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Watch Your Head!

Rules Refresh Stacie Townsend 01-10-2022

Imagine you are playing pickleball on a windy day. Your partner hits the pickleball, so that it ricochets off of your head , and then heads (pun intended) back over the pickleball net and into your opponents’ side of the court. Your opponents continue to play the rally, until eventually you hit a “winning” shot. This is exactly what happened to John, one fellow pickleball player in the Pickler community, in the video below. What is the ruling? Who wins the rally?

According to the rules of pickleball, you may only contact the pickleball with your paddle or your hand in contact with your paddle below your wrist (as this part of your body—the part below your hand in contact with the paddle that is below your wrist—is deemed to be part of the paddle). If you contact the pickleball with any other part of your body (including your head or your hand in contact with your paddle above your wrist), or anything that you are wearing, then you would have committed a fault.

As a result, in the scenario described above and shown in the video, you would lose the rally. You and your partner would have committed a fault as soon as the pickleball made contact with your head.

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, so we can share with the rest of the pickleball community in a future newsletter.


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