SUMMER IS HERE. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND TAKE BREAKS.
So, what is pickleball? Maybe you know, but do your family or friends know?
Share this video with them and get them out there playing!!
There's new information about calling the score and line calls. Here's the simplified version of the Pickleball IN/OUT Calls.
Players are responsible for making line calls on their side of the court. Either player can make the call, but they both must agree.
If the ball touches any part of the line, it is IN.
If the ball touches outside of the line, it is OUT. You should see a space between the line and the ball. If you don’t see a space, then it’s too close to call and the ball should be called IN.
The OUT call must be made promptly - as soon as it is seen as OUT.
If there is a question or doubt of any kind, then the call goes to the benefit of the other team.
For the full set of rules, refer to Section 6 of the USAPA & IFP Official 2020 Rulebook
As safety is of paramount importance in any of our pickleball play, we highly suggest that all players only play in shoes made specifically for court play. These types of shoes can be purchased at almost any sporting type store. Don't just ask for generic tennis shoes, ask for shoes made for court play such as tennis.
With all the rain we've been experiencing lately (and every year come summer), it's a good time to remind everyone how to use the rollers used to remove water from the courts. It's very important to note that you must always hang up the roller when you are done with it. If you leave it standing on the ground, it creates a flat spot on the roller and renders it useless the next time we need to use it. Attached is a link to a YouTube video showing how to use the roller in a circular motion that is supposed to be a faster and more effective method; however, rolling the water off to the end of the courts is still an option.
Two very important things about the roller to avoid damaging it:
Always hang up the roller when done!
Never step on the roller to wring out the water.
Across pickleball courts nationwide the prevailing rule of thumb for the middle ball is that the forehand takes it.
The reasoning offered is that usually both players have a stronger forehand than backhand.
And typically, with two players of comparable skill of the two strokes in the middle, the forehand will be the stronger shot.
Therefore, the player with their forehand in the middle can handle that middle ball better, and also possibly do more damage with it than the player using their backhand in the middle.
But is that really the right answer?
On its face and in the most simplistic of ways to think about it, it very well may be the right answer if all the conditions for it to be the right answer are met.
But what if those conditions aren’t met?
The thing with pickleball is that if you really want to move up the ranks, you have to throw these canned and cliched answers out the window because the real answer is...
What if the backhand is stronger?
What if you are deploying “forehand take the middle” strategy and it’s not working?
What if one player is clearly better than the other, on both sides?
What if the player’s forehand is off that day?
I could go on and on.
All too often, as pickleball players we are far too focused on the stroke: forehands, backhands, 3rd shots, dinks, volleys, swinging, volleys, etc...
...and not concerned enough with where to be on the court, where our partner is, where the opponents are, and what to do in order to maximize how we work the court strategically.
Both on our side with proper court positioning and the opponents side with proper target selection.
Winning pickleball is less about forehands and backhands, and more about where to hit and why so that you are constantly maintaining the strategic advantage on the court.
Helle Sparre, a top senior pro player, knows this on a deep level.
Among many other titles, she is a US Open and National Champion.
In this video, Helle busts the myth of forehand take the middle and explains what to do instead...
There's always more to learn!
Strategy doubles, "the more you hit cross court, the more you have to cover”.