On the pickleball court, there is a shot called the “Erne.”Do you know what is an erne in pickleball? There are advanced shots on pickleball courts that are named after Erne Perry, who introduced the shot to mainstream competitive play and elevated it. During an Erne, you hit the pickleball either (1) while you jump around the Non-Volley Zone (also referred to as the Kitchen), or (2) after you run through the Kitchen and have set up your feet just outside the bounds.
The Erne encourages quality shots from your opponents and may even lead to unforced errors from your opponents who decide to focus on you rather than the pickleball when they lift their heads to look at you.
An Erne is hit by:
- Think ahead of time, as your goal should be to tempt your opponents to hit pickleball to the sideline you want to Erne on. You are most likely to experience this if your opponents allow the ball to get around them at the Kitchen Line near your desired sideline;
- It is a good idea to wait until your opponent hits the pickleball or is just about to hit it before moving to the sideline outside the Kitchen; and
- Hit the pickleball outside the Kitchen on the sideline by running or jumping there. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your feet need to be established or re-established outside of the Kitchen, which can be accomplished by dragging your back foot when you run through the Kitchen or by jumping over it completely.
In addition, Rule 9.B of the 2020 Official Rules of USA Pickleball provides that hitting a pickleball out of the air (or hitting it without bouncing the pickleball off something) is a mistake — including swinging it, following it, and using the momentum after it is hit. Ernes – including all volleys – are required to take place outside of the Non-Volley Zone. The Non-Volley Zone may be jumped over between your feet, provided that you do not touch the Non-Volley Zone line or surface area; or, if you do touch the Non-Volley Zone, your feet must land outside of the Non-Volley Zone before you will be allowed to hit your Erne.
Did you ever hit an Erne to win a point? Perhaps you were the victim of an Erne that was well executed? Let us know in the comments below!
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