Pickleball. More than a Sport.

Pickleball Rules to Know - What Is a Distraction?

by Stacie Townsend 6 Comments

Pickleball Rules to Know - What Is a Distraction? | Pickler Pickleball

Have you ever been distracted by another pickleball player on the pickleball court?

Rule 11.J of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball states that a pickleball player may not distract an opponent when the opposing team is about to play the pickleball. If a pickleball player does distract an opponent, then that player would have committed a fault. A distraction is based on the referee's judgment, as a referee in competitive play will determine if the distraction resulted in the loss of a rally by the opposing team.

With that said, team communication does NOT constitute a distraction. That means that, if a pickleball player communicates to his or her partner as the opposing team plays or is about to play the pickleball, then no distraction (and no fault) would have occurred.

Has another pickleball player ever tried to distract you on the pickleball court? Does the other team's communication ever bother you on the pickleball court? Share with us in the comments below!




Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend

Author



6 Responses

Pickler
Pickler

May 06, 2021

Good question, Ron. Losing a paddle unintentionally would likely not be a distraction. However, this would be a “facts and circumstances” analysis and decision by the referee (or, if no referee, by the players on the court). It may depend on the exact situation as to whether the losing of a paddle rose to the level of a distraction.

Raymond WITZKE
Raymond WITZKE

May 06, 2021

If a player loses their paddle unintentionally, is it a distraction resulting in a fault?
Ron Witzke The Villages Fl

Ron Bueno
Ron Bueno

May 06, 2021

During a rally short soft lob is dropping close to the post barely over the net, as the ball was dropping I stepped inside the kitchen ready for the ball to drop in if it does, but as I’m tracking the flight of the ball to set my feet , my opponent at the net, also in the kitchen, blows at the trying to help it over, all on good fun, but it distracted me in a way I lost focus on the ball and altered my shot. I made the shot but stopped play and called destraction, to redo the point. It didnt go over well. The blowing on my direction close to me was the distraction, as we’re so used to avoid doing this past year.

Pickler
Pickler

March 07, 2021

Jon – Your opponent may stand anywhere on the pickleball court. As a result, this would not be a distraction. However, if you opponent started flapping his arms or intentionally yelling or speaking to you (rather than his partner – which would likely be partner communication), then it would likely be a distraction.

Jon Rosen
Jon Rosen

March 07, 2021

Recently a mature player (well, I originally thought he was) stood inside the service box when I was about to serve to his partner. He was frustrated at his own missed, service returns. When I asked him to step away he said “I don’t have to but I will”.
I assume this falls under “Distraction”? He eventually moved, but I was shocked at the gesture.

Mar
Mar

December 06, 2020

It seems as if the rules for partner communication should be more clear. The rule mentions “yelling” as a distraction but not what I call “chatter” which has no purpose and can be distracting to the opponent. An example would be players who consistently say, “Nice shot!” or" Nice return!" after their partner has hit the shot and the ball is on its way to their opponents. I find this type of comment to be distracting and that it serves no purpose. I usually nicely ask the opponents to please refrain from doing that and that is often all it takes for them to stop. However, occasionally an opponent will say that she wasn’t yelling and that she is allowed partner communication. At the very least, I feel this comes under sportsmanship or etiquette. What is the feeling of others?

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