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Ouch! Keep Playing…

Rules Refresh Stacie Townsend 03-21-2022

What happens if the pickleball hits you, like it did to pickleball pro, Vivienne David, in the clip below?

After the serve, you may only contact the pickleball with your paddle or your hand in contact with your paddle below your wrist. If you contact the pickleball with any other part of your body (including your hand in contact with your paddle above your wrist), or anything that you are wearing, then you would have committed a fault.

Using the clip of David above, the pickleball hit her hand below her wrist. As a result, the hit was legal and play continues. If the pickleball had hit her elbow, or any other part of her body or clothing, then it would have been considered a fault, but this did not occur in this circumstance.

Lastly, to note, if you are a pickleball player that either changes hands, or hits a two-handed backhand, then, as long as both hands are in contact with the paddle, the pickleball may hit either hand below the wrist and still be considered in play. For this exception to apply, both hands must be in contact with your paddle. Also, if you drop the pickleball before you hit the serve, and the pickleball hits your shoe or other body part, then this is not a fault. This rule only applies after the serve is hit.

For a deeper breakdown on all of the rules of pickleball, check out Pickler’s Ultimate Guide to the Rules of Pickleball.

Have you had an interesting rules issue on the pickleball court? Send it to us at, so we can share with the rest of the pickleball community in a future newsletter.


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