Pickleball: is the Third Shot Drop Offensive or Defensive

Mark Renneson, Third Shot Sports, discusses offensive and defensive shots/tactics in the video below. He then continues to examine whether the third shot drop shot (the gold standard of professional pickleball) is an offensive or defensive play. If you haven’t thought about this before, I think you will find this interesting.

 

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: Improve Your Volleys

Jordan Briones explains why it is important to maintain a compact swing when you are at the NVZ. He provides three important points to make sure your volleys go where you want them to go and how to keep them direct and sharp.



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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Legacy Sports Arena Update

In May of 2019, I wrote about the development of the Legacy Sports Arena in N. Phoenix, Arizona. While the construction of such a facility would be welcome in any area in America, what really caught my interest was the inclusion of pickleball.

You can read the original story HERE

The recent health emergency has slowed some progress, but quite a bit of the complex has been completed. Driving by the area on rt. 17, the structure is clearly visible.



Instead of early fall, 2020 it is more likely that the Legacy Sports Arena will open in late fall or early winter.

Here are some recent pictures for comparison…







A panorama of the area!



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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball in the time of COVID-19

NO EXCUSES…PICKLEBALL ANYWHERE IN THE HOUSE with Miguel Enciso. A simple DO-IT-YOURSELF project

NOTE: The string Miguel used in the video was 12′ long (+/-).

From the YouTube Video:

No more excuses when it comes to playing our favorite paddle game with the silly name. Here’s an easy DIY project (big shout out to my friends at HOME AND FAMILY on the Hallmark Channel for teaching me everything I know about DIYing). NO MORE EXCUSES…keep your body and your mind active during this difficult time for our communities, our country and our world. Be safe and always PADDLE UP!


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Hank Weiss, PhD, MH, MS – Epidemiologist is apparently a pickleball player. He has created a video detailing how the Coronavirus works and more importantly, what it means for playing pickleball. Is there a safe way to play during the COVID-19 pandemic?

If you want to skip the general COVID-19 discussion, fast-forward to the 9:12 (+/-) time frame to find out what it really portends for pickleballers.

BTW – (Some Mild NSFW content/coments)

NOTE – Recent reports indicate that COVID-19 can also be transmitted via another person who has the disease whether or not they are symptomatic via their breath. Apparently there does not have to be a particle release.


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Is it SAFE to Play?

As our nation works its way through this national emergency I am sure there a number of pickleball players are wondering whether there is a safe way to play pickleball. Of course the word “safe” may be a relative term.

To help JBRish readers decide for themselves whether or not it is safe, I would like to offer the following resources.

NOTE the interview below is by a licensed and well-respected medical professional.



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Can We Play Pickleball Please?
********** The quick answer is NO! **********

Below is an excerpt from the above article written by the Pickleball Rocks Team. Pickleball Rocks is a long-time business that has supported our sport for many years. I am sure the information they are providing is with your best interest in mind.

To play almost 100% safely….

1) You must wash the balls before you begin your game.
2) Every person on the court would have been through 14 days of isolation directly prior to coming out to play. This would assure they have not unknowingly picked up the virus anywhere. If they’ve been anywhere around people after completing the 14 days of isolation and prior to coming to play, they could potentially be carriers again, so invite someone else.
3) Any benches or chairs at the court would need to be sanitized.
4) The courts you are about to play on haven’t had anyone carrying the virus playing on the courts in the last 9 days (supposedly that is the maximum about a time the virus can live on a hard surface). So there is no danger of the ball picking up the virus while you are playing.

Read the complete article for more information and details by clicking HERE

 


EP 35: Pickleball and Covid-19 – What You Need to Know
********** How Safe is it to be Playing Pickleball? **********

Please understand that the opinions expressed in this interview are not my opinions. The views are those of the interviewer, Mark Renneson and Dr. Anne Matlow (Professor of Medicine, Paediatrics, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and retired infectious disease physician who was on Ontario’s provincial advisory committee during the SARS outbreak of 2003.)

The interview is via telephone and some of the audio is low-volume. To go to the page with the interview, CLICK HERE and click the green arrow! I recommend listening to the entire interview to get all of the information presented.

 
NOTE Mark Renneson has been a good friend to pickleballers around the world especially in the US and Canada. I have featured a number of his videos on my website and in newsletters I send to you.

In his latest newsletter Mark asks for help keeping his small business functioning. Click HERE AND SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO READ HIS PERSONAL MESSAGE !

Thank you for your consideration in this regard.

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Calling the Lines – No Do-overs!

Almost weekly I will be watching a pickleball game and a ball is hit that is very close to the boundary line. That is to say, the ball is barely “in” or barely “out. The team receiving the shot does not seem to be able to make a definitive call and a meeting at the net of all players ensues.

Humorously, at this point someone might yell “open court,” thinking that the game is over. Waiting players scurry towards the court with the committee meeting taking place only to realize that the game is not over and they dissappointedly head back to their previous spots.

