What Is an Erne in Pickleball?

Third Shot Blog

By Third Shot Blog

Whether you’re a seasoned pickleball enthusiast or a newcomer eager to enhance your skills, understanding what an Erne entails can elevate your game to new heights. With its blend of precision timing and audacious flair, mastering the art of hitting an Erne opens up a world of strategic possibilities that can catch opponents off guard and lead to victorious outcomes on the court. So buckle up as we embark on an exhilarating journey through the intricate world of pickleball’s Erne – from unraveling its origins to offering expert tips on how you can incorporate this dynamic shot into your arsenal.

What is an Erne in pickleball?

The Erne is a surprise shot takes advantage of a loophole in the rules by allowing players to hit a volley from just outside the kitchen area. By positioning themselves near the net but outside the sideline, players can execute a powerful and difficult-to-defend shot that is legal as long as they don’t touch the net or net post. This strategic move often catches opponents off guard and forces them to react quickly to defend against the downward-angled shot aimed at their feet.

What does an Erne look like?

In pickleball, an Erne is a visually impressive move where the player either leaps over the corner of the non-volley zone or swiftly moves through it, making sure both feet are outside the sidelines before hitting the volley. The player must also ensure that they make contact with the ball on their side of the net without any interaction with the net or its posts. When performed accurately, the Erne is extremely challenging to counter, often catching opponents by surprise and resulting in points being scored.

Why is called an Erne?

Erne Perry, a professional pickleball athlete, gained widespread recognition for popularizing a particular shot at the 2010 USAPA National Pickleball Tournament in Buckeye, Arizona. Despite not being the shot’s originator, Perry propelled it into the competitive spotlight, resulting in its subsequent association with his name.

How the Erne bypasses the kitchen rule

In order to correctly execute a legal Erne shot in pickleball, ensure that both of your feet have fully moved outside the kitchen sideline and are firmly planted on the ground before making contact with the ball. If you have only placed one foot on the ground before hitting the volley, then the pushing-off foot during your last step must also be outside of the kitchen. Failure to do so will result in a fault.

What are the benefits of an Erne?

In addition to being entertaining and impressive to watch, the Erne offers several advantages. Firstly, it catches your opponent by surprise as they typically don’t expect you to move to the sidelines. This can give you an advantage, especially if done quickly. Secondly, it is challenging for your opponent to return the shot, as a well-executed Erne can be placed past them or at their feet, causing hesitation and difficulty in recovery. Finally, in doubles play, your partner can cover for you if your Erne attempt is unsuccessful or if the opponent anticipates it. If your partner is aware of your Erne attempts, they can fill in the gap and keep the rally going.

How to hit an Erne in pickleball

Executing an Erne shot is a complex task that requires careful planning and precise timing. It is a risky move, as one small mistake can lead to losing the rally.

To set up an Erne, you must strategically lure your opponent into hitting the perfect shot, such as coaxing them to dink back towards the sideline. This can be accomplished by repeatedly hitting dinks towards the opponent’s sideline, compelling them to respond with a straight-ahead dink. This allows you to swiftly leap over the kitchen corner and attack near the net, catching them off guard. Patience and strategic timing are crucial in preparing for this maneuver. It’s important to choose the right moment for your attack, ideally just as your opponent takes their shot so they are unaware of your plan.

Be prepared to adjust your position if their shot doesn’t align with your expectations. Skilled players are now more vigilant for potential Erne opportunities, making it essential to create a false sense of security before seizing the chance and landing outside of the kitchen and sideline without faulting.

Different options for setting up the Erne shot

To successfully execute an Erne, there are several options available: you can either leap over the corner of the kitchen, sprint through the kitchen and position yourself in the out-of-bounds area, or circle around the kitchen corner and take your place in the out-of-bounds area. If you opt for the first method, it is essential to ensure that both of your feet land outside of the kitchen. On the other hand, if you choose method 2 or 3, it is crucial that both of your feet have made contact with the ground outside of the kitchen before making contact with the Erne. Failure to do so will result in a fault. During the execution of an Erne, it is not permissible to make contact with any part of the net. Additionally, no part of your body, paddle, or pickleball attire may cross over the plane of the net until after striking the ball. Failing to adhere to these guidelines will result also in a fault.

