Have you ever seen a pickleball player stand in the Non-Volley Zone (also known as the Kitchen), jump to hit the pickleball out of the air, and then land either inside or outside of the Kitchen? Then, the jumping pickleball player tries to argue that he/she did not commit a Non-Volley-Zone fault because he/she hit the pickleball while jumping in the air above the Non-Volley Zone? What’s the proper ruling on the pickleball courts?
Rule 9.D of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball provides that if a pickleball player touches the Non-Volley Zone (including the Non-Volley Zone line), then that player cannot volley the pickleball (in other words, hit the pickleball out of the air without the pickleball bouncing) until both feet touch the court surface outside of the Non-Volley Zone. This means that if you stand in the Non-Volley Zone, jump to hit a volley, and land outside of the Non-Volley Zone, then you commit a fault. This is because you did not re-establish your feet on the pickleball court surface before hitting your volley.
With that said, you may jump over the Non-Volley Zone to volley a pickleball, as long as you do not touch the Non-Volley Zone line or the Non-Volley Zone surface area – this shot would be called an Erne. Again, if you touch the Non-Volley Zone line or the Non-Volley Zone surface area, then you must re-establish your feet outside of the Non-Volley Zone before hitting your volley.
Remember to stay out of the Kitchen on your volleys! Share this blog with your pickleball friends that may need clarification on this important pickleball rule!