Pickleball Fault & Dead Ball Rules -USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook


A fault is any action that stops play because of a rule violation.

A fault will be declared for the following:

  • A. If the serve or service return does not bounce before striking the ball (Two-Bounce Rule).
  • B. Hitting the ball into the net on the serve or any return.
  • C. Hitting the ball out of bounds.
  • D. Failure to hit the ball before it bounces twice on the receiving player’s court.
  • E. Violation of any service rule. See Section 4.
  • F. A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle touches the net  when the ball is in play.
  • G. The ball in play strikes a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s paddle hand below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle, or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, then the ball is still in play.
  • H. A live ball that is stopped by a player before it becomes dead.
  • I. A ball in play strikes any permanent object before bouncing on the court.
  • J. If the ball in play hits a permanent object after it has bounced on the court, the player who hit the ball wins the rally.
  • K. Violation of the non-volley-zone rules. See Section 9.
  • L. Violation of the other rules. See Sections 11 and 12.
  • M. The serve is made by bouncing the ball before hitting it.
  • N. Once the ball is in play, a player hits the ball before it passes the plane of the net.

8.A. A dead ball is declared after any action that stops play.
8.B. A ball is declared dead once it has bounced twice before being returned or has violated one of the fault rules.
8.C. A hinder called by the referee or player will result in a dead ball. The referee will determine if the hinder called by the player was valid. A valid hinder will result in a replay.