Grunting. OMG, please don’t let it become a pickleball thing.
There are many things from tennis that have spilled over into pickleball. Some good, some bad. But this grunting thing is the absolute worst.
Have you ever muted a tennis match on TV? I have, due to some HORRIBLY ANNOYING grunting, especially from female players. Now, it seems I’ll have to do it with pickleball too!
I get it when you’re surprised by a ball, and you give a yelp, as you quickly try to react to it, or even when trying over and over to get a smash to go through your opponents. But with every single shot??? NOOOOO!!!!!
Yesterday, I was streaming a Sr. Pro Mixed game at Nationals in Indian Wells. One of the men playing grunted on EVERY SHOT! Yes, even the dinks. So annoying and so unnecessary! My friend Julie even texted me and asked if I was watching and was as annoyed as she was! I was!!
I did a little internet research about this annoying, distracting and often disgusting noise and found that tennis players are actually taught to grunt when they strike the ball. It supposedly is a release of energy at impact that adds power to the shot. Ok, well a tennis court is much longer than a pickleball court so maybe they need more energy to get the ball the full 60 some feet. But why in pickleball, especially when most of the shots are only about 14 feet from the opponents? If I was this annoyed with the grunting in this game on TV, I can imagine the opponents were too.
When does this become a distraction that is ruled excessive? There’s a rule in the USA Pickleball Rules Book that talks about distractions.
Rule 3.A.6. Distraction – Physical actions by a player that are not common to the game that, in the judgment of the referee, may interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the paddle in a distracting manner or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or ability to hit the ball.
To me, that covers it. “….making loud noises, ……… or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration …….”
So why is it overlooked by referees? Anyone care to answer this question? In my opinion, referees need to address this problem and nip it in the bud, before it becomes “common to the game.”
Let’s NOT make excessive grunting a thing in pickleball!
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