Meanwhile, the players at the net decide that the call could not be conclusively made by any of the players and thus they declare a do-over!

I have seen this scenario numerous times. There are very few do-overs in pickleball and the above situation would definitely not be one of them.

Let’s quickly take a look at the rule:

6.D.3. The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made. Any ball that cannot be called “out” will be considered “in.” A player cannot claim a “let” because the ball was not seen or there is uncertainty. A player who does not make a call may appeal to the referee to make the call if they did not clearly see the ball land. If the referee is unable to make the call, the ball is “in.” The moment the receiving player/team appeals to the referee, they lose their right to make any subsequent “in” or “out” call. pp. 28 – 29, USAPA & IFP Official Rulebook

As stated above, according to the official rulebook, any ball that cannot be called “out” will be considered “in” and thus if there is doubt that the ball was out, then it must be considered in. There should not be a do-over.

For certain nobody is going to call the police or escort the players off of the court, but if you are like me, I like to stick to the official rules. The rules provide a “fairness framework” and facilitate a smoother level of play.

Line calls are very important and if you are not sure of the nuances of calling balls in or out and which lines are valid or not, I suggest you read the article linked below courtesy of the Charlotte Dilly News, Feb 1 2020.

Line Calls by Dick Osman

 
NOTE: Pay close attention to Dick Osman’s last paragraph – the bottom line!

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Foot Position When Serving

Recently two people approached me to ask about foot alignment when preparing to serve the ball. Let’s take a look at the pickleball court layout and make sure we understand the terms used.



When standing on the court, the right-hand side is often referred to as the “even” side and the left hand side is often called the “odd” side. We won’t go into the reason for this terminology now.

The line at the very bottom of the court is referred to as the Baseline and in the diagram above, it is being pointed to by the red arrows. Likewise, the corresponding lines on the other side of the court have the same names and distinctions. The line dividing the even and the odd courts is called the Centerline for obvious reasons.

The two double-headed purple arrows mark the right and left Sidelines.



Now let’s take a look at the pickleball court and let’s assume you are Server A in the diagram above. As you know the server has to hit the ball within the rectangle, diagonally cross court, which is represented by the point of the blue arrow.

Server A is standing in a legal position in the diagram above.

Let’s consider a slightly different position for Server A.



What if server A wants to get a better angle and he or she stands outside the sideline when they hit the ball?. Well, that would be an illegal position and thus an illegal serve.

Let’s take a look at the rule governing this situation.

At the beginning of the service motion, both feet must be behind the baseline and the imaginary extensions of the baseline. At the time the ball is struck, the server’s feet may not touch the court or outside the imaginary extension of the sideline or the centerline and at least one foot must be on the playing surface or ground behind the baseline. Page 17 of the 2020 USAPA Official Rulebook, section 4.A.3

If you notice the rule says “At the time the ball is struck.” When player A hits the ball, his or her feet may not touch the court our outside the imaginary extension of the sideline or the centerline…

The sidelines and centerline theoretically are infinite and the server is obligated to stay within the appropriate boundaries created by these lines when the ball is struck.



Server A then must be standing within the blue shaded area at the time the paddle hits the ball to deliver the serve (see the diagram below).


This applies to both the even and the odd courts on both sides although only the A court is addressed in the diagram.

One last requirement is that “at least one foot must be on the playing surface or ground behind the baseline.”

Summary:

When the ball is struck to deliver the serve, the server must stay with in the corridor formed by imaginary boundary lines that define the appropriate court side (even or odd) as indicated above

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Is this serve “legal”? – VIDEO

I can’t tell you how many times I see people using illegal serves during recreational play. A serve has several key elements:

  • The serve has to be done with an upward path (underhand)
  • The head of the paddle needs to be below the wrist when the ball is struck
  • Contact with the ball must be made below waist level


This is what it looks like in pictures

pickleball serve in pictures
[ From p.17 of USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook ]

Of course the server’s feet have to be appropriately within bounds and behind the baseline until after the ball is struck.

There are those who have always used a serve that would not meet all of these requirements, but others may have “drifted” away from a legal serve through bad habits or poor practice.

My serve was questioned recently and I went back to the drawing board to make sure that I was complying with all elements. I wanted to be “obviously” correct. As you can see in the video below, it isn’t always easy to tell if a serve is completely legal.

Watch Mark Renneson of Third Shot Pickleball as he demonstrates a variety of serves and discusses the differences between them and whether or not they might be considered illegal, i.e. a fault!

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Don’t Win the Point, Just Don’t Lose the Point!

“If you’re an amateur your focus should be on avoiding stupidity, not seeking brilliance.” – Charlie Munger

While Pickleball is NOT Tennis, there may be some lessons we can draw from Tennis and apply them to pickleball.

The quotes below discuss elements from the book Extraordinary Tennis for the Ordinary Tennis Player by Simon Ramo, but are not necessarily directly from the book. The quotes were copied from the article linked below.

