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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pickleball for 6?

It is not a menage a trois...

I am always looking for new ways to have fun on the pickleball court. I came across a game called "Mortimer" pickleball. This is the description I found:

Mortimer is the third person on each team. Mortimer plays in the middle and usually gets the deep balls - lobs. Mortimer cannot return the serve but once it is returned can play anywhere, usually to back up the first two players. If one of the two makes a mistake - loses the rally then they become Mortimer! If Mortimer messes up they stay Mortimer.

This actually makes the game faster and more interesting if one can imagine. It was introduced to a small group and, once they got over there initial misgivings about the purity of the sport and other unfounded objections, they loved it and now prefer to play Mortimer. It gets 6 people playing after all.

Another source describes it as:

Your club have one or two players sitting out the usual 15 minutes waiting to get on the court for the next game? Why not try the Mortimore game? Two Louisiana ambassadors told me of their getting more player time by playing three on a side.   

Mortimore starts out playing behind the baseline and in the middle, moving up a step or two when his teammates get up to the kitchen. And the fun part is, other than not receiving serve, Mortimore can play any ball, usually ones hit down the middle. The kicker is that if one of the non-Mortimore players woofs the ball into the net or out of bounds or fails to return a ball hit to their side  then they trade places with Mortimore. Simple as that. 

I love the Mortimore game as it forces me to mentally play better so that I don't get stuck in the middle and thereby get more touches. Also, as Mortimore, it gives me a chance to "read" the offense and see if I can get into position to return an otherwise passing shot. Good experience all around and also a bit of a chance to rest if in the Mortimore position. Next time there are one or two people waiting to play, just invite them to play Mortimore and see how much you will love this fun take on our wonderful game.

This version sounds like one way to alleviate waiting at overcrowded facilities.


  1. We play the same version but call it Rover Pickleball! Mortimer = Rover

  2. For in-depth pickleball information see: