Rule Submission TitleMedical Retirement
Rule Book Year2022
Date CreatedJune 25, 2021
Rule Change ID140
Existing Rule #10.B.2.b
Original Rule Text

10.B.2.b. If the player cannot resume play after the 15-minute medical time-out period, the match will be declared a retirement.

Proposed Rule Change

10.B.2.b. If the player cannot resume play after the 15-minute medical time-out period, the player must retire from play. The match will be declared a retirement unless the player's doubles partner opts to continue playing the match without the retired player.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

If a doubles player retires due to injury, the partner should have the option of continuing play alone since there is no prohibition against both players not being present except at the start of a match.  This procedure would be particularly practical and beneficial when a team is leading and is in contention for a medal but one of the players suffers an injury near the end of the match.  Finishing the match could make the difference between getting a medal or not, or could determine which medal is received.  For sponsored players, this could additionally have a financial impact.  Not to mention, competitive players would greatly appreciate the opportunity to finish a tournament in as high a position as possible.

If the partner chooses to play alone, all aspects of play would still apply. When the retired player would be the correct server, the team will incur a fault for violation of the 10-second rule since no serve will be made. When the retired player would be the correct receiver, the opponent will serve the ball and will score a point if the serve is good; if the serve is not good, the opponent will incur a fault.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies
  1. Teams A and B are playing to determine which team will play for the bronze medal. Team A won the first game of the match, 11-8, and is leading in the second game, 9-2, when Player A2 runs into the fence and suffers a bad cut. During the medical time-out, it is determined that stitches are required. Since it will take longer than 15 minutes to get the stitches to control the bleeding, Player A2 must retire from the match. However, Team A just needs two more points to win the match. Although they would have to forfeit the bronze medal match due to Player A2's injury, they would earn the bronze medal if they could win this match. Instead of Team A being forced to retire due to Player A2's injury, Player A1 opts to play the remainder of the match alone. Play resumes at 2-9-2 with Player B1 serving to the right court where Player A2 would be positioned. Since Player A2 is not on the court, Team B scores a point after Player B1 makes a good serve. The score is now 3-9-2 and Player B1 serves on the left to Player A1. Player A1 returns the serve and plays the rally as a singles player, winning it when Player B2 misses a shot. The serve rotates to Team A at 9-3-1, however, Player A2 is not able to serve since he had to retire. The referee calls the score and after 10 seconds Team A is faulted. The serve passes to Player A1 at 9-3-2. Player A1 serves from the left court and wins the rally. The score is now 10-3-2 and Player A1 serves from the right court, again winning the rally, and the match also. The final score is 11-8, 11-3 in favor of Team A. Team A must forfeit the bronze medal match since Player A2 is unable to play but wins the bronze medal nonetheless.
  2. Team A is playing in a 4-team round robin and is tied with Team B with two match wins. Team D has won one match and Team C has won no matches. In the final match of the round robin, Team A won the first game against Team D, 11-1. Team A is leading in the second game, 8-0, when Player A2 collapses after a rally due to muscle cramps. The cramps do not ease during the 15-minute medical time-out, so Player A2 must retire from the match. However, Team A just needs three more points to win the match and secure first place. Player