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Out Too Late

Rules Refresh Mark Peifer 06-27-2024

By Mark Peifer, USA Pickleball Certified Referee; Past Chairman, USA Pickleball Rules Committee

QUESTION: My partner played a shot very near the sideline. My partner’s shot went into the net, but my partner was adamant the ball was outside the line and, therefore, ‘out.’ They further argued that the ball was ‘out’ before the ball went into the net, even though they didn’t call it when it happened. They couldn’t get the word ‘out’ said quickly enough because they concentrated on hitting the ball. I was too far away to make a definitive call. Our opponents said my partner made the ‘out’ call too late. What is the correct ruling for this situation? 

ANSWER: Your opponents are correct. You or your partner can make the ‘out’ call in that situation, but it must be made before the ball either becomes dead or your opponent plays the ball. In this case, your partner hit the ball into the net, which made the ball ‘dead’ as soon as the ball hit the court, and before your partner made the ‘out’ call. The applicable rule is 6.C.7 of the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook.”

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