What Is An Erne In Pickleball-A Game Changer

What Is An Erne In Pickleball-A Game Changer

One such technique that has gained widespread attention and admiration is the “erne.” Understanding the Erne, its origins, execution, and strategic implications is essential. But what exactly is an erne? Well, let me break it down for you.

The Answer is “Erne” a daring move where a player jumps over the non-volley zone (the kitchen) to return the ball to the opponent’s side. It showcases agility and strategy, often surprising opponents and spectators alike.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, mastering this impressive shot can give you a significant edge on the courts. So grab your paddle and get ready to learn what an erne is all about!

What Is An Erne In Pickleball?

According to insights from Sarah Ansboury, An erne in pickleball is a shot that is played from outside the non-volley zone and over the net, but with the player’s feet still outside the kitchen. 

This is a legal shot because the rules of pickleball only state that players cannot volley the ball from inside the kitchen. The erne is named after erne Perry, a pickleball player who popularized the shot.

The erne is a difficult shot to execute, but it can be very effective. It is a surprise shot that can catch opponents off guard.

The erne can also be used to put pressure on opponents and force them to make mistakes.

Rules Of The Erne Shot In Pickleball

  • The player must step outside the non-volley zone (kitchen) before hitting the ball.
  • The player can either jump and hit the ball in the air, or run around or through the kitchen and re-establish their feet outside the sidelines before hitting the ball.
  • The ball must be hit on the player’s side of the net.
  • The player cannot touch the net or the net post.
  • The player cannot land in the kitchen after hitting the ball.

How To Execute An Erne-Step-by-Step

Mastering the execution of an erne in pickleball can be a game-changer on the court. This advanced technique requires precision, timing, and agility. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to execute an erne like a pro.

1. Position Yourself

Start by positioning yourself near the kitchen line on either side of the net. Keep your body slightly sideways to face the net and maintain balance.

2. Read Your Opponent

 Anticipate when your opponent is going to hit a cross-court shot or lob over you by watching their body language and racket position.

3. Move quickly

As soon as you identify an opportunity for an erne, take quick steps toward the sideline while maintaining proper footwork technique.

4. Angle your paddle

Once you reach the ideal spot near the sideline, angle your paddle downwards towards your knees with its edge facing upwards.

5. Reach high

Extend one arm above shoulder height to catch the ball before it crosses over into no-volley zone territory (the kitchen).

6. Follow through smoothly 

After making contact with power and control, continue moving forward without stopping abruptly to maintain momentum for any follow-up shots if necessary.

Executing an erne successfully takes practice and coordination between anticipation, footwork, paddle positioning, timing, and reachability skills whilst keeping within legal boundaries set forth by pickleball rules


The Significance Of An Erne

When it comes to the game of pickleball, mastering different shots can truly elevate your gameplay. And one shot that holds immense significance in this sport is the erne.

  • Game-Changer: An erne is a game-changer that can turn the tide of a match in an instant, swinging momentum in your favor.
  • Psychological Advantage: Successfully using an erne can also create a psychological advantage over your opponents, making them more cautious and hesitant in their shots.
  • Spectacular Moments: ernes can produce some of the most spectacular moments in pickleball, electrifying both players and spectators.
  • Competitive Edge: Having the erne in your repertoire provides you with a competitive edge, as not all players can execute it effectively.

How To Defend Against An Erne Pickleball

Defending against an erne in pickleball can be a challenging task, but with the right strategy and technique, you can effectively counter this game-changing move. 

Here are a few tips to help you defend against an erne and keep the momentum on your side.

Stay Alert

The key to defending against an erne is anticipation. Keep your eyes on your opponent’s movements and be ready for any sudden cross-court shots or dinks that may set up an erne opportunity.

Position Yourself Strategically

Positioning is crucial when defending against an erne. Stand closer to the sideline, which will make it more difficult for your opponent to execute a successful shot down the line.

Quick Reflexes

React quickly when you see your opponent setting up for an erne. Be prepared to move laterally towards the kitchen line and get into position to block or volley their shot.

Use Soft Hands

When defending against an erne, focus on using soft hands instead of hitting with power. Softly blocking or redirecting their shot will help control the pace of the rally and prevent them from gaining too much advantage.

The Impact Of The Erne On Pickleball

The erne has left an indelible mark on the world of pickleball, impacting the game in several key ways:

  • Evolution of Strategy: The presence of erne has forced players to adapt their strategies, making the game more dynamic and exciting.
  • Enhanced Spectator Experience: Spectators are treated to thrilling moments when players execute ernes, adding an element of excitement to pickleball matches.
  • Continuous Innovation: The erne is just one example of how pickleball players continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what’s possible in the sport.

Why Is An Erne Legal In Pickleball?

You might wonder why the erne is considered a legal move in pickleball despite its unique nature. The legality of the erne is based on the sport’s rules and regulations:

Non-Volley Zone Exception

While the non-volley zone typically restricts volleys, players are allowed to enter the zone and volley the ball if they remain behind the zone when making contact with the ball. 

The erne complies with this rule as long as players execute the shot correctly.

Skill And Strategy

Pickleball embraces innovation and skill, and the erne is a testament to a player’s ability to combine both elements effectively. As long as the shot adheres to the rules, it is permitted.


In pickleball, the erne is undoubtedly a game-changer. It adds an element of surprise and excitement to the sport, keeping players on their toes and forcing them to think strategically. With its ability to disrupt the opponent’s rhythm and potentially secure points.

Executing an erne requires precision and timing. By using quick footwork and positioning yourself near the sideline, you can create opportunities for successful ernes.

However, it is essential to practice this shot diligently and understand when it is appropriate to use it during a game.


What Does Erne In Pickleball Stand For?

Erne does not stand for any specific acronym. It’s simply a term used to refer to a shot named after the player Erne Medina, involving stepping into the non-volley zone to volley the ball before it bounces, often for offensive play.

Are There Any Variations Of The Erne Shot?

Yes, some players have developed variations of the erne to suit their playing style or adapt to different situations. These variations may involve spin, placement, or speed variations.

Why Is It Called Erne?

The term Erne in pickleball is named after the player erne Medina, who popularized the aggressive shot style. It’s not an acronym but a tribute to his innovative and effective playing technique.



Similar Posts