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Pickleball Rules to Know – Server Beware! You Have 10 Seconds

News Stacie Townsend 04-27-2020

If you are the server, there are a couple of time limitations that you need to be aware of on the pickleball court (see Rule 4.E of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball):

  1. Once the score has been called (by either the server or the referee), then the server has only 10 seconds to serve the pickleball. This is true regardless of whether or not the receiving team is in the correct position or is ready to receive the serve (as a reminder, the score should not be called until the receiver is (or should be) in the correct position and the receiving team is (or should be) ready to play).
  2. The server cannot start his or her service motion until the entire score has been called (in other words, all three digits during doubles play, or both two digits during singles play).

If the server violates either of these rules above, then a fault will be declared and the server will lose his or her serve.

There is one exception to the 10-second rule. If, after the score is called, the serving team realizes that they are in the wrong position and changes their position on the pickleball court, which then causes the receiving team to be in the wrong position, then the serving team and/or referee must allow the receiving team time to re-position. The server, or referee if the match is officiated, will then re-call the score, and the server will have a fresh 10 seconds to serve the pickleball. 

Have you ever been guilty of a fault because of these time limitations?


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