Pickleball Player Questions Answered

Hi Jen, I loved watching you and Alex (Hamner) play pickleball a few weeks age – taking home the GOLD. I have questions:

I’ve been playing pickleball now for one year. I have been playing with different partners. When I register for a tournament I’m always looking for someone.

  • How did you and Alex become partners?
  • What did you look for in a partner?
  • How many times a week do you and Alex practice together?

As you know I’m a cyclist, I’m passionate about my sport. I have become very passionate about pickleball. Like cycling, I practiced or play pickleball every day.

– Julie, Scottsdale, AZ

Hello Julie, always great to see you, thanks for cheering Alex and me on. 2015 Grand Canyon Games was the third anniversary of our meeting you. I am adding our photo to this post, because look how far you have come. You were proudly wearing your Live Strong jacket, and boy have you survived! So proud of YOU!2013 grand canyon games

Thanks for your pickleball questions and here’s my answers for you and by the way I double checked my story with Alex so you’ll have both our input.   :-)

Alex and I met years ago on the tennis court. We were both getting back into tennis and the tennis club pro put us together as a team for a local club league. Instantly we had a blast, similar skills, competiveness and humor – all important characteristics for choosing a great partner in my opinion. Now, I can’t get rid of her, HA!

I don’t think there is an exact list of what one looks for in a partner, because players search for different things in a partnership, EXCEPT for the obvious – the ideal partner can create winners, makes no errors, can keep score and is pleasant to be around.  Seriously though, if you find a partner that has a complementary skill set to yours and with whom you communicate well on court, it’s likely you’ll both enjoy playing with each other.

How many times a week do I play? Well that depends on a few things… My work schedule, who’s available to play and if there is a tournament coming up. I average three times a week, and usually that is 2 1/2 – 3 hours of constant doubles play. The guys aren’t much for social time or chit chat, so with an even numbered group we rotate around after each game, then game on again!

As for Alex’s play…. At the time of writing this blog post – March 13… Alex is deep into her job of taxes, working 10+ hours a day until April 15th…  And then April 16th I say she’s out of tax jail and can come play pickleball with me.  :-)

13 comments on “Pickleball Player Questions Answered”

  1. Question on the kitchen rule, as long as the ball has bounced it’s legal to step in the kitchen no matter where it bounced on the playing surface. This is a common bad call where I play , they call fault because it didn’t bounce in the kitchen first I try to explain what the rule says about a volley shot ( ball hit before it bounces ) and a non volley shot. They argue that a non volley outside of the kitchen where momentum carries you into the kitchen is a fault, Which is it , thanks for your help

  2. Hi Jennifer, A fellow player informed me today about a 2021 rule change. When server hits a legal serve that tips the net and enters the court of play, no ‘let’ will be called and play shall continue. I went to usapa.org to see, but they have not posted 2021 revisions yet. Can you confirm this? If so, our group want to start now so there will be no confusion in January. Thank you.

    1. Can you swing twice at the same time. For example, a ball hit in the air and you miss it on the first swing can you make another swing at the ball again?

      1. Hi Ray–Absolutely! Can also be done as a ‘ploy’ to perhaps fool the opponents. When you swing and miss, they might assume the rally is over–then you take off the bounce and dink it for a winner as the opponents may have turned away. And it’s legal. “Go Play” :)

  3. Hi Jennifer, Will the Chicken and Pickle Tourney at Wichita take place as predicted? Was one of my favorites last year with the John’s brothers coming back down 1-10 vs Kyle and Matt.

    1. Ok John, I found out: “As for our CnP Pickleball Masters Invitational, we elected not to have it in 2020. I get that question alot. We will look at having it next year, possibly at one of our new locations.”

      1. Thanks Jennifer, Please keep us informed on the next Pro tourney. I have also enjoyed the play in late June or early July when the Pros were giving some 4.5 players a chance to perhaps move up in the ranks. Watched several of them!

  4. Hi Jennifer. We have started using Gamma Photon green Indoor balls at the YMCA due to some wanting better visibility. So far so good. Similar to Onix yellow for hitting power off the paddle. Any comments welcomed. Thanks. JB

  5. Hey Jennifer,

    A “thing” came up during play yesterday here at our Del Webb Charleston.
    I was serving, and not very well. Anyway, I served into the opposite courtside and the ball hit the woman standing up front. There wasn’t any way she could move, of course, because of my crazy serve!
    My partner said that we got that point because the ball hit her and she didn’t move to avoid it.

    I felt bad we took that point because of my inaccurate serve. Was this correct to take that point?

    I am 74 and still enjoying my favorite sport!

    Karen G.

    1. Jennifer Lucore

      Hello crazy server :-) Your partner is correct that your serve hit the opponent, thus it is your point. Great second question – is it correct to take that point? That is up to you to answer :-) If this is a social game, you play with these friends/opponents all the time, maybe you want to redo the point because it is not fun playing socially with players upset with you … or is it? And if you knew you’d continue to ponder the question if that was the right thing to do, taking the point over would of solved that mental dilemma. In tournament play, I would guess 99% of players take the point without a second thought.

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