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Pickleball Erne rules: You can do that?

Pickleball Erne rules: You can do that?


By Jaclyn Brandt

On: 03/11/2024

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strategy

There are a few shots in pickleball that seem like a mistake, especialy the pickleball Erne shot.
There are a few shots in pickleball that seem like a mistake, especialy the pickleball Erne shot.

There are a few shots in pickleball that seem like a mistake — but are actually completely legal moves. If you see a pickleball Erne for the first time, you might assume it is completely outside the realm of anything you would ever try but it is something you are allowed to do, as long as you do it correctly.

What is an Erne in pickleball?

A pickleball Erne is a move that can be done in two different ways:

  1. When a player hits the ball out of the air while jumping over the kitchen, as long as they land outside the court, out of bounds. 

  2. When a player hits the ball next to the kitchen, but out of bounds — even if your feet never leave the ground. If you ran through the kitchen zone to get out of bounds, you must first re-establish your feet outside the non-volley zone before hitting the ball.

The Erne is usually a high-level shot, so if you are a beginner, you may want to work on your basics before trying this pickleball shot.

Pickleball Erne rules

The pickleball Erne is a completely legal shot, as long as you don’t hit a volley with your feet in the non-volley zone, even if they landed there after the shot.

To pull off a legal Erne, you should either:

  1. Begin your jump with both feet completely behind the kitchen line, and land with both feet completely out of bounds.

  2. Hit the ball with both feet completely out of bounds. If you ran through the NVZ to get out of bounds, both feet must be re-established outside the NVZ before your paddle hits the net.

Why is it called an Erne?

The Erne shot in pickleball is named after Erne Perry, a pickleball player who made the shot famous and was the first one to use it in competitive pickleball.

What is a Bert in pickleball?

A Bert is a similar shot to the Erne, and is named because “Bert” is the partner of “Ernie” on Sesame Street — or the opposite.

A pickleball Bert is when someone hits an Erne shot, but does so on their partner’s side of the court. So instead of going out of bounds on their side of the court, they cross over, past their partner, and land or hit the shot on the opposite out-of-bounds zone.

Is an Erne legal in pickleball?

The pickleball Erne is a completely legal shot, even though it may not seem like it at first. When you begin to get better and improve your pickleball skills, you may want to try some trick shots like this. But either way, you should always be prepared in case an opponent ever tries it.

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