that will satisfy the playing styles and preferences for all four players.
Hitting the Ball into the Adjacent Court
And then, the unthinkable happens. You hit the ball into an adjacent court. However, instead of retrieving the ball that just came flying onto their court – that “perfect” ball that your foursome spent so much time testing and negotiating for – one of the well-intentioned players from this neighboring court tosses you the ball that they have been playing with. Egad! So now, both your court and this neighboring court are playing with different balls – balls that will come off the paddle differently, bounce differently and just feel differently.
What Do You Do?
So what does one do? Here’s what I do — especially if we’re in the middle of a 9-9, knock-down-drag-out match: I toss the ball back to them and ask them for the original ball we were playing with. And I’m pretty sure my request generates eye-rolls!
Who else feel my “pain?” Or perhaps you have a different pet peeve on the pickleball courts! Please let me know in the comments below. See you on the courts!
Todd is the talent behind PickleballMAX. He knows pickleball and demonstrates it on the court as a 4.5 – 5.0 player. In addition to creating content and running the PickleballMAX business, Todd is IPTPA Level II certified. As an instructor at the Ohio Pickleball Academy, he instructs students and runs adult and youth clinics. He also manages tournament desks throughout the tri state for tournaments ranging from 100-500 participants.