erne pickleball

Erne Pickleball | How to Setup the Erne in Pickleball

Erne Pickleball, named after inventor Erne Perry, demands feet outside the sideline during contact. Set it up by luring opponents into the right shot, often a dink.

Therefore, Pickleball players are proficient in hitting the Erne Pickleball shot in two ways: 

  1. Shot in the air as jumping around NVZ, or
  2. Once you’re running through the NVZ or around and reinstate feet out-of-bound. You’re setting your position just to the kitchen side.

“Shot is played by Pickleball player, who’s out of Pickleball court, left or right to the sideline in the out-of-bound region” is called Erne in Pickleball.

Pickleball expert players intend to add new shots like they can think and hit their shots anywhere on the court. Meanwhile, we’re human and have chances of errors during play. So, to win the Pickleball game, you’ve to add some advanced shots that would be above hitting a powerful 3rd drop shot or simply dinking and so on. Though, you can amaze your competitors by playing the Pickleball Erne shot.

Read More: How to hit an Erne in Pickleball?

What’s the “Erne Pickleball”?

It’s quite a startling shot initiated when four players of doubles match are out of the dinking rally and unnecessarily at the net. Although, it happens in the court when setting up with a drop for the right returning shot from the Court baseline. 

Erne is an advanced hit in Pickleball, so it needs the specific setup for working when initiated from the Kitchen line. It also requires quick movement and precise timings.

The notable tip is that we’re not recommending you set up an Erne drop from your baseline. Even some players can play it, but it’s fairly challenging. It needs top-notch drills to pull it off from there skillfully.

You can execute the Erne shot by stepping out from the middle portion of the court on either side (left or right) or the sideline. Then you come parallel to the NVZ region. So, it’s the erne position of staying out of NVZ on the other corner of your sideline. Your ball struck out from the air and played near the net. It’s a professional and perfect way to legally go closer to the net for playing your ball. 

Erne Shot Origin

A pickleball OG who raised this shot, Erne Perry. He has been the evangelist in this sport for decades. Thus, he was on the Director’s Board to oversee marketing in 2005 when USAPA was established. Therefore, Mr.Perry first time played this shot in 1993 when his friend (George) executed him with a thrilling volley. So, a pickleball instructor, Jeff Shank, coined the shot Erne in 2010 after watching Perry’s performance. He played this amazing move in the Nationals in Sun City, Arizona. 

Report of USA Pickleball about Ernes

Overall for Erne Pickleball execution:

  • Don’t step on the court lines
  • Don’t contact NVZ while hitting the volley shot
  • Players’ bodies or paddles don’t hit the net
  • Don’t clear the net to contact the ball with your paddle
  • Players need to jump around or go over the NVZ. Thus, you set or reset your foot out of the court.

Legal Erne Pickleball; What makes it legit?

You’re proficient in playing this shot as it’s legal, and you’re not in the NVZ. Players’ feet are placed out of the sideline before contacting the ball. You can contact your ball from your own side of the court net. Though, you’re not allowed to reach the ball for contact before it moves over your side of the net. 

The opponent players are unaware of sneaking such court sides for executing the Erne shot. It’s usually a surprising shot for them. Therefore, Erne is a very offensive shot and, if you play accurately, come back with a point score.

How to play a successful Erne and Setup it

Erne Pickleball is set on the court in such a way that you stand up at the correct position for an Erne shot. Then you can execute your shot onto your opponent player directly forefront to you. Thus, you must try to hit a dink shot in front that hits the line. It stretches and becomes difficult to hit back the cross-court ball. It’s the actual aim that you want to create difficulty for your opponent. You want to play this shot in a way that your opponent player can return it down to the line. In this way, you can get the ball effortlessly by staying out of the NVZ. 

Suppose you’ve achieved your target of the opponent’s down back ball shot. It’s time to perform well. You should leave it before the opponent player makes contact to shot. Now you have the time to place your feet out of NVZ and establish your momentum if you were going through the kitchen. Sometimes it happens with players that once they move to the kitchen or go around it, how can they play the shot? In such circumstances, you can place your one foot down while contacting.

Once you’ve learned all these steps and tried to perform the Erne Pickleball, then you can play it during your match. 


Here we’re setting up to perform the successful Pickleball Erne drills that improve your shot. 

  • The forefront thing is making best practice to achieve the timing down: You’re dinking lower to the line. In the time when your ball comes back, you have time to work on your foot for playing the Ernie shot. 
  • Looking for the shot that‘d be down to the line: This drill empowers you to hit everything down the line. Thus, it’s a more easygoing drill for playing the Erne Pickleball.
  • You and your partner player must follow the erne tips and Pickleball rules for taking turns practicing. Your perfect practice makes you capable of continuing your rally.
  • Time management is the winning factor for Erne Pickleball
  • Set your position so you can perform the erne pickleball effortlessly

opponent player is unknown of my down shot. When he returns the shot to me, then I play the Pickleball erne hit. 

The game-changer pickleball rules are essential to learning. It’s a fact that you’ll not play the down hits from a line in the general pickleball matches. Only your drills can lead you to play the advanced shots, including Erne and get your scores. 

Pickleball Rules

Your court setup is the central point to winning the match via advanced techniques. You’re playing down to the line because Ernie shot is performed from your court’s sidelines of NVZ.

I make the down hit in my rally shot and put my opponent player in difficulty. As he needs to stretch and reach to angle dink. So he never goes for a cross-court shot. He plays the down shot as well. It was an appropriate time to play the Erne Pickleball hit.

It’s the ultimate process of setting up the Ernie play. These are some of the drilling scenarios for Pickleball players. They must set their time for playing their desired shots. They can play such shots only when they become expert players by appropriate drilling.

Defense against an Erne Pickleball

It might be more complicated than playing an Erne Pickleball shot. Though, you have to learn and recognize your opponent’s opportunities and actions. 

  • One of the keys to defending against an Erne is to anticipate when your opponent might try to use it. Look for cues like their body position or the trajectory of the ball.
  • When defending against an Erne, it’s important to stay in a good defensive position. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and be ready to move quickly in any direction.
  • To defend against an Erne, you need to have your paddle up and ready to block the shot. Try to keep your paddle at the same height as the net.
  • Being on your toes will help you move more quickly and react faster to the Erne shot.
  • Using your non-dominant hand to block an Erne can be helpful, as it can give you a wider range of motion and more control over the block.
  • Once achieving the Erne Pickleball setup, you can hit a lob. It would prove the best practice. 
  • Suppose the opponent is setting his position for an erne Pickleball shot; you will take the risk and play the hard shot. This shot forces him to play a wrong return shot. 
  • When you block an Erne shot, aim for the center of the court. It will give you more time to get back into position and prepare for the next shot.
  • Keep calm and slightly set your position.
  • The more you practice defending against an Erne, the better you will become. Try practicing with a partner who can hit Erne shots, or even set up a drill where you practice defending against multiple Erne shots in a row.


Yes, Erne Pickleball is executed accurately. It’s officially allowed to perform for all players.

Players’ practice is the most efficient way to improve the erne drills. It will be best if you take adequate drills to hone Erne’s shots, and your foot placement becomes best.

Yes, once you’ve successfully played your Erne shot, you can step into the kitchen region. In this way, you can establish your previous position. So, you’ve got your legal place for the upcoming shot.

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