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Pickleball Rules to Know - What Constitutes a Service Fault

by Stacie Townsend

Pickleball Rules to Know - What Constitutes a Service Fault | Pickler Pickleball

Did you know there is more than one way to commit a service fault on the pickleball courts?

Rule 4.M of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball provides that the following actions will result in a fault during the serve:

  • The server serves from the wrong serving area, which includes the wrong side of the pickleball court, or by making contact with the court surface that is beyond the center line or sideline of the correct side of the pickleball court.
  • The incorrect player on the serving team serves the pickleball (to note, this is a common mistake when a double's team is stacking).
  • The server uses an illegal serving motion.
  • The server starts his or her service motion before the entire score is called.
  • After the score has been called and the server starts the service motion, the server (or his or her partner) either calls a timeout or asks the referee to confirm the score. In other words, once the score has been called and the server starts the service motion, neither the server (or his or her partner) may call timeout or ask the referee to confirm the score.
  • The served pickleball touches any permanent object other than the pickleball net, or the receiving team, before hitting the ground. This includes the server (or his or her partner) and anything that the server (or his or her partner) is wearing or holding.
  • The served pickleball lands anywhere outside of the proper service court. This is regardless of whether the pickleball touches the net/net cord or not, and includes the Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen (including on the Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen Line).

Have you ever committed a fault on your serve? Were you aware of each of these service fault rules? Share with us in the comments below!




Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend

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