What Is a Foot Fault in Pickleball?

Are you new to the exciting world of pickleball and wondering what a foot fault is? Or you’re a seasoned player who wants to brush up on the rules. Either way, understanding what constitutes a foot fault in pickleball is crucial for fair play and success on the court. In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about foot faults in pickleball so that you can confidently step onto the court and give it your all!

Foot Fault in Pickleball
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What Is a Foot Fault in Pickleball?

Pickleball has been gaining popularity in the past few years and is a relatively recent sport. It involves two teams of nine players competing against each other on a court smaller than a beach volleyball one.

The game aims to hit the ball to your opponent’s side and catch it before it hits the ground. One rule violation in this game is when someone steps on their adversary’s ball while capturing it, which can cause it to fly out of bounds, giving their team an advantage. Therefore, being aware of this foot fault and watching out for it during play are essential elements for success with pickleball.

The two types of faults in pickleball are –

A Foot Fault at the Baseline

A service foot fault is another name for this kind of error. Pickleball’s serve rules state that the serve must be delivered at least one foot behind the baseline. But until the serve is over, neither foot may touch the baseline.

The server commits a fault if even a tiny portion of their foot contacts the baseline when serving, as stated in Pickleball Rule 18. When serving, the server must be positioned behind the baseline.

If you break one of these regulations, the serving team loses their serve, and you receive a service foot fault. The receiving team will not receive a point for the service error since, in pickleball, you can only score points when you serve. Yet they will be given a serve, giving them a chance to score.

The most accessible approach to prevent this kind of foot error while serving is always maintaining your feet behind the baseline. If you notice you are moving too quickly, go back and take a step or two.

Foot Fault at Baseline
RichLegg – iStock

A Foot Fault at the Kitchen Line

This kind of foot error, sometimes called an NVZ foot fault or non-volley zone foot error, is more typical in pickleball. Since standing inside the Kitchen is prohibited during volleying, it is a fault if one of your feet crosses the line or your momentum from the ball’s impact propels you inside.

The non-volley zone regulation prevents players from smashing the ball within a specific area close to the net, preventing players with more excellent experience or more vital shots from overly controlling the game.

If you commit a foot fault while playing a volley and are on the receiving team, the serving team scores a point. But, if you make an NVZ foot error while on the serving team, it will result in a side-out, and the opposing team will be given service.

How to Avoid a Foot Fault at the Kitchen Line?

A foot fault is when you make a mistake while playing pickleball, and your foot goes out from under you. It can happen when you miss a shot or run into someone else. Knowing how to avoid a foot fault at the kitchen line in pickleball is essential.

Avoiding Foot Fault in Kitchen Line
BHPix – iStock

To avoid a foot fault, stay aware of your surroundings. Watch where your opponents are playing and try to avoid running into them. Try to hit the ball softly, so it doesn’t go out of bounds. And remember: don’t overdo it! You’re more likely to get injured if you’re running around too much.

Rules of Pickleball Service Foot Faults

Foot faults are caused when a player’s foot goes out of bounds. A foot fault results in a point awarded to the opposing team, and the player who committed the fault must remove their foot from play. The following are three common foot faults:

  1. Over-the-Line: When a player crosses the line that marks the outer edge of the pickleball court (usually 6 feet from the net), this is considered an over-the-line foot fault.
  2. Going Out of Bounds on the Service Court: When a player’s service pickup crosses into their opponent’s service box, this is also considered an over-the-line foot fault.
  3. Passing Through Your Opponent’s Service Box: When a player passes through their opponent’s service box without picking up a ball, this is also considered an over-the-line foot fault.


What is a fault in pickleball?

In pickleball, a fault refers to a player hitting the ball out of bounds, hitting the ball into the net, or making a “foot fault” at the baseline or no-volley zone line.

What is a push-off foot fault in pickleball?

In the non-volley zone, volley exchanges between players from different teams may cause them to lose their balance while attempting to hit the ball. The result may be that they can push themselves up from the ground by using a hand or paddle to regain balance, which you can consider an error.

What are the two rules for a fault in pickleball?

If a serve does not land within the confines of the receiving court, it is a fault. Whether serving or returning, the ball ends up in the net. Volleying occurs before each bounce of the ball.


A foot fault is a regular event in pickleball that can lead to a loss of points. To avoid such an occurrence, players should know the different sorts of foot faults and how to rectify them. Additionally, they ought to keep track of their performance statistics to recognize what needs improvement. Ultimately, they must know their competitors’ playing tactics to pre-empt movements and stay ahead.

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