CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

Pickleblall Rules- Hit by the Pickleball

a young man getting hit by the pickileballIf a ball in play hits you, it is a fault against you. That’s true even if it only grazes your hair. And it doesn’t matter where you are on the court. Even if you are standing well out of bounds and the ball hits you before landing, it’s your fault.

Do whatever it takes to avoid being hit by the pickleball, duck, pivot, leap or swivel. Think about the movie The Matrix and give it your best move!

On the plus side, aiming a ball at your opponent is legal and good strategy. Just be a good sport and aim at the toes, not the nose. A soft hit at the opponent’s chest gives you the same value as a smash and helps keep you popular.

One last interesting note, you cannot catch the ball before it bounces. A catch is the same as getting hit by the pickleball.

Got a Rules Question? Put your comments in the post below and Bev will get it answered!

 

33 Comments

  1. Doug on December 9, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    what if the ball hits your hand (with paddle) and lands in the opponents court

    • CJ Johnson on December 11, 2021 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Doug, If the ball contacts the player’s paddle hand, either of the hands if it’s a two-handed stroke, or either hand if the player is in the process of switching hands the ball is still in play. It usually doesn’t go very far 😀

  2. Michael Fletcher on January 25, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    Sorry wrong question before..
    If the serve bounces out but hits the receiver is it out or a point?

    • CJ Johnson on January 25, 2022 at 5:27 pm

      Hi Michael, if the serve touches the court first it’s out. If the serve touches the receiver before it hits the court it’s a fault on the receiver.

      • Michael Fletcher on February 9, 2022 at 9:30 pm

        Thanks for the response.
        The issue came during a game.
        The ball was served out of court but hit the return player. The person said it was fault to the return player so point to server.
        I’m thinking the first that happened that trumps anything else is the serve was out so now dead ball and it can be caught by the receiver player if they desire.
        True or false?

        • CJ Johnson on February 10, 2022 at 4:55 am

          Hi Michael, the ball has to make contact outside the court to be considered out. If it hits a person standing outside of the court before it touches the court it’s a fault on the person it hit. The same thing applies to a serve. If you are the receiver and the ball hits your partner before it touches the court it’s a fault on your team and in that instance you lose the point.

          • Kate Holmberg on April 26, 2022 at 4:16 pm

            If a ball bounces inside the court and then hits the receiver outside the court is it servers point?



          • CJ Johnson on April 27, 2022 at 12:28 am

            Hi Kate, if it hits the receiver on the paddle hand below the wrist and they return it successfully to the other side of the net the ball is still in play. If it bounces and hits the receiver it’s a dead ball.



  3. Ron Hamersen on January 25, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    please clarify. if i am out of bounds and a ball also clearly out of play , the ball can not be touched ?
    If i catch the ball out of play, it is a fault ?
    i think i have seen this in tournament play.
    where is this in the rule book ?
    thanks Ron

    • CJ Johnson on January 25, 2022 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Ron. It doesn’t matter where you are standing, if the ball touches you before it touches the ground it’s considered a fault on you. Yes if you are standing 10 feet out of bounds and catch the ball before it touches the ground it’s a fault. Here’s a link to the 2022 rule book so you can answer all of your questions https://usapickleball.org/docs/ifp/USA-Pickleball-Rulebook.pdf

      • Michael Fletcher on February 9, 2022 at 9:30 pm

        Thanks for the response.
        The issue came during a game.
        The ball was served out of court but hit the return player. The person said it was fault to the return player so point to server.
        I’m thinking the first that happened that trumps anything else is the serve was out so now dead ball and it can be caught by the receiver player if they desire.
        True or false?

  4. Ben Z on January 26, 2022 at 3:58 am

    I was watching a video showing a recent tournament (Women’s Doubles) that included referees and play by play announcing. A drive by a player that went far behind baseline apparently grazed the opponent’s hair but the ball was called out. I understood that a player’s hair is a part of the player (as is stated above) but the call stood. The play by play even talked about it. What am I missing?

