What Is An Erne In Pickleball?

Pickleball is a sport that demands skill, strategy, and creativity from its players. It offers a diverse range of shots and techniques that can be employed to gain an upper hand against opponents. Among these techniques, one amazing shot in pickleball is known as the “Erne.” But what is an erne in pickleball? In this blog post, we are going to explain the defination of “erne in pickleball” in short.

Along with the definition of erne pickleball, we are also going to explain the legality of erne in pickleball, benefits of erne shot pickleball, pickleball erne rules, procedure for setting up erne shot in pickleball, how to hit an erne in pickleball, when to hit an erne in pickleball, list of mistakes to avoid during the pickleball erne shot, and ways for defending against an erne in the game of pickleball.

Read this blog post as we are going to cover all the above concepts, from what is an erne in pickleball to how you can defend against an erne pickleball.

What Do You Mean by Erne in the Game of Pickleball?

In pickleball, an Erne shot is a legal volley performed from outside the non-volley zone (the kitchen). It occurs in the out-of-bounds area near the sideline and close to the net. The Erne shot is a surprising move that aims to hit the ball downward, leading to a winning shot.

The Erne shot is named after Erne Perry, who popularized and brought this technique into mainstream competitive play. It can be performed by either jumping over the kitchen while hitting the ball in mid-air or by maneuvering around or through the kitchen and re-establishing one’s feet out of bounds before executing the shot. Using the Erne shot puts pressure on the opponents and can cause them to make mistakes.

What Is An Erne In Pickleball?

To ensure the legality of the Erne shot in pickleball, it is crucial not to touch the non-volley zone line or surface while executing the volley. Players need to make sure that their feet are outside the non-volley zone before and after executing the Erne shot.

What Makes an Erne Legal in Pickleball?

The Erne shot is deemed legal in pickleball as it adheres to the regulations of the non-volley zone (NVZ). In accordance with these rules, all volleys must originate from outside the NVZ or its boundary line. As long as the players executing the Erne shot ensure that they do not touch the NVZ line or step into the NVZ before hitting the ball and subsequently land inside the NVZ after making contact with the ball, the shot is considered within the bounds of legality.

The Erne shot is a strategic maneuver employed in pickleball to seize upon a weak shot from the opponent that lands near the sideline. By utilizing the Erne shot, players can soar over the NVZ line and strike the ball while it is airborne before it bounces. This maneuver presents an offensive opportunity for the player, empowering them to seize control of the point.

Advantages of Using Erne Shot in Pickleball

There are several advantages of using an Erne shot in pickleball:

Offensive Opportunity: The Erne shot allows players to create an offensive advantage by intercepting weak shots near the sideline. By hitting the ball in the air before it bounces, players can take control of the point and put pressure on their opponents.

Element Of Surprise: The Erne shot can catch opponents off guard. Since it involves jumping over the non-volley zone (NVZ) line, it introduces an unexpected element to the game, making it harder for opponents to anticipate and respond effectively.

Increased Court Coverage: Executing the Erne shot in pickleball enables players to cover a larger court area. This particular shot is effective in reaching balls that would pose a challenge to return from a fixed position, particularly those near the sideline. By incorporating the Erne shot into their gameplay, players can enhance their court coverage and respond effectively to challenging shots.

Offensive Angle: The Erne shot grants players the ability to strike the ball from distinctive angles, setting it apart from regular shots. When players make contact with the ball while it is in the air, they can create more pronounced trajectories and direct the ball in a way that makes it harder for their opponents to return. This introduces additional difficulty for the opponents as they try to send the ball back over the net effectively.

Pressure On Opponent’s Shot Placement: When opponents witness a player’s skill in executing the Erne shot, it creates a sense of pressure on their own shot placement. They will become more careful when attempting shots near the sideline, which restricts their offensive choices and may result in weaker shots.

Erne Shots Rules in Pickleball

The Erne shot in pickleball is subject to specific rules to ensure fair and legal execution. Here are the key rules for Erne shots:

Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) Placement: To prevent a foot fault, a player must ensure that his/her both feet are positioned outside the non-volley zone. Stepping on or inside the NVZ while executing the Erne shot results in a fault.

Contact Before Net Post: The player must make contact with the ball before passing the net post. In pickleball, players can extend their follow-through beyond the net post. This means that their swing or motion can continue beyond the post without violating the rules. However, it is considered a fault if they strike the ball after passing the net post.

Foot Contact: During the Erne shot in pickleball, it is required that at least one foot of the player remains touching the ground when they make contact with the ball.

No Net Contact: In the Erne shot of pickleball, it is not allowed for the paddle to touch the net at any moment. If the paddle makes contact with the net during the shot, it is considered a fault.

Crossing Net Plane: It is considered a fault in pickleball if a player crosses the plane of the net before striking the ball.

Post-Shot Restrictions: After making contact with the ball during the Erne shot in pickleball, players and any objects they are wearing or carrying must refrain from touching the net system, the court, or any other elements inside or outside the non-volley zone until the ball has either bounced or been hit by an opponent.

