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Paddle Down!

Rules Refresh Stacie Townsend 07-12-2021

Imagine you are on the pickleball court… You are about to hit a big, impressive overhead on a juicy pop-up from your opponents… Then, your partner’s paddle enters your field of vision just as you are about to strike the pickleball. You hit the pickleball for a clean put away winner, but then you crash your pickleball paddle in your partner’s paddle, causing your partner’s paddle to fall onto the court. You look down and your feet are clearly behind the Non-Volley Zone (AKA the Kitchen). However, your partner’s paddle is on the Kitchen line. Did you win the rally or did you and your partner commit a Non-Volley Zone fault?

First and foremost, as you certainly already know, you may not volley the pickleball (i.e. hit the pickleball out of the air, without bouncing) while making contact with the Non-Volley Zone or the Non-Volley Zone line. You may only volley the pickleball outside of the Kitchen.

So, the key is whether the player in the act of volleying (or anything that has contact with the player in the act of volleying) the pickleball is touching the Non-Volley Zone.

In this scenario, you, as the player in the act of volleying, did not touch the Non-Volley Zone or the Non-Volley Zone line. However, your partner’s paddle is sitting squarely on the Kitchen line. You, in the act of volleying, made contact with your partner’s paddle, which made contact with the Kitchen line. As a result, you committed a fault and you and your partner will lose the rally.

For a deeper breakdown on 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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