Rules surrounding the Erne shot in pickleball

The Erne shot is permitted in pickleball as it complies with the non-volley zone regulations, which require all volleys to be made from outside the non-volley zone or the NVZ line. As long as the player ensures that both feet are positioned outside the sidelines before executing the volley and refrains from making contact with the net or net post, the shot is considered acceptable. If the player leaps over the corner of the kitchen to execute the shot, both feet must land outside of the non-volley zone past the sideline.

How player positioning affects execution of the Erne

Strategic positioning is vital for pickleball players, especially when it comes to executing an effective Erne. It’s crucial to anticipate the right moment to make your move. When preparing for an Erne, ensure that you are positioned behind the kitchen line, near the sideline, and maintain a close proximity to your partner. This is particularly important when you anticipate hitting a higher dink straight across the court. Stay alert and ready to swiftly capitalize on the opportunity to score with an Erne. However, it’s important not to telegraph your intentions too obviously. Your opponent’s position is less critical, but it’s ideal if they are close to the kitchen and unsuspecting of your impending Erne maneuver. Just be mindful that they aren’t setting you up for their own Erne in return!

How to defend against an Erne

Learning to defend against an Erne is crucial. It can be just as challenging, if not more so, than executing the Erne itself. Recognize when your shot sets up your opponent for an Erne and immediately prepare to defend. Stay composed and consider hitting your return directly to where your opponent is positioned or slightly towards their midcourt side to keep the ball out of their reach. Another tactic is to aim for a low, short shot into the kitchen, making it difficult for your opponent to reach from the sideline. A well-timed lob can also disrupt an Erne setup by forcing the opposing team to cover more ground. Lastly, a bold but potentially rewarding strategy involves hitting a strong shot directly at your opponent as they prepare for an Erne, which could lead them into making a mistake or stepping into the kitchen. However, be prepared for a swift return and stay alert!

The impact of the Erne on pickleball

The Erne shot has unquestionably brought an exhilarating new element to the sport of pickleball. This powerful offensive move not only puts pressure on opponents but also demands that they adjust their tactics and be prepared for the unexpected. It’s no surprise that the Erne has gained widespread popularity and become a compelling feature of this rapidly expanding sport.

Make sure to master the fundamentals first

The Erne shot has revolutionized the game of pickleball, offering players an exciting and effective method for scoring points and keeping their opponents on their toes. Mastering this advanced technique can elevate a player’s performance and give them a competitive advantage.

However, it’s important to prioritize building a strong foundation in the game before delving into more complex maneuvers. For newcomers to pickleball, focusing on mastering the basics is key. Once those skills are honed, players can then explore advanced shots such as the Erne.

Add the Erne to your pickleball repertoire

In conclusion, the Erne in pickleball is a dynamic and exhilarating shot that demands precision and strategic thinking. Mastering this advanced technique can greatly enhance your game, providing you with a potent weapon to outmaneuver your opponents. With its emphasis on anticipation and timing, the Erne adds an element of flair and creativity to your play style while keeping your opponents off balance. By honing your skills and consistently practicing this shot, you can elevate your pickleball prowess to new heights and leave a lasting impression on the court. So, next time you step onto the pickleball court, don’t shy away from attempting an Erne – embrace the challenge and take your game to the next level!

Frequently asked questions about the pickleball Erne

When should I use an Erne shot?

Use an Erne shot when your opponent hits a high and shot near the sideline that allows you to sidestep the kitchen and hit a powerful volley close to the net.

Is it legal to hit an Erne in pickleball?

Yes, hitting an Erne is legal as long as you don’t step into the non-volley zone before making contact with the ball.

What are some tips for mastering the Erne shot?

Practice your timing and footwork to efficiently execute the Erne shot, and focus on maintaining balance while reaching over the non-volley zone.

Can beginners learn to hit an Erne in pickleball?

Yes, beginners can learn to hit an Erne with practice and by developing their agility and court awareness.

Are there any risks associated with attempting an Erne shot?

The main risk of attempting an Erne shot is losing balance or failing to make proper contact with the ball, potentially resulting in an error and lost point.

How does hitting an Erne benefit your game?

Hitting an Erne can catch opponents off guard, allowing you to gain control of the point and create opportunities for aggressive offensive play.