Grunting – NOOOO!!!

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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6 thoughts on “Grunting – NOOOO!!!”

  1. I think it was Monica Selas in pro tennis. Made me laff.

    So in rec play There’s laughter , grunting, cus words. I love the variety. Grunt all you want, have fun!


  2. Totally agree! The man-grunts were awful and really distracted from their play, especially, by overshadowing their pro women partners. I, also agree with the distraction rule and hope in the future this loud, obnoxious grunting is deemed inappropriate. Anyone and everyone who watched that display of voluminous grunts was disgusted.
    So glad you’re not afraid to call it out. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a woman who has a “wooooooooooo” sound that extends long after she hits the ball. It’s been brought up to referees, but they think it ends before the ball crosses the net. I still think it’s an unnecessary distraction.


      1. As an elite competitor, I’m not understanding how grunting while hitting the ball is a distraction… I do understand that it may be a personal preference to not want to grunt. However, I can’t see a reasonable issue with grunting. Sure! Some people focus like a puppy, thus they will lose focus at the snap of a finger. These people just need to become better competitors.


      2. C, the issue on the non-grunted! Getting ready to focus on hitting the ball, while the opponent is letting out a loud and sometimes extended grunt, groan, moan, whatever you might call it, is just annoying and interferes with a players focus.


  3. The most groaning I’ve ever heard was when I was filming the gold medal match between Scott Moore and Glen Peterson at the 2016 US Open Pickleball championships. Must be becoming a thing.


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