How to Play Pickleball & Love Pickleball

What Is a "Nasty Nelson"?

by Stacie Townsend 8 Comments

What Is a

Have you heard of the phrase "Nasty Nelson" on the pickleball courts? If not, a "Nasty Nelson" is certainly a shot to learn about. Although, be warned, that a Nasty Nelson can spark some controversy on the pickleball courts.

A Nasty Nelson is a shot on the pickleball courts where the server serves the pickleball to intentionally hit the opposing player nearest to the pickleball net (in other words, the opposing player that is not receiving the serve). If the served pickleball strikes the opposing player before it bounces, then the receiving team commits a fault, and the serving team wins the point (see Rule 4.N of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball). A Nasty Nelson is easiest to successfully execute if the opposing player nearest the pickleball net is close to the center line of the pickleball court and/or not paying attention to the server.

This shot - Nasty Nelson - is named after Tim "The Puppet Master" Nelson. Tim Nelson is a top pickleball player that is known for his controversial style of play, which includes Nasty Nelsons (of course) and a puppeteer hand motion to celebrate getting the better of his opponents on any given shot. 

To avoid being the victim of a Nasty Nelson, always pay attention and be ready as the receiving team player closes to the pickleball net. If you happen to be caught off guard one day, shake it off - it happens to the best of us.

Have you ever hit a Nasty Nelson to win a point? Or, been the victim of a Nasty Nelson? Share with us in the comments below!




Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend

Author



8 Responses

David Frahm
David Frahm

June 13, 2020

Brian – On the serve only, if a player is standing out of the court and is hit I don’t believe it is a fault by that player.

Brian
Brian

June 12, 2020

Yes Irv, you are missing something. If one is hit by the ball anytime any place it is a fault on YOU. Even if you are standing way off the court in the corner. So you certainly have no immunity standing on the playing court ANYWHERE ANYTIME. The sever gets the point and does NOT lose the serve. Any other way anyone then could stop the ball with any part of their body anytime and get a point for it. That can’t be right. The only part of your body that can be hit without penalty is your paddle hand from the wrist down and then it still has to go back over and into the opponents court for you to score.

wayne M myhre
wayne M myhre

June 11, 2020

all is fair in love and pickleball

Carlos
Carlos

June 10, 2020

Nasty Nelson happens!

Skip Sorich
Skip Sorich

June 10, 2020

I have performed a Nasty Nelson and also had one hit on me. Lots of laughs.

ss
ss

June 08, 2020

IRV, Server doesn’t lose the point, the receiving team is at fault.

Irv
Irv

June 08, 2020

Why would you want to do that. You loose the serve or the point. Doesn’t make any sense. Am I missing something?

Ernie Medina, Jr
Ernie Medina, Jr

June 08, 2020

Oh I’ve been on both the receiving and giving end of a Nasty Nelson. I only do it to a select few friends who have done it to me first (payback) or are heavy trash talkers. It’s all I’m good fun, of course, and I’ve never done it in tournament play.

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