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Pickleball Rules to Know – What Constitutes a Receiving Fault

News Stacie Townsend 06-03-2020

Did you know there is more than one way to commit a receiving fault on the pickleball courts?

Rule 4.N of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball provides that the following actions will result in a fault while receiving the serve on the pickleball court:

  • The incorrect player on the receiving team hits the pickleball (to note, this is a common mistake when a double’s team is stacking).
  • After the score has been called and the server starts the service motion, the receiving player (or his or her partner) either calls a timeout or asks the referee to confirm the score. In other words, once the score has been called and the server starts the service motion, neither the receiving player (or his or her partner) may call timeout or ask the referee to confirm the score.
  • The receiving player (or his or her partner), intentionally or unintentionally, touches the pickleball, or interferes with the flight of the pickleball, before it bounces. For instance, a receiving fault would occur if the server intentionally serves the pickleball to hit the opposing player near the pickleball net (this move is commonly referred to as a “Nasty Nelson”). Or, the served pickleball sails long and hits the receiving player beyond the baseline before bouncing – this would be a receiving fault, even though the serve would have bounced out of bounds.

Have you ever committed a fault when receiving the pickleball? Were you aware of each of these receiving fault rules? Share with us in the comments below!


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