April 23, 2010

Spring Cleaning - Tune Up Your Pickleball Game by Pam Mackowski

Spring Cleaning – Tune Up Your Pickleball Game by Pam Mackowski
Michigan Pickleball Newsletter 04/23/2010

Spring means house cleaning of closets and windows and straightening up the garage, but let’s also tighten up our Pickleball game. Even if you don’t want to enter tournaments, proper play is important.

Double check yourself whenever you play. Ask your partner to tell you if s/he notices any violations.
How is your serve?
>Do you ensure you use an underhand motion to have the ball contact the paddle below your waist? If not, you have made a service fault. (Rule 4.A)
 >And another item to tighten up is server feet. When striking the ball for a serve, do you have no feet outside the service area and at least one foot touching the ground? The service area is the surface behind the baseline and yet between an imaginary extension of the centerline and the sideline. If not, you have committed a foot fault. (Rule 4.B and 4.D)

>And remember that the ball must land in the diagonally opposite court, beyond the non-volley line. Too short and it is a fault. (Rule 4.C)

 > And lastly, when receiving serve, make sure you are completely aware of the serve. If a serve lands on the back or side lines, it is in. (Rule 4.C) The Pickleball Code of Ethics says the opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made. (Rule 6.D.2)

If you have any doubts about the above tune up tips, here are the USAPA Official Rules.

Rule 4.A. states “Serve Motion: The serve must be an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below the waist level. Underhand Defined: The arm must be moving in an upward arc and the paddle head shall be below the wrist when it strikes the ball.”

Rule 4.B. states “Server Position. At the beginning of the serve, both feet must be behind the baseline. At the time the ball is struck, at least one foot must be on the court surface or ground behind the baseline and the server's feet may not touch the court surface in an area outside the confines of the serving area. The serving area is defined as the area behind the baseline and on or between the imaginary lines extended from the court centerline and each sideline.”

Rule 4.C states “The Serve. The ball must be struck before it hits the playing area. The ball must land in the opponent’s crosscourt (diagonally opposite court) service court. 4.C.1. Placement. The serve must clear the net and the non-volley line and land in the opponent’s service court. The serve may land on any service court line except the non-volley line.”

Rule 4.D states “Service Foot Fault. During the serve, when the ball is struck, the server’s feet shall not: 4.D.1. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline. 4.D.2. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the centerline. 4.D.3. Touch the court, including the baseline.

Rule 6.D.2 indicates one basic element of line calling is “The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made.”