These rules are designed to maintain fair play and ensure that the Erne shot is executed within the established boundaries. Mastering this challenging yet rewarding shot can give the players a competitive edge in pickleball, providing them with a valuable advantage during matches.

How to Set up a Pickleball Erne?

To set up a pickleball Erne shot, follow these steps:

Position Yourself Strategically: To set up an erne shot in pickleball effectively, position yourself near the sideline, near the non-volley zone (NVZ) line on your side of the court. This strategic placement will maximize your ability to execute the Erne shot with precision and success.

Anticipate The Opponent’s Shot: Be attentive to your opponent’s shots, particularly those that land near the sideline. Keep an eye out for chances where the ball is within your reach, presenting an opportunity to execute an Erne shot.

Time Your Movement Carefully: When your opponent hits the ball towards the sideline, begin advancing towards the net, ensuring that your both feet are positioned outside the non-volley zone (NVZ) before the ball passes over the net.

Set Up A Pickleball Erne

Jump And Strike The Ball: To prepare for the Erne shot, be prepared to jump and strike the ball while it is still in the air, just before it makes contact with the ground. The crucial element is to make contact with the ball at the pinnacle of your jump, enabling you to deliver a shot that combines strength and precision.

Follow Through And Land Inside The NVZ: Complete your swing and ensure that your momentum carries you forward, landing inside the NVZ after hitting the ball. Remember to maintain proper foot placement and avoid touching the NVZ line.

Reset And Be Ready For The Next Shot: After hitting the ball strongly and low over the net, swiftly return to your position and prepare for the next shot. You might need to hit the ball again or continue playing as per the usual game flow.

How to Hit an Erne in Pickleball?

If you want to hit an erne shot in pickleball, there are 3 ways of hitting an erne in pickleball. Furthermore, we will provide you with some valuable tips for executing an Erne shot in pickleball. Let us discuss each of them in detail, which will help you to hit an erne shot in pickleball successfully:

Strategies for Hitting an Erne in Pickleball

Here are the three ways to hit an Erne shot in pickleball:

Roundabout Erne: The roundabout Erne shot in pickleball entails circling around the non-volley zone (NVZ) while remaining outside the court boundaries, specifically aligned with the kitchen area. Once properly positioned, the player strikes the ball in mid-air with a volley. It is crucial to note that throughout the roundabout Erne shot, it is essential never to step into the kitchen at any moment.

Jumping The Kitchen Erne: The “Jumping the Kitchen Erne Technique” involves executing a jump over the boundary of the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) while the ball is airborne. Just before landing outside the court, it is crucial to strike the ball with a volley. Establishing contact with the ball before your feet touch the ground is crucial.

Through The Kitchen Erne: The “through the kitchen” Erne technique shares similarities with the roundabout Erne, but there is a slight difference. In this technique, you jump over the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) and go beyond the court boundaries with your feet and body. Once you are entirely outside the court, ensuring that both feet are securely positioned beyond the lines, you strike a volley towards your opponent.

Tips for Executing an Erne Pickleball

Here are some tips to consider when attempting an Erne shot:

Use Proper Grip And Paddle Positioning: To generate power and control in your shot, it is important to hold the paddle correctly. Ensure that you position the paddle appropriately to make an effective shot.

Think And Plan Ahead: You can increase your chances of executing an Erne shot by trying to create an opportunity. Encourage your opponents to hit the ball towards the desired sideline. This is more likely to occur when they allow the ball to pass behind them near the kitchen line.

Be Ready For Hitting An Erne Shot In Pickleball

Wait For The Right Moment: To catch your opponent off guard and surprise them, time your movement and wait for the moment when they are about to hit the ball or have already hit it. This strategy increases your chances of success.

Establish Your Feet Outside The Non-Volley Zone: Remember that before hitting your Erne shot, you must establish or re-establish your feet outside the non-volley zone. If you jump over the non-volley zone, ensure that you don’t touch the line or the surface area. If you accidentally touch the non-volley zone, relocate your feet outside it before performing the shot.

By following these techniques and tips, you can increase your chances of successfully hitting an Erne shot in pickleball.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hitting an Erne in Pickleball

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when hitting an Erne shot in Pickleball:

Crossing The Net Before Hitting The Ball: It is important to stay on your side of the court when hitting an Erne. Crossing the net before making contact with the ball results in a fault and the loss of the rally.

Moving Too Early Or Too Late: Timing is crucial for executing an Erne. Anticipate your opponent’s shot and move as they make contact with the ball. If you move too early, it becomes evident what you intend to do, while moving too late can result in not reaching the ball on time or hitting it accurately.

Failing To Establish Or Re-Establish Your Feet Outside The Non-Volley Zone: Before hitting an Erne, ensure that your feet are positioned outside the non-volley zone. If you jump over the zone, avoid touching the line or surface area. If you touch the non-volley zone, re-establish your feet outside before hitting the shot to avoid a fault.

Incorrect Grip And Paddle Positioning: Hold the paddle correctly and position it properly to generate power and control. To ensure a solid shot and prevent your opponents from easily returning the ball, maintain a grip on the paddle that is firm and relaxed. Keep the paddle positioned in front of your body and angle it slightly downward, allowing you to hit the ball downward with control.

