Your Role on the Sideline of a Pickleball Match

Playing in a pickleball tournament involves not only being prepared physically, mentally and emotionally to do battle on the court, but also being prepared to spend many hours on the sideline as a spectator.  Most of us are familiar with the special rules, or ethics, that apply to being a spectator at sports like golf and tennis, where quiet in the stands is essential to the success of the golfer getting ready to hit the ball or the tennis player getting ready to serve.  The other extreme in terms of noise level that is acceptable is evident during a boxing match and even a baseball game where yelling at the umpire is standard procedure.  What about being a spectator at a pickleball match?

While positive support of both teams is ideal, in many instances we have a “favorite” who we’d like to see win the match.  Encourage your team in a positive way by complimenting good shots.  If things aren’t going in favor of “your team”, don’t dwell on the errors or make negative comments like: “try harder” (they ARE trying as hard as they can!); or “you can do better than that” (obviously at that particular time they couldn’t); or make any comment that pertains to the intricate mechanics of executing a certain shot (in the “heat of the battle” is NOT the time to correct an error in execution).

Be positive - be complimentary of all players on the court - and never do anything or say anything that might distract a player.  Cheer for good shots - NOT for an easy return of an error by the opponent.  Being a “good spectator” is not necessarily natural for many players.  Be sure that whichever team wins that certain match is truly the best team on the court at that particular time.  You as a spectator should in no way influence that!


2 Responses to “Your Role on the Sideline of a Pickleball Match”

  1. Janet Razz on 25 Sep 2009 at 10:53 am #

    I don’t have the answer, but the question begs to be asked: Is it time for courtside etique to demand a more hushed attention from Pickleball tourney fans? The social fitness benefits of Pickleball draws many players to the game. And all of us delight in the gathering of our Community of Players at tournaments. However, at MI indoor tournaments, the noise level soars to a deafening roar; making it hard for players to hear the refs call the score etc. What do you think? What is it like in other parts of the country? Has this already been discussed?

  2. Anonymous on 02 Oct 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    My guess is that the majority of pickleball courts in the country - certainly in the western states - are outdoors so that noise level isn’t a factor. When playing indoors, especially if there are a lot of courts being used at one time, controlling the noise level would be extremely difficult. A consideration should be the reason for the noise. If noise is being produced for the purpose of distracting a player or players, the attempt should be made to control it. However, if the noise is the result of many players being active on lots of courts, it just has to be accepted and tolerated. That’s my opinion! I hope this helps. Mary Littlewood

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