What Is a Fault in Pickleball?

The simplest definition of fault in any sport is a mistake that stops the game. Any violation of pickleball rules is considered a fault. Faults will either cause you to lose service or lose points, neither of which is good. Thus, it behooves you to learn what would cause a fault so you can best avoid causing one.

Keep in mind that you can only call out faults in unofficial pickleball matches. During official tournaments, you can not call out the faults – only the referees can do that.

No matter which team or player commits a fault, only the serving team is capable of scoring. The receiving side can not score points by the error of the serving team; they simply get possession of the ball. So, let us make it simple for you to know about pickleball faults:

How Many Faults are in Pickleball?

Any pickleball rule violation results in the pickleball becoming dead, and the rally is over instantly. The rally will be won by the person or team who followed the regulations, so understanding what rules you need to follow is important.

Are there faults in pickleball? Approximately there are 10 faults in pickleball, and we have listed them with names of areas in the pickleball court. This will help you understand them better, even if you are a beginner.

Serve Faults:

Here are some faults that can happen during service ball:

  • The service should be done from the right side with the player standing behind the baseline.
  • You have to understand the two-bounce rule to know service faults. Once a ball is served, the receiving team needs to let it bounce once before hitting it. If you volley a service, it’s a fault. Similarly, the serving team also needs to let it bounce, and after that, bouncing is not needed unless it’s in the kitchen zone.
  • Letting the pickleball bounce twice on the same side of the court.
  • In doubles, if the service ball comes in contact with the server’s partner, then it’s a service fault. Contact of the ball with the player’s body parts is also a fault in singles.
  • A serving ball going out of the sidelines, baselines, or getting stuck in the net. A service ball landing straight in the kitchen zone is also a fault.
  • None of the players can call a time-out after the service is served.

Foot faults:

Not every beginner knows foot pickleball faults. So, What is a foot fault in pickleball? A foot fault in pickleball is when a player volleys the ball inside the kitchen (Non-volley zone).

  • If you pass the non-volley zone line and stand in the kitchen then you must let the ball bounce once before hitting it.
  • Any surface beyond the sideline or the centerline that is contacted by the server’s feet will be a mistake.

It’s not a problem to hit the pickleball once it has bounced in the kitchen zone.

Kitchen And Net Faults:

The kitchen and non-volley zone mean the same thing. Here are some faults to avoid while playing in the kitchen. It’s the area after the non-volley zone line in front of the net.

  • Serving in the kitchen zone is a fault, and it can also be referred to as a service fault.
  • Net faults mean if a serving or receiving ball hits the net.
  • Plus, hitting the ball to the net post is also a dead ball fault.

Some players hit the ball in haste before it gets across the net; that’s also against the rules.

Other Common Faults In Pickleball:

  • There are many fault lines; for example, the sideline is a fault line if the ball is hit over it. Or the non-volley zone line is a fault line if you volley while you are over it.
  • The pickleball coming in contact with any part of the body aside from the paddle is a fault. For instance, if the ball is hit with the hand while in the air, then it’s a pickleball mistake.
  • A paddle touching the floor, net, or net posts is a fault.
  • The bouncing of the ball more than once before hitting.
  • Catching the pickleball, assuming it would go out of bounds, is also unacceptable.
  • Hitting the pickleball with the paddle more than once.

Tips To Avoid Faults In Pickleball:

Just understand this guide, and you will get the gist of how to avoid pickleball faults. Also, here are some tips to get used to acing pickleball game quickly, plus you can avoid faults with ease:

  • Practice makes perfect

Practicing with your partner can help you perfect. It will help build muscle memory which will help you during a live pickleball match. Take baby steps and learn basic skills at your own pace.

  • Knowledge is power

You can not know how to avoid faults if you have no idea about the rules of pickleball. So, get familiar with the rules and regulations of pickleball. This way, you can know what to avoid.

  • Be mildly cautious

 Don’t recklessly hit the ball when you are stepping into the Kitchen zone. Most blunders are made in the non-volley zone. Therefore, be cautious and let the ball bounce when you step into the kitchen zone.


As pickleball is a spot that is a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton, the rules might be similar and jarring. But the more you practice, the better you will become at easily recognizing the faults. We recommend starting practicing the service faults as beginners as they are easier to get used to. Also, during professional matches, never intimidate your opponent’s team by clapping or booing.


  1. Should you shout to your pickleball partner during a live pickleball match?

When a player in a doubles game yells “out,” “stop,” or other similar words to their partner while the pickleball is in the air, it’s regarded as partner signals and is not a fault.

  1. In pickleball, which player should serve first?

The server is always on the right side of the court in both singles and doubles games. In doubles, the stronger player should serve to maintain a dominant state in the match.

  1. What does the pickleball “10-second rule” mean?

This regulation precisely indicates that the server gets 10 seconds to serve once the score is announced. If the player exceeds the limit, it’s a fault.

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