Prevent these Prevalent Pickleball Faults

7 Common Faults in Pickleball and How to Prevent Them

Preventing Prevalent Pickleball Faults Graphic by The Pickleball Broadcast

Prevent these Prevalent Pickleball Faults

Pickleball, like other sports, has its own set of rules and regulations that players must follow. These rules ensure fair play and an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, all pickleball players commit faults from time to time. Regularly committing faults in pickleball could dramatically affect the outcome of the game.

Let's explore some of the common faults in pickleball that can occur after players know the rules of the game.

Common Serving Faults and Mistakes

  • Obviously, hitting the serve into the net or out of bounds constitutes a service fault.

  • A service fault also exists when the ball lands short into the non-volley zone or touches the non-volley zone line (which is considered part of the non-volley zone).

  • Referees are sure to look for players stepping on the baseline or beyond the imaginary extension when players are serving.

Note that if the ball touches the net and then lands in the service area, it is considered live. (The service area includes the sideline, baseline and center line.)

Common Non-Volley Zone Faults and Mistakes

  • Stepping into the non-volley zone and/or stepping onto the non-volley zone line while hitting the ball on the fly.

  • Allowing momentum to carry a player into the non-volley zone after hitting a ball in the air that doesn't bounce on the ground first (referred to as a volley),

  • Standing very close to the non-volley zone line and accidentally pushing off onto the non-volley zone line to retrieve a lob.

  • After dinking in the non-volley zone, getting hit by the ball or hitting the ball after failing to "re-establish" both feet outside of the non-volley zone.

Common Receiving Faults and Mistakes at the Baseline

  • Forgetting the double-bounce rule in pickleball; after the serve, the ball must bounce once on each side before any type of volley (hitting the ball without it bouncing first) can occur.

  • Returning a ball which goes into the net or out of bounds.

  • Getting hit by a ball heading out of bounds.

  • Hitting a ball clearly heading out of bounds.

  • Being the incorrect server or receiver or standing in the wrong position.

  • Assuming the ball is heading out of bounds and not hitting it when it lands in.

Also, deliberately distracting or obstructing an opponent is a fault in pickleball. Players must avoid creating distractions while their opponent is hitting the ball. Doing so can result in the point going to the other player.

Prevalent Pickleball Faults Infographic by The Pickleball Broadcast

Prevalent Pickleball Faults Infographic by The Pickleball Broadcast

Remember that these aren't all of the faults that can occur in pickleball. To learn more about faults and to read the specific language concerning faults, do refer to the current USA Pickleball Official Rulebook.


Aside from being jammed up at the net and opponents taking advantage of this situation, many faults can be avoided just by practicing presence, patiently pausing and proceeding with purpose.

In conclusion, knowing the common faults in pickleball is essential to avoid them during the game. Remember to play fair, follow the rules, and enjoy the game.