What is a hinder in pickleball?

How will a hinder affect your pickleball game?

Jaclyn Brandt



February 26, 2024

what is a pickleball hinder, and how is it going to affect your game?



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As you begin your pickleball journey, you will hear the term “hinder” or “hindrance.” But what is a pickleball hinder, and how is it going to affect your game?

What is a pickleball hinder?

A hinder or hindrance is anything that interferes with your game that is not directly caused by one your teammate or opponents. This can be either an activity or an element. A hinder will result in a dead ball, play is stopped, and the point will be replayed.

A hinder vs. a distraction

The differences between a hinder and distraction as written in the USA Pickleball rulebook:

3.A.16. Hinder – Any transient element or occurrence not caused by a player that adversely impacts play, not including permanent objects. Examples include, but are not limited to, balls, flying insects, foreign material, players, or officials on another court that, in the opinion of the referee, impacted a player’s ability to make a play on the ball.

3.A.7. Distraction – Physical actions by a player that are ‘not common to the game’ that, in the judgment of the referee, may interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the paddle in a distracting manner, or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or ability to hit the ball.

Examples of a hinder in pickleball

A hinder in pickleball can either be an activity or element. Here are some examples:

  • A ball from another game landing in or near your court.

  • Flying insects.

  • Any players on an adjacent court that caused enough of a distraction to affect your play.

  • Any players who step onto your court during play.

  • Debris flying onto the court.

  • Any other foreign material flying onto your court, like a paddle or clothing.

How is a hinder called?

Any player may call a hinder, and a dead ball occurs as soon as that happens. If the play stops and then everyone decides that the hindrance call was not valid, the team who called the hinder will lose the point or serve. In an officiated match, the referee may also call a hinder.

Pickleball hindrances

Of all the rules in pickleball, hinders may be the most subjective. You will work with your teammate and opponents to determine what constitutes a hinder and what does not, but it’s important to remember that the goal of the hinder rule in pickleball is to keep you 1. safe, and 2. focused on your game.