The official rules of pickleball

The rules of pickleball are comprehensive and provide answers to the many issues that arise in a game that is played worldwide on many different types of courses by players of all abilities.

Fault rules in pickleball game

A fault ceases all play, because a rule has been violated. This can range from hitting the ball into the net during a serve or a return; failure to hit the ball before it bounces twice on a player’s court; hitting the ball out of bounds; or if a player touches the net, either with their paddle, clothes or any part of the body, that’s considered a fault. It’s also a fault if the ball strikes a player.

However, if the ball hits a player’s paddle hand below the wrist, the ball is considered to be in play. Finally, hitting a player who is out of bounds is also considered a fault.

A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.

A fault will be declared for the following:

4.1. If the serve or service return does not bounce before striking the ball (Two-Bounce Rule).

4.2. Hitting the ball into the net on the serve or any return.

4.3. Hitting the ball under the net or between the net and the net post.

4.4. Hitting the ball out of bounds.

4.5. Failure to hit the ball before it bounces twice on the receiving player’s court.

4.6. Violation of any service rule. See Section 1.

4.7. A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle touches the net system or the net posts when the ball is in play.

4.8. The ball in play strikes a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s paddle hand below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle, or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, then the ball is still in play.

4.9. A live ball that is stopped by a player before it becomes dead. Example: catching or stopping a ball in flight before it makes contact with the court.

4.10. A ball in play strikes any permanent object before bouncing on the court.

4.11. If the ball in play hits a permanent object after it has bounced on the court, the player who hit the ball wins the rally.

4.12. Violation of the non-volley-zone rules. See Section 6.

4.13. Violation of the other rules. See Sections 8.

4.14. The serve is made by bouncing the ball before hitting it. Exception: See 1.1.4.

4.15. Once the ball is in play, a player hits the ball before it passes the plane of the net.

4.16. The player deliberately carries or catches the ball in play on the paddle.

4.17. The player deliberately touches the ball with the paddle more than once (double hit). See 8.1.

4. Fault