More than once I have been at the outside courts or sat on the bench waiting for the next game and the topic of conversation with my fellow Picklers is “When is a ball in and when is it out?” There seems to be some disagreement as to what exactly is correct so this is what the official rules from the USAPA and IFP Tournament Rulebook have to say: Section 6.

A ball contacting the playing surface outside of the baseline or side-line, even though the edge of the ball overlaps the line, is considered out of bounds. There is a great diagram which really clarifies the situation however I cannot duplicate it here. Go to https://www.usapa.org/docs/ifp/USAPA-Rulebook.pdf Below, please see another diagram which may help. This is from https:www.boisepickleballclub.org/rules-referees/referee-guide/

I like the other paragraphs of Section 6 which in essence state that the person nearest the ball gets to make the call whilst their partner helps if the other partner is unsure. If in doubt, the shot is good.

You can ask a player on the opposing team if they saw the ball. If you do this then you are bound by their decision. To summarize though, if in doubt, unless a ball is definitely called out then it is good.

Clear as mud.

If you would like to try-out a new paddle, let me know. Get fit, stay healthy and have fun.