Lack Of Communication With Your Partner: Effective teamwork and coordination are essential for a successful Erne shot. Keep the lines of communication open with your partner and let them know that you intend to attempt an Erne shot. This allows them to position themselves to cover the middle of the court and be ready for any returns. Trust your partner to handle shots while you are temporarily out of position, knowing that they can effectively manage the situation.

When to Hit an Erne in Pickleball?

Knowing when to hit an Erne in Pickleball is crucial for a successful execution. Here are a few situations where attempting an Erne shot can be effective:

Opponent’s Weak Return: If your opponent hits a weak or high return, it creates an opportunity for an Erne shot. The high trajectory of the ball gives you a chance to move quickly and hit it before it reaches its peak, catching your opponents off guard.

Wide Angle Shots: When your opponent hits a wide shot that takes them closer to the sideline, it opens up the opportunity for an Erne shot. By strategically positioning yourself and timing your movement, you can take advantage of your opponent’s stretched-out position, making it difficult for them to defend against your shot.

Anticipation Of Cross-Court Dinks: If you anticipate that your opponent will hit a cross-court dink, you can strategically position yourself for an Erne shot. By recognizing the diagonal angle of your opponent’s shot towards your sideline, you can position yourself near the non-volley zone and prepare for a volley, intercepting the ball before it reaches your opponent.

Best Ways to Defend Against an Erne in Pickleball

Defending against an Erne in Pickleball requires quick reflexes and anticipation. Here are some effective ways to defend against an Erne:

Stay Alert: To defend against an Erne in Pickleball, it is important to stay attentive to your opponent’s positioning and movements. Stay alert and adopt an active stance, being prepared for the potential occurrence of an Erne shot. Keep your focus on their actions to react quickly and effectively.

Position Yourself Well: Stand in a defensive position that allows you to cover the middle of the court effectively. By maintaining a centered position and being prepared to react, you can quickly respond to an incoming Erne shot.

Maintain A Low Stance: Keep your knees slightly bent and stay low to the ground. This helps you to react quickly to an Erne shot, as you’ll be in a better position to move and reach the ball.

Observe Your Opponent’s Paddle: Pay close attention to your opponent’s paddle position and angle, as it can provide valuable hints about their intention to attempt an Erne shot. By anticipating their movement based on their paddle, you can adjust your positioning accordingly to defend against the shot effectively.

Block Or Counter The Shot: When you observe your opponent trying to perform an Erne shot, you can defend by extending your paddle and intercepting the ball in mid-air. This action effectively blocks their shot. Alternatively, you can counter their shot by hitting a quick and low return, making it difficult for them to maintain control.

Communicate With Your Partner: If you are playing doubles in pickleball, make sure to communicate with your partner to ensure that both of you are aware of the Erne attempt. Coordinate your movements and positions strategically to effectively cover the court and support each other in defending against the Erne shot.


How Can I Practice And Improve My Erne Shot In Pickleball?

To improve your Erne shot in pickleball, it is essential to focus on developing your jumping and timing skills. Make sure to position yourself correctly, anticipate your opponent’s shots, and practice hitting the ball at the right height. Regularly practicing and engaging in drills specifically designed for the Erne shot can significantly enhance your skills in executing this technique.

What Is An Erne In Pickleball?

An Erne in pickleball is an advanced shot where a player jumps over the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) to hit the ball before it bounces. The Erne pickleball shot involves jumping over the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) and hitting the ball while in mid-air. This unique technique adds an element of surprise and provides an offensive advantage to the player executing the shot.

When Should I Attempt An Erne Shot In Pickleball?

To increase the chances of a successful Erne shot in pickleball, it is advisable to attempt it when your opponent’s return is weak, when you are faced with wide angle shots that create openings in their court, and when you anticipate a cross-court dink shot. These specific situations present favorable opportunities for executing an effective Erne shot.

Can I Perform An Erne Shot From Any Position On The Court?

Although the Erne shot is typically performed near the sidelines, it is possible to attempt it from different positions on the pickleball court. The crucial factor is to jump over the Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) and ensure compliance with the rules to keep the shot legal.

Are There Any Specific Limitations On The Height At Which The Ball Should Be Struck During An Erne Shot?

There are no specific limitations on the height at which the ball should be struck during an Erne shot. However, hitting the ball at the highest point of your jump allows for better control and power.


The Erne shot in pickleball is an exciting and skillful technique that can turn the tide of a game. It requires precision, timing, and a strategic approach to execute successfully. By understanding the pickleball erne shot rules, steps for setting up an erne in pickleball, ways and tips for hitting an erne shot in pickleball without making any mistakes, and ways for defending against an erne in pickleball, you can successfully attempt the pickleball erne shot and surprise your opponents in the game of pickleball.

Before making an erne shot in pickleball, you must know when to hit this shot. After writing this blog, we hope you have understood the concept of what is an erne in pickleball and its benefits, what makes this shot legal in the game of pickleball, pickleball erne rules, steps for setting up the pickleball erne shot, etc.

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