Have you heard of a shot called the "Erne" on the pickleball courts? An Erne is an advanced shot on the pickleball court and is named after Erne Perry, who elevated the shot and first brought the shot into mainstream competitive play. The Erne is a shot where you hit the pickleball either (1) in the air as you are jumping around the Non-Volley Zone (also known as the Kitchen); or (2) after you run around or through the Kitchen and re-establish your feet out of bounds, just to the side of the Kitchen.
The Erne puts pressure on your opponents to make a quality shot and may cause your opponents to make unforced errors if they lift their heads to look at you running or jumping around the pickleball court, rather than focusing on the pickleball.
To hit an Erne:
Again, Rule 9.B of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball provides that any contact with the Non-Volley Zone while hitting a volley (in other words, hitting the pickleball out of the air, without bouncing) is a fault - and this includes the swing, follow-through, and the momentum from the swing. All volleys - which includes all Ernes - must be executed outside of the Non-Volley Zone. Again, you may jump over the Non-Volley Zone, as long as you do not touch the Non-Volley Zone line or the Non-Volley Zone surface area, or, if you touch the Non-Volley Zone, then you must re-establish your feet outside of the Non-Volley Zone before hitting your Erne.
Have you ever hit an Erne to win a point? Or, been the victim of a well-executed Erne? Share with us in the comments below!
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Since returning to professional pickleball this year, after taking a long COVID hiatus, Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters have been traveling the country for pickleball tournaments. But, one thing that that they have not done in a really long time is take a family vacation... until now. Learn about Team Waters' trip to Costa Rica from Leigh herself, which included as much, or more, pickleball than at home in Florida, monkey spectators, family bonding, surfing, and a lot of new friends made on the Costa Rican pickleball courts, which reminded them how much fun the great sport of pickleball really is.