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Quick Serve Problems?

Rules Refresh Stacie Townsend 11-15-2021

Have you ever been quick served on the pickleball court by your opponents, so that the serve felt as if it was already on your side of court before you were ready? Fortunately, this should not happen too often, as the rules of pickleball provide that the score in any pickleball game should not be called until both the server and the receiver are (or should be) in the correct positions and all players on the pickleball court are (or should be) ready to play.

To help indicate that you are “not ready” for the score to be called or to prevent the quick server from serving the pickleball before you are ready, either (1) raise your pickleball paddle, or non-paddle hand , above your head, or (2) completely turn your back to the net. However, be aware that any “not ready” signals will be ignored if they are triggered after the start of the score being called.

If the quick server intentionally continues to quick serve you, then:

  • For recreational settings, either (a) up your own readiness and anticipate the serve immediately when the server touches the pickleball, or (b) avoid situations where you are on the pickleball court with the quick server.
  • For tournament or other organized competition settings, either (a) up your own readiness and anticipate the serve immediately when the server touches the pickleball, or (b) consider requesting a referee or the tournament director/organizer to help resolve the dispute.

For a deeper breakdown on all of the rules of pickleball, check out Pickler’s Ultimate Guide to the Rules of Pickleball.

Have you had an interesting rules issue on the pickleball court? Send it to us at stacie@thepickler.com, so we can share with the rest of the pickleball community in a future newsletter.

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