    • CJ Johnson on January 26, 2022 at 4:12 am

      Since I didn’t see it I can only speculate. The player must have said that the ball didn’t touch her and with a lack of supporting evidence for the referee to overrule it the call stands as out.

      • Ben Z on January 26, 2022 at 4:34 am

        Thanks. I have been looking for the video for the past two days with no luck. I thought the player indicated that it did touch her hair which is why I was confused as to why they awarded the rally ‘point’ to her side.

  5. Gary Myhre on February 8, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    If a ball is close to the end line and My partner calls ‘out’ as I’m beginning my swing to return the ball, is it out or is it in and the rally continues?

    • CJ Johnson on February 9, 2022 at 1:35 pm

      Hi Gary, the minute you or your partner call the ball out it’s considered out and now becomes a dead ball. It doesn’t matter if you continue your swing and hit the shot. The ball is still out.

  6. Susan on February 25, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    It you are serving and your ball goes into the wrong side of the court and hits the person whoes at fault?

    • CJ Johnson on February 26, 2022 at 4:00 am

      The fault would be on the person receiving the serve who was hit. One point for the serving team.

      • Carlson on March 18, 2022 at 4:30 pm

        Clarify please. I serve the ball and it goes to the wrong side of the court and hit’s the player in the wrong side of the court, it is a point for the serving team – me ? How odd ! What is the rational behind this rule?

        • CJ Johnson on March 19, 2022 at 1:15 am

          Hi Nancy in order for a ball to be out it has to touch the surface outside of intended area in play. Hope that helps.

      • Dr. Laurie Bower on April 5, 2022 at 5:00 pm

        Doesn’t that mean that everyone will be trying to hit the person near the net every time? This reduces the game to no fun, in my opinion.

  7. James Bower on March 2, 2022 at 12:10 am

    If your opponents claim that they hit your clothing therefore getting a point but you claim that didn’t happen, what are the rules

    • CJ Johnson on March 2, 2022 at 1:22 am

      Hi Jim, you call your side of the court. If it’s not blatantly obvious, such as it hit you in the middle of the chest it’s your call to make. If it’s rec play I usually let it go and if they think it hit me it’s not worth the discussion. If it’s more competitive I let the other team know that I’m certain of my call and I move on.

  8. Melissa W Batey on March 12, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    Okay, you may have answered this already, but here goes. When a server hits a ball and it goes out of the court behind the line and the receiver is standing behind the line, but the ball hits the receiver’s foot, who is at fault? The ball did not land in the court before it hit the player’s foot. Does the server lose the point?

  9. Dr. Laurie Bower on April 4, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    If the serve hits the opposite player (the wrong side of the court, not the receiver), that doesn’t count as a point against the person hit, right? Otherwise, everybody would be trying to hit the opponent standing at the net on every serve.

    • Dr. Laurie Bower on April 4, 2022 at 10:05 pm

      I meant to say the ball doesn’t bounce first too.

    • CJ Johnson on April 5, 2022 at 9:41 pm

      Hi Laurie, yes if the receivers partner is hit by the ball before the ball touches the court it is a fault on the recieving team and a point for the serving team. If the person at the net is paying attention to the game they usually have enough time to get out of the way.

  10. Amaya on April 24, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    My friend serve to me
    But It out and hit my foot
    Who get the point
    My friend or me

    • CJ Johnson on April 26, 2022 at 3:21 am

      If it hits your foot before it hits the court your friend wins the rally. The ball must hit the court to be considered out.

  11. Jane Strachan on June 14, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Hi, during play a player hit the ball, it hit his partner on the nose and was deflected but carried on over the net into the opponents court, was this a fault on their part?

    • CJ Johnson on June 14, 2022 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Jane, yes that was a fault.

      • J DeToue on June 22, 2022 at 8:46 pm

        On the serve if the receiving team calls the ball out but hits their feet before the ground is it a fault by the receiving team

        • CJ Johnson on June 24, 2022 at 9:07 pm

          Yes it is. Even if they are standing out of bounds.

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