Odd Pickleball Scenarios And How To Deal With Them

Although most players from intermediate to advanced are well versed on the rules of pickleball, there are some interesting rules enforced by the International Federation of Pickleball that apply to extraordinary situations. Here are a few of the strangest scenarios that pickleball players have faced, and how the rulebook deals with them.

Ball Hits Hand In most situations, when a ball hits a player or anything they are wearing or carrying, it is considered a fault. However, if a player is hit on the hand below the wrist the ball is considered still in play. If the player happens to have both hands on the paddle or is in the process of changing hands, a ball that hits either hand below the wrist is considered in play.

Over And Back This rule can apply in situations where there is an extreme wind, or a player hits the ball with a tremendous amount of backspin. If a ball bounces in a player’s court and returns back over the net, the player is allowed to reach over or go around the net without touching it to return the shot. If the ball lands back on the other side without being touched, it is a point for the original hitter. We tip our hats off to any player able to put that much backspin on their shots.

Shots Around The Net In situations where a shot is traveling beyond the sidelines at a sharp angle, the returning player is not required to hit the ball back over the net and may return the shot at any height around the net post. A return shot around the net is a sure way to impress your fellow players.

Items On Court If any items a player is carrying fall onto the court, they are subsequently considered part of the court, so if a ball hits such an item it is considered still in play. Be sure to leave your items on the sideline or ensure they are secured to avoid such a blunder.

Most pickleballers don’t have to deal with these peculiar situations often, but they can certainly happen and it is helpful to know the official rules. Have you encountered any of these scenarios while playing? How did you handle it??


2 comments

  • I experienced the over and back and gave the team with the topspin the point. Also experienced a opposing player hitting around the post, wow hat is clever and a winning shot., since it was unexpected that the opposing player would return the shot and did not know the rule at the time, Good information. thanks!

    Barbara L Elliott
  • When is it legal to step in the kitchen after you hit the ball outside of the kitchen and then your momentum carries you into the kitchen? In other words, I hit a ball outside of the kitchen and the ball hits inbounds on my opponent’s side for a winner and I then fall into the kitchen but after the point has been decided?

    Kurt L McAfee

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