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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Answers to Rules Quiz - More Serve

1. Margy recently added pickleball to her recreational activities in addition to tennis, which she has played for 20 years. In her pickleball games, she occasionally slips into tennis mode and once even tried to serve overhead! A routine she learned in tennis to help calm her nerves is to bounce the ball before her serve. At a crucial point in a recent pickleball game, she bounced the ball and served to Jimmy. Rather than hitting the serve back, Jimmy caught the ball and claimed that Margy faulted by bouncing the ball. Margy said that the bounce was before the point was initiated and Jimmy faulted by not returning the serve. Who is right?

Answer: Margy is right and wins the point. Jimmy confused Margy's legal bouncing with the rule against hitting the serve off a bounce.

Rule 4.C - The Serve - The ball must be struck before it hits the playing surface.


2. Margy has a power serve that she likes to use because it leads to many winning points. While it is legal by meeting all of the rules of a serve - upward motion, contact below the waist, and paddle face below the wrist, it is a sidearm motion that extends from her body. Margy also likes to serve from near the center line when she is in the left court in order to hit her serve down her opponent's center line. She does this against Jimmy and hits an ace. Jimmy protests by claiming that Margy's serve was illegal because her paddle crossed the extended center line into the right court. Was Jimmy right?

Answer: Jimmy is not right and loses the point.  The only position that matters is the position of the feet on the court. The boundary lines are two-dimensional, meaning that they only matter on the court surface. They do not extend into a third dimension up from the court surface.

Rule 4.B - 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 playing surface or ground behind the baseline and the server's feet may not touch the playing 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.


3. John uses an unusual serve a few times per match in order to confuse his opponents and win an easy point. His serve requires him to toss the ball high in the air and letting it drop below his waist to make it legal. He used the serve against Jimmy but a sudden gust of wind hit the ball when it was in the air. The ball moved so much that Jimmy missed it and it fell to the ground as John finished his swing. He picked up the ball and was getting ready to serve again when Jimmy claimed it was a fault. Was Jimmy right?

The following Jeff Napier video called Crazy Pickleball Serve illustrates the motion.

Answer: Yes, Jimmy is right and wins the rally.

Rule 4.E.1 - During the service, it is a fault if the server misses the ball when trying to hit it.
If the ball lands on the ground without the server swinging at the ball, it is not a fault.

We have covered several service rules in the last 2 quizzes. A Pickleball Rocks video called Explaining the Pickleball Serving Rules that summarizes service rules is shown below.

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