Land of the Sky Tournament information can be found by clicking on the button above.

Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Etiquette - Make Fair Line Calls

Playing pickleball is, first and foremost, supposed to be fun. Players are drawn to the game for that reason and fun should not leave the game no matter how competitive it gets. Arguing line calls detracts from the fun. In fact, it so detracts from the game that it was the subject of a rule change in April 2015. The relevant rules are:

6.D.1. Players will call the lines on their side of the court (excluding the non-volley line on a serve - i.e., short serve, if being called by a referee).

6.D.5. No player should question an opponent’s call unless asked (except that player may appeal a call to the referee in an officiated match). A player should ask the opponent’s opinion if the opponent was in a better position to see the call. An opponent’s opinion, if requested,  shall be accepted. The opinion of a player looking down the line is more likely to be accurate than one looking across the line.

The rule changes highlight the need for players to make fair line calls. In the spirit of keeping the game fun and avoiding conflict about line calls, here are some guidelines:

1. All players should follow a code of ethics that involves fair line calls at all times. 

2. Balls should be only be called out of bounds if clearly seen.  If there is any doubt, the call goes in favor of your opponent.

3. If one player calls the ball out and his partner calls it in, the ball is in.

4. If neither player can call the ball in or out, the ball is in.

5. Make the call with a clear hand motion signaling out or with a loud "out" call. Even better, do both.

6. The out call must be made quickly - before the ball is returned by the opponent.

7. The rules allow a player to communicate to his partner by yelling "out" before the ball bounces if there is a possibility of the ball going out of bounds. If the ball lands out of bounds, a player should confirm the call to his opponents.

8. Do not question opponents' calls on their side of the net.

9. If the opponents play a ball you thought to be out, the rally continues.  Do not stop play based on an opponent's mistake.

10. Spectators cannot be asked about a line call, nor should spectators call the lines at any time. 

The short story is that you should just play the game. Make the right call on your side of the net and trust that your opponents will do the same. If they don't, you can still walk away knowing that you did the right thing.  In the end, that's more important than allowing their unsportsmanlike behavior to impact your attitude toward the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment