There are several rules regarding the pickleball net and a major one is not to touch it, as that is considered a fault. The pickleball player who is at fault will end up facing a rally loss. Therefore, it’s vital not to let your body, paddle, or clothing come in contact with the net or even its posts for any reason.
The funny thing is, it was once allowed to hit the net if the ball continued across, known as a “let.” However, since 2021, the pickleball officials have scrapped that rule and we have to just suck it up when that happens to preserve the game’s “value.” It sounds like I’m complaining, and maybe I am, but the change is truly understandable and does protect pickleball’s integrity.
Let’s look at the net and beyond the kitchen to get a fuller understanding of the pickleball rules.
Can you touch the net in Pickleball? If not, what’s the penalty?
No! Note that a pickleball player is not permitted to touch the pickleball net, posts, net mechanism, or the rival team’s portion of the pickleball court at any time during a game (irrespective of whether the ball is struck before or after crossing the plane of the pickleball net). A fault has happened and the rally has been forfeited if a pickleball player touches the net system, posts, nets, or the other side of the court. For the most part, the pickleball net is situated in the center of the court, between the two sidelines.
Therefore, the pickleball ball is still fair game if it touches the net, the net cord, or the rope between the net posts (assuming that the pickleball ball lands on the court). Nonetheless, the ball is not allowed to make contact with the net or the posts. Plus, you can’t have any contact with the pickleball net (including the net itself, the posts, or any other part of the net).
A violation of these regulations occurs when either the ball or a player touches the net. In addition, a fault is committed if the pickleball is struck between the net and the net post rather than around the net post. Additionally, after making contact with the pickleball, only then may you move out of the plane of the net.
The net post, as well as any wheels, arms, or other components attached to it, must be placed outside of the playing area per the pickleball rules. Therefore, the player who last hit the pickleball will be penalized a fault and forfeit the rally if the ball contacts the net posts or any of its parts. Furthermore, if the net post or any of its components are touched during a pickleball rally, the offending player receives a fault and the rally ends in a loss.
A pickleball that lands within the court after colliding with the net, the net cord, or the rope between the net posts is still considered to have been hit within the court and is therefore still in play.
The Pickleball Net and its Regulations
For the most part, the pickleball net is situated between the court’s sidelines, and that includes the net cord. So, the pickleball is still in play if it strikes the net, its cord, or the rope in between the net posts (but the pickleball must land inside the court). But the pickleball must not touch the net or the posts in any way.
Plus, you can’t have any contact with the pickleball net or any of the parts associated with it. It is an infraction if the pickleball ball or you contact the net while playing. In addition, a fault is committed if the pickleball is struck between the net post and the net rather than around the net post.
Additionally, after making contact with the pickleball, only then may you move out of the net’s plane.
Horizontal-bar Temporary Pickleball Nets
Rules for using horizontal bar pickleball nets that are temporary. The following are examples of these:
- If the ball touches the center base or horizontal bar before crossing the net, the player who hit the ball last commits a fault and the other player wins the rally.
- It is a let and the point will be replayed if the pickleball (i) touches the center base or horizontal bar (before or following the bounce), or (ii) becomes trapped between the horizontal bar and the net (before or following the bounce). On a server, though, you are exempt from this regulation.
- A service fault is committed and the rally is lost if a served ball (i) touches the center base or horizontal bar (before or following the bounce), or (ii) becomes stuck between the horizontal bar and the net (before or following the bounce).
If the interim pickleball net fails to function properly throughout a rally, the point will be replayed.
A Pickleball Match Featuring “Around the Post” Shots
On the pickleball court, you can take shots that go around the post, popularly known as “ATPs.” In the game, the ball is not required to cross the net. The pickleball might instead go around the post holding up the net and land on the opposite side of the court.
When striking an ATP ball, it could be below the pickleball net’s height. But if the ball goes between the post and the net, the player who hits it is at fault.
The Origins of Pickleball
On a summer Saturday, Joel Pritchard, a Washington Congressman, and prosperous entrepreneur Bill Bell played golf before returning to their respective Washington homes on Bainbridge Island. When both men discovered an old badminton court on the estate, they set out to equip it with the necessary gear. However, they were unable to locate a complete set of rackets.
The two made do with table tennis paddles and a plastic ball with holes in it for a makeshift game. The net was first set at badminton height (60 inches) then the ball was volleyed over it. The players quickly discovered that the ball rebounded beautifully on the asphalt surface, and by the end of the weekend, the net had been lowered to a more manageable 36 inches.
Barney McCallum was first exposed to the game the next weekend, at Pritchard’s house. In short order, the three guys had drafted up some rules, with badminton serving as a major inspiration. They didn’t lose sight of the fact that their initial goal was to create a game that everyone in the household could enjoy.
In Tukwila, WA, South Center Athletic Club hosted the first-ever pickleball tournament in the spring of 1976. The Men’s Singles title went to David Lester, while Steve Paronto came in second. A large portion of the players were inexperienced collegiate tennis players.
They used softball-sized plastic balls and massive wooden paddles for practice. To ensure that pickleball continues to thrive and expand across the country, the United States Amateur Pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A.) came into being. In March of 1984, the first set of regulations was released.
Pickleball Net FAQs
When Setting Up a Pickleball Court, What Size Net Should I Use?
You can use the portable net for recreational training or games when it is 10′. However, the USAPA regulation size pickleball net which is 26″ high and 22″ wide, you’re able to utilize anywhere and anytime.
What Should You Look For When Purchasing A Pickleball Net?
Measured from the inner part of one post to the next, the pickleball net’s width should be 22 feet. The posts can’t be more than three inches in diameter. The ideal pickleball net height is 34 inches in the center and 36 inches on each end.
In Pickleball, is it Possible to Hit The Ball Above the Net?
Making pickleball shots using both hands is acceptable as well. Reaching across the net: You are allowed to break the plane of the net to make contact with the ball if it bounces into your section of the court and then spins back over the net. If neither you nor your paddle touches the net, your return is legal.