This post has been updated in 2024 according to the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook (2024).
Here’s the Scenario. You Make the Call.
During the serve, the server’s feet are positioned outside of the imaginary extension of the sideline. The opponents miss the return. What’s the call?
I see pickleball service foot faults seemingly all the time when observing rec play. Okay. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit. Nevertheless, I see service foot faults with a fair degree of regularity — particularly with beginning pickleball players. Perhaps they weren’t properly taught and don’t know the rules. Perhaps they just aren’t paying attention to the position of their feet on the serve.
Nevertheless, as rule #4.L.1 and #4.L.2 from the 2024 USA Pickleball Official Rulebook clearly state, during the serve, when the ball is struck, the server’s feet shall neither touch the area outside of the imaginary extension of the sideline nor touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the centerline. If either happens — or if the server’s feet touched the court or baseline on contact — the server has committed a fault and would not be entitled to the point.
Instead, the serve would revert to the server’s partner, or — if the service fault was committed by the second server — a side out would be called and the serve would go to the opposing team. Shown below is the official ruling. Happy serving!
USA Pickleball Official Rulebook (2024)
Service Foot Fault. During the serve, when the ball is struck, the server’s feet shall:
4.L.1. Not touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline.
4.L.2. Not touch the area on the wrong side of the imaginary extension of the centerline.
4.L.3. Not touch the court, including the baseline.
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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.