Ask the Pickleball Refs by David Hoel

SITUATION: Team A Player #1 yelled “OUT” before the ball bounced on their side of the net, however Team A Player #2 saw the ball land in and then successfully returned a winning shot. Team B claimed a hinder because of the “OUT” called by Player #1.

QUESTION: Was Team B’s claim legitimate?

ANSWER: No. Doubles partners may warn each other of a potentially out ball before it bounces. Any words to communicate to his or her partner before the ball bounces shall be considered “player communication” only and not considered a line call (Rule 6.D.11).  All “out” calls must be made “instantly” after the ball bounces; otherwise, the ball is presumed good and still in play (Rule 6.D.9). If an “out” call is made after the ball bounces, it will be considered a line call. The ball will be considered dead and play shall stop.