Can You Hit A Pickleball With Your Hand? Learn The Rules!

Can You Hit A Pickleball With Your Hand?

Pickleball, the fast-paced and addictive sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, has been capturing the hearts of players around the world One of the most common questions that people have about pickleball is Can You Hit A Pickleball With Your Hand?

So the answer is no, you can’t hit a pickleball with your hand in pickleball. It’s against the rules. However, if the ball accidentally touches your hand while holding the paddle, it’s allowed as long as it’s not intentional. Stick to using the paddle for a fair game!

Here I’ll explore why they are considered faults in gameplay, what happens if you inadvertently hit a ball with your hands or foot, and provide some real-world experiences from avid pickleball enthusiasts.

Can You Hit A Pickleball With Your Hand? Discover Why

According to the USAPA Pickleball Rulebook, you are not allowed to hit the pickleball with your hand in pickleball because it can hurt yourself or other players in the game.

It can also damage equipment if done too vigorously or too often. However, there is an exception to this rule. 

When the ball is struck by the paddler’s hand underneath the wrist while still holding the pickleball paddle, the hit is considered legal.

Allowing pickleball players to hand hits could lead to safety concerns on the pickleball court. Pickleballs are made of hard plastic, and getting struck by a fast-moving ball can cause injuries or accidents.

If a pickleball accidentally hits your hand during gameplay, it usually results in a point for the opposing team or player if it occurs within their legal boundaries.

Rules For Hand Hits In Pickleball

The rules for hand hits in pickleball are as follows:

  • Only the paddle hand below the wrist is allowed to hit the ball.
  • If any other part of your body hits the ball, it is a fault.
  • If you are in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle, or if you are attempting a two-handed stroke, and the ball hits your hand below the wrist, it is still in play.
  • If the ball hits your body first and then rebounds onto your paddle hand below the wrist, it is still in play. However, if the ball hits any other part of your body first, it is a fault.

While playing pickleball and hitting the ball with your hand may seem like an instinctual move in certain situations, it is against the rules of pickleball.it’s best to rely on using only the paddle provided when striking the ball.

What Happens If A Pickleball Hits Your Hand?

When the ball makes contact with your hand, it is considered a fault according to the rules of pickleball. This means that you have committed an error and the opposing team will be awarded a point.

If the ball strikes your hand below the wrist while still holding the paddle, it is considered legal. If the ball hits any other area of your body, it is also considered a fault.

It’s important to note that hitting the ball with your hand can cause injuries, such as sprained fingers or wrists, especially if the ball is hit with excessive force 

And speaking from experience the severity of the pain will depend on the speed and force of the ball. In some cases, it may cause bruising or swelling. 

Why Are Hand Hits A Fault?

Hand hits are considered a fault in pickleball because they can cause injuries to players and damage equipment if done too vigorously or too often.

Hitting the ball with your hand can also result in unpredictable shots and make the game less enjoyable for all players. 

Allowing players to hit the ball with their hands would give them an unfair advantage. Players would be able to hit the ball harder and with more control, making it difficult for their opponents to return the ball.

By enforcing strict rules against hand hits, pickleball maintains its integrity as a sport that values fairness, skill, and strategy.

It levels the playing field for all participants and promotes a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

What Happens If The Ball Hits Your Foot?

If the ball hits your foot while you are within the boundaries of play, it is considered a fault. According to pickleball rules, any contact made by the ball with any part of your body below the waist results in a point being awarded to your opponents.

The rationale behind this rule is simple using your feet or lower extremities to strike or block a shot can provide an unfair advantage. It goes against fair play and disrupts the intended gameplay of using paddles only.

Deliberately using your foot intentionally is not only against official pickleball rules but also poses safety risks. Kicking or stomping on balls can lead to injuries such as twisted ankles or falls that could harm both players involved.

How To Avoid A Hit With Your Hand In Pickleball?

1. Get In The Right Position

One of the best ways to avoid getting hit with your hand in pickleball is to ensure you are always in the correct position on the court. Keep yourself balanced and ready for any shots that may come your way.

2. Use Proper Technique

When hitting a pickleball, it’s important to use proper technique to reduce the chances of a hand hit. Keep your paddle positioned correctly and focus on using a smooth, controlled swing motion.

3. Anticipate Shots

By anticipating where your opponent is likely to hit the ball, you can better position yourself and avoid potential hand hits. Pay attention to their body language and shot selection patterns.

4. Stay Alert

Don’t let your guard down during a game of pickleball! Stay focused and keep your eyes on the ball at all times. This will help you react quickly and avoid any unexpected hand hits.

5. Communicate with partners

If you’re playing doubles, communication between partners is crucial for avoiding hand hits. Make sure everyone knows their positions on the side of the court and coordinate effectively to prevent any collisions or mishaps.


The answer to the question “Can you hit a pickleball with your hand?” is no, you can’t hit. While it is allowed to use your hand to hit the ball in certain situations. The rules for hand hits in pickleball state that the ball must be struck with an open palm and without any spin. 

If the ball hits your hand unintentionally while playing, it is considered a fault and results in a point being awarded to your opponents.

To avoid hitting the pickleball with your hand unintentionally, make sure you keep a proper distance from where you anticipate its path will be and use appropriate racket positioning instead of relying solely on your hands for returns or volleys.


Is Pickleball A High-Risk Sport?

Pickleball is generally considered a low to moderate-risk sport compared to high-impact activities. It’s known for being easier on the joints and less injury-prone due to its slower pace and smaller court size.

Where can you not hit the ball in pickleball?

In pickleball, you cannot hit the ball out of bounds or into the “no-volley zone” (often called the “kitchen”) during a serve or volley. These areas are designated as off-limits for hitting the ball.

Why do people fall in pickleball?

People may fall in pickleball due to factors such as sudden changes in direction, loss of balance, or trying to reach a ball that’s challenging to return. It can happen in any sport involving movements.



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