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Q&A – Net Malfunction

Rules Refresh Mark Peifer 07-11-2024

By Mark Peifer, USA Pickleball Certified Referee; Past Chairman, USA Pickleball Rules Committee

QUESTION: I hit a soft dink that contacted the top of the net and then rolled down the net. The net had a slight bow because the wind made it billow. The ball’s path down to the ground was impacted ever so slightly, so my opponent called for a replay. I’ve never heard of that as a replay. Was she correct?

ANSWER: Based on how you described the situation, yes. We often see this situation with temporary nets that are affected by the wind, which causes a billowing or deflection of the net. It can, however, also occur with permanent net systems. It is a replay because the net should not billow or bow to the extent it can impact the ball’s path. That is considered a net malfunction. The applicable rule is 11.L.5.d of the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook.

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