Pickleball Head Referee Don Stanley tips about OUT BALLS
The Definitive Guide to OUT BALLS – Straight from Head Referee Don Stanley
It looks like Out balls have reared its ugly head again. Just today, I saw a post on Facebook about Out balls. Had a couple of images on it. There were 355 comments all over the place. I also saw a post last week. The illustration on it looked like the old USAPA rule book illustration modified. There seems to be a lot of conversation out there about apples. So I figured I would ask our expert Don Stanley certified referee to help us out with apples, and that’s what we do in this video. Let’s get into it.
In my experience playing pickleball, you’re in one of those entertaining games. And it’s 8-7-2. And then there’s a disagreed call. One team thinks the ball was out, and the other team says the ball was in. Now you have just a great game that turns into a sour conversation. And so I think it’s helpful for us to talk a little bit about, you know, what represents an out ball, who makes those calls, and then what process is in place to maybe help alleviate that situation and maybe some guidelines we can give folks you know to help them try and navigate those waters.
That’s a great place to start. Let’s look at what really makes a ball in or out. So we have w the line which is part of the court, and we have that out of bounds area. Whatever part of that ball physically touches the ground, that’s what determines if it’s in or out. And here’s an important point for a ball to be out. 100 percent of that ball has to be touching the out-of-bounds area. If one percent of that ball is touching the line, technically, that ball touched the line, which it did physically, which makes the ball in. It’s the ball’s actual physical contact with the ground and where it happens to touch in on the line or out of bounds that determines that.
The issue now is how do we decide, “OK, that ball that I’m looking down on is in or out?” My understanding of the guiding principle of that decision is me making that decision whether I can see any out-of-bounds court between the line and the ball from my vantage point. That’s really the only way to make the call with certainty that that ball is out.
If I’m looking to my right and see the court line, if I see the line, and then I see a little bit of out-of-bounds gap area, and then I see the ball bounce, I can with complete faith and complete sincerity make a true honest yes. That ball was out because, in my mind, I saw a gap.
The way I think about that as well as it’s the benefit of the doubt. If I’m not 100 percent sure, then the ball is in. The only way to call it out is if I see paint between the line and the ball.
At the end of the day, when not sure, the ball is in. If you call it out, but there is room in your mind that it could be different and your opponents go nuts, then maybe let them make the call. If you are sure about the call, stick with it. But if not 100%, go with the flow. That will keep the game relaxed and fun for all.
Good luck out there.
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