by Jenny Foster

Pickleball game is not all about hitting the ball and gaining a point. It is also very important that players avoid mistakes, such as those commonly made in the non-volley zone.

The common non-volley zone mistakes can be described using several scenarios, such as the following:

  • The first non-volley zone mistake occurs when all players are up at the non-volley zone line near the net. Supposing that the players are dinking the ball, one of them may suddenly decide to go for an offensive lob. With this shot, the ball is expected to go over the opponent’s head. Meanwhile, to counter-hit the incoming lob, the opponent may step back with one foot while the other one steps forward and ends up on the non-volley zone line or zone, that is, a non-volley zone error. As a rule, both feet should be outside the non-volley zone when hitting the ball.
  • Another common non-volley zone error is when a player fails to go back outside the non-volley zone after hitting a ball near the net. The sequence of shots leading to this error can be described as follows:

Player 1 goes near the net (non-volley zone to hit a ball) à Opponent hits back the ball à Player 1 hits the ball again but one or both feet are still in the non-volley zone (error)

  • Next, imagine pickleball player(s) putting pressure on the opponents near the net beyond the non-volley zone. They may be exchanging volleys or dinks with their opponents. In this case, when the players become too engaged in the game, they may forget where the non-volley zone line is and step on it accidentally, thus making an error.
  • When up at the non-volley zone, volley exchange between players of the different teams may cause them to lose their balance while trying to hit the ball. As a result, they may use a hand or their paddle to push off themselves from the ground to regain balance, which is considered an error or fault.
  • Finally, players tend to also make a mistake when making at erne, that is, the shot hit by player from the side of court outside the non-volley zone. The mistake here is when a player steps on the side line of the non-volley zone or having one or both feet at the non-volley zone as they hit the ball from the side.

In the end, players are vulnerable to making mistakes when in the non-volley zone. However, awareness and mindful playing can greatly help in avoiding such errors and improving one’s skills in pickleball.