The success of the Erne begins with early preparation and setting up the point as a 5-shot play. Although the Erne shot can be hit from many locations, the best success for the shot begins with a head-to-head, down-the-line, dinking exchange. Here is the best way to set up the shot.
In Illustration 1, Players A and B are dinking down the line from each other. When the opportunity is available, Player A dinks the ball toward the center of the kitchen/court, causing Player B to shift out of his neutral court position. This movement is one of three essential steps that are required to execute the shot.
The second illustration demonstrates the error made by Player B that ultimately allows for the Erne shot to be executed. In this illustration, Player B is pulled toward the center of the court and dinks the ball wide and short. This allows Player A to slide over hit a dink from inside the kitchen. The placement is critical-dink down the line, just the kitchen line.
Illustration 3 shows the lateral movement that Player B has to make to cover the wide dink shot. While he is looking down at the ball, Player A continues his momentum by briskly moving though the kitchen toward the net post. He then re-establishes both feet outside of the kitchen, and then punches the volley away for a winner. The younger, more agile player might take the part of walking through the kitchen out of the equation and simply leap over the entire kitchen to hit the volley.
There are a few special rules on the Erne:
1. While it’s legal to move through the kitchen, both feet must be firmly re-established outside of the kitchen before striking the volley.
2. If you, your hat, or anything on you falls into the kitchen after the shot, prior to re-establishing balance, you lose the point.
3. On the Erne shot, you cannot reach over the net to strike the ball; however, you can hit the ball on your side of the court and follow through across the plane of the net.
4. The same sequence of shots also works in reverse from the "even" or "Deuce" side of the kitchen.
Next time you’re in a down-the-line dinking exchange, remember the Erne shot and give your opponents one more thing to worry about!