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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Foot Faults

Sasquatch has one big disadvantage...

I refereed at least 10 matches at the Senior Games last week. In all of those matches, I had to call only one NVZ foot fault. That seemed unusually low but I did referee the games with either the most experienced or least experienced players. The better players knew better than to foot fault and the less experienced players never even approached the line. Some of that may also have been as a result of having a referee. Other games were reportedly different. I was told there was a lot of foot faults in those games.

Many players are not aware that the primary job for referees is to watch for foot faults. One likely reason for this is that it is very hard for players to make the call unless the violation is obvious. Players normally have their eyes on the ball and not on either their opponents' nor their own feet. Today's post is excerpts from a Sarah Ansboury article on the topic titled Pickleball Foot Faults: Do You See Them?

Today we are going to focus on pickleball foot faults.  We will talk about the causes and how we can detect them in ourselves, our partner and those we are playing against.  Do you think you see foot faults during play?

What is a Foot Fault?

During play we foot fault if we:
  • step into the non-volley zone, which includes the NVZ line, in the course of hitting a volley (a ball that has not yet bounced); or
  • if our paddle or any part thing we are wearing touches the NVZ.

Keep in mind the rulebook states:  “The act of volleying the ball includes the swing, the follow-through, and the momentum from the action.”

During Refereed Matches

It is great when we have referees to call foot faults in a tournament. I realize this is a very hard job, and even the best referee will miss some foot faults from time to time. I played a big match that was very close at a large tournament recently. When I walked off the court after losing, several spectators suggested that foot faults had been missed. I went back and reviewed the video and found at least five times it wasn’t called. That could have been the difference between winning and losing...

Calling Foot Faults during Rec Play

Many people foot fault because they move too much. You can see that all that excess motion causes them to lose control.

Last week I was playing with a local group and in the middle of the point I asked, “Do we call foot faults on each other?” I didn’t know these people very well and didn’t want to be perceived as rude if that was not their custom. When I was first learning how to play, the group I played with always called foot faults on themselves, their partner or opponent. There wasn’t anything mean or rude about it…we viewed this as helping the other player so they would do well in tournament play.

What is most important to me is to develop the right habits, so I can carry them into tournament play...

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