Are you trying to perfect your pickleball game and catch your opponent off-guard? Here’s something interesting; a shot known as the “Erne” named after Erne Perry can do just that. This article will break down the Erne shot, teaching you its mechanics, legal aspects, benefits, and how to master this move for a winning edge.

Ready to up your pickleball prowess? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • An Erne in pickleball is a shot named after Erne Perry, where players hit the ball while jumping over or running around the Non-Volley Zone (Kitchen).
  • The timing and anticipation of opponents’ shots are crucial to successfully executing an Erne shot.
  • The Erne shot is legal as long as players do not touch the Kitchen line or surface area and avoid touching the net or net post.
  • Benefits of using an Erne shot include surprising opponents, causing them to make errors, and scoring points with powerful offensive shots.

The Origin of the Erne Shot Name

Erne Perry is the man behind the Erne shot name in pickleball. He gave his name to a shot that he made famous at the 2010 USAPA National Pickleball Tournament.

Perry’s play style was different. He used an uncommon shot with great skill, and it became known as the “Erne”. The crowd loved this surprise tactic. Today, many players try to learn and master this high-risk move in their games.

How to Execute an Erne Shot

To execute an Erne shot in pickleball, players must master the timing, positioning, and footwork required to jump over the corner of the kitchen while hitting the ball mid-air or after you have landed. Discover the secrets to executing this advanced shot and take your game to the next level!

The Setup

To get ready for an Erne shot, follow these steps:

  1. Stand in the middle of the pickleball court.
  2. Watch your opponents closely.
  3. Look for a chance to tempt them to hit the ball toward your side’s edge.
  4. Stay still in a ready position until your opponent is about to hit the ball.
  5. Dart fast to the area outside your Kitchen on the sideline.
  6. Leap over the corner of the kitchen, striking the ball while you are in mid-air or after you’ve landed.
  7. Make sure you do not touch any part of the Non-Volley Zone before or after striking the ball.

Timing and Anticipation

Timing and anticipation are crucial in executing an Erne shot in pickleball. Here are some important aspects to consider:

  • Players need to wait for the opponent to hit or be about to hit the ball before moving outside the Kitchen to disguise their intentions.
  • Anticipation plays a vital role in successfully executing an Erne shot. Players need to read their opponent’s shot and anticipate where it will go.
  • By observing their opponent’s body position and racket angle, players can better anticipate the direction of the shot.

It takes practice and experience to develop good timing and anticipation skills in order to consistently execute successful Erne shots.

Legal Aspects of the Erne Shot

The Erne shot is a legal move in pickleball that allows players to strategically bypass the non-volley zone rule. Find out how this shot adds an element of surprise to your game and learn the key rules that make it a legal play.

The Kitchen/Non-volley Zone Rules

The Kitchen/Non-volley Zone Rules in pickleball:

  • Official USA Pickleball Rule 9.B states that hitting a volley while touching the Non-Volley Zone is a fault.
  • All volleys, including Ernes, must be made outside the Non-Volley Zone.
  • Jumping over the Non – Volley Zone is allowed as long as the player doesn’t touch the line or surface area of the zone.
  • If a player touches the Non-Volley Zone, they must re-establish their feet outside of it before hitting an Erne shot.
  • The Erne shot is legal as long as the hitter doesn’t touch the net or net post.

How an Erne Bypasses the Kitchen Rule

The Erne shot in pickleball allows players to bypass the Kitchen Rule by hitting the ball while jumping around or running through the Non-Volley Zone. According to rule 9.B of the Official Rulebook, any contact with the Kitchen while hitting a volley is considered a fault.

However, as long as the player establishes both feet outside of the Non-Volley Zone before hitting the Erne shot and avoids touching the net or net post, it is considered legal. This unique shot requires precise footwork and timing, allowing players to surprise their opponents and gain an advantage on the court.

Benefits of an Erne in Pickleball

The Erne shot in pickleball offers several benefits for players. First, it can surprise and confuse opponents, putting them under pressure and potentially causing them to make unforced errors.

This can give players a strategic advantage during a match. Second, the Erne shot can be used as a powerful offensive weapon, allowing players to score points by hitting winners that opponents struggle to defend against.

Mastering the Erne shot gives players an edge and allows them to elevate their game to a higher level of play. Overall, the Erne shot is a valuable tool that adds versatility and unpredictability to a player’s repertoire on the court.

How to Defend Against an Erne

To defend against an Erne shot in pickleball, you can:

  1. Hit low, short shots into the kitchen.
  2. Hit shots to the middle of the court.
  3. Use lobs to throw off their timing and positioning.
  4. Stay alert and anticipate when your opponent might attempt an Erne shot.
  5. Adjust your shot selection based on your opponent’s patterns and movements.
  6. Maintain good footwork to quickly react to an Erne attempt.


In conclusion, an Erne in pickleball is an advanced shot that adds excitement and strategy to the game. Named after Erne Perry, this shot involves hitting the ball while jumping over or running around the Non-Volley Zone (Kitchen).

By executing a well-timed and precise Erne shot, players can surprise their opponents and gain an advantage on the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an erne in pickleball?

An erne in pickleball refers to a shot where the player jumps over the kitchen or non-volley zone to hit the ball before it bounces.

How do you execute an erne shot in pickleball?

To execute an erne shot, position yourself close to the net, jump over the kitchen line with both feet as you volley the ball while landing outside of the kitchen.

Can anyone perform an erne shot in pickleball?

While anyone can attempt an erne shot, it requires good athleticism and timing. It is more commonly used by advanced players who have mastered their footwork and are confident in their ability to execute this aerial maneuver effectively.

What are some tips for successfully executing an erne shot in pickleball?

Some tips for successfully executing an erne shot include practicing your footwork and timing, ensuring proper positioning near the net, keeping your eye on the ball at all times, and maintaining control while jumping and hitting the ball mid-air.