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Pickleball Rules to Know – Crossing the Plane of the Pickleball Net

News Stacie Townsend 07-28-2020

Did you know that you can only cross the plane of the pickleball net in limited circumstances?

Rule 11.I of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball states that a pickleball player may not cross the plane of the pickleball net (or the imaginary extension line of the pickleball net beyond the net posts) until after that pickleball player has hit the pickleball. This includes anything that the pickleball player is wearing or carrying, such as a pickleball paddle. So, the general rule is that you (or your paddle) may only cross the plane of the pickleball net after you strike the pickleball.

There is one exception to this general rule in that a pickleball player may cross the plane of the pickleball net before striking the pickleball if and only if the pickleball bounces and has enough backspin or wind to cause the pickleball to return to the other side untouched. In this case, the pickleball player may reach across the plane of the net to strike the pickleball. If the pickleball player does not touch the pickleball, however, then the opposing team wins the point. 

In any case (regardless of whether you strike the pickleball before or after you cross the plane of the pickleball net), remember that a pickleball player may not touch the pickleball net, posts, net system, or the opposing team’s side of the pickleball court. If a pickleball player does any of these things – touch the net, posts, net system, or opposing side of the court – then a fault has occurred and that pickleball player will lose the rally.

Have you ever seen a fault due to a pickleball player crossing the plane of the pickleball net before striking the pickleball (e.g. on a failed Erne attempt)? Share with us in the comments below!

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