It has been my experience that the word pickleball can just as likely be replaced with pickleball!

“Although players in both games [ amateur and professional tennis ] use the same equipment, dress, rules and scoring, and conform to the same etiquette and customs, the basic natures of their two games are almost entirely different. After extensive scientific and statistical analysis, Dr. Ramo summed it up this way: Professionals win points, amateurs lose points. Professional tennis players stroke the ball with strong, well aimed shots, through long and often exciting rallies, until one player is able to drive the ball just beyond the reach of his opponent. Errors are seldom made by these splendid players.”**

“The amateur duffer seldom beats his opponent, but he beats himself all the time. The victor in this game of tennis gets a higher score than the opponent, but he gets that higher score because his opponent is losing even more points.”**

“In expert tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are won; in amateur tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are lost. In other words, professional tennis is a Winner’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the winner – and amateur tennis is a Loser’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the loser.”**

**Avoiding Stupidity is easier than Seeking Brilliance


In Summary

According to the above, amateur pickleballers (and of course I include myself in that group) win their games not necessarily because they make the best shots and have the best skills. They simply make less errors than their opponents. If this is not new and it is “good enough” for you, no need to read further.

For some, this might be a different way of looking at things and an inspiration to “win” the points rather than have your opponent lose them.

When I introduce people to pickleball, I often encourage them to avoid trying for the “perfect” shots within inches of the lines or those that just clear the net. Instead, I advise them to make solid shots and force the opponent to return the ball.

There will be times when their amateur opponent will miss a simple overhead, easy dink or block-volley simply because they take their eye of the ball.

Remember, we aren’t relegated to this scenario for ever. As we gain experience and improve our skills, we can seek levels of pickleball brilliance!

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How to Improve so You Can Avoid “Pickleball Stupidity”


Joe Baker has provided excellent videos for aspiring pickleballers. Watching or re-watching them will help avoid many pickleball errors.

 

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101-How to Play Smart Pickleball, Ten Tips


 


Doubles Pickleball Strategy 102 – Smart Pickleball Vol. 2, Power


 

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 103: Don’t Hit Out Balls, Six Easy Rules


 

We can start with the videos above and hopefully play a “smarter” amateur’s game!

 

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: Fix the hole in your paddle – watch the ball!

Perhaps you have heard the phrases…

“You can’t hit it, if you can’t see it.” or “Hit it? I can’t even see it!”

This highlights a major problem in pickleball (and many other sports). We are all told that we need to watch the ball until it makes contact with the paddle. Well, that seems pretty easy and in warm-ups it can easily be done.

Once a game begins however, many players lose concentration and become so interested in seeing the results of their “hit” that they look up at the last minute and thus often do not hit the ball in the paddle’s sweet spot where it is easy to direct the ball and control the speed.

How many times has this happened to you (and me)…You think you have an easy shot and you are ready for it and when the ball comes you swing for what you think is going to be a good shot or a winner and you whiff; miss the ball completely.

Some players then look at the paddle as though there is a hole in it which the ball just happened to pass through. Most of the time this is caused because, at the last moment, the player took their eye off of the ball.

The two pictures below show highly skilled pickleball players hitting the ball. Notice where their eyes are focusing:



picture courtesy of the USAPA


picture courtesy of YouTube video: Blocking with Sarah Ansboury
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQa0N5TtSW0&feature=youtu.be

These players are focused on watching the ball until the paddle makes contact!

Looking up just before hitting the ball can often cause the ball to hit the edge of the paddle, the handle or somewhere on the paddle face that does not enable the ball to be properly stroked to acquire the appropriate direction and/or speed.

Practicing watching the ball is important. Start with the serve because at that point, you are not anticipating a quick shot coming right back to you. Watch the ball hit the paddle. This will give you a sense and feel of what it is like. Develop this routine and go on to watching the ball on your ground stroke, backhand, lob and dink.

In the video below, pickleball coach Matty Klein discusses the importance of keeping your eyes on the ball and demonstrates how it is done to achieve the proper effect.

Tennis has been closely compared to pickleball because of some of the similarities so let’s consider a study addressed in an article Watch The Ball? How Elite Tennis Players Focus On The Contact Point by By Damien Lafont, PhD and Certified Tennis Coach, France (First published in the ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, Dec. 2007)

“Additionally, what contrasts with previous studies is that Federer and Nadal (tennis champions of distinction [ed)] not only keep their eye on the ball up to the moment of impact, but after impact their head remains still and in the direction of the contact zone.

This ‘fixation’ of the contact zone is the trademark of elite players.

The most noteworthy finding was that elite players were able to maintain a fairly consistent control; a consistency also illustrated on the women’s tour by Steffi Graf who kept her eyes on the ball on every shot with significant fixation stage after impact.”

Source – https://www.tennismindgame.com/how-pros-watch-the-ball.html

To quote Tennis Professional Michael Emmett: “…none of these techniques are relevant – if you’re NOT watching the ball!”

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com