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Wild, Distracting Point

Rules Refresh Stacie Townsend 07-10-2023

Check out the wild point in the video below between the Brooklyn Aces and the Orlando Squeeze, which implicated a few different rules—a potential double hit, net fault, and distraction. What’s the call?

  • Double Hit – A double hit is typically not allowed in pickleball, unless the double hit results from an “unintentional, continuous, single-direction stroke by one player.” The Orlando Squeeze’s Callan Dawson met the exception and did not commit a fault. So, play carried on. ✅
  • Net Fault – It is a fault if a player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle touches the net when the ball is in play. Dawson avoided the net, so he avoided committing a fault. Again, play carried on. ✅
  • Distraction – It is a fault to distract an opponent as he/she is about the play the pickleball. A distraction is a “physical action” by a player that is “not common to the game” and that “may interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the paddle in a distracting manner or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or ability to hit the ball.” Whether something rises to the level of a distraction is ultimately a “facts and circumstances” analysis. In this rally, the Brooklyn Aces’ Greg Dow thought his team won the rally after Dawson’s potential double hit and immediately spoke to his opponents, saying “Sorry, man.” Since Dawson did not commit a fault (and did not end the rally), Dow’s words amounted to a distraction for his opponents, leading him to commit a fault instead. So, the Brooklyn Aces lost the rally.

Bottom line – Make sure the point is really over…

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