It’s true that a ball that hits the line is good. In other words, the line is considered part of the court. But it’s not that simple.
Do you know that a ball contacting the playing surface outside of the baseline or sideline, (the kitchen line on the serve is a different rule) even though the edge of the ball overlaps the line, is considered out of bounds?
The ball doesn’t compress like a tennis ball, to touch the surface of the court + the line + the outside of the court all at one time.
So, if it touches only the line it is good.
If it touches the line plus the surface inside the court it is good.
If it’s simply overhanging the line, because the ball doesn’t compress like a tennis ball, and is actually outside of the court, it is a fault.
This is a fine distinction, one requiring a good eye and perfect positioning to see and feel sure you can make the call. The angle of which you see the ball and the line alters perception and judgment on these calls.
In friendly games, we are pretty generous in letting most balls that touch any part of the line be considered good.
Still a little confused? Watch the Video
Bev writes a weekly email blast for our pickleball club. She delivers the rules with clarity and a sense of humor. If you have a rules question post it in the comments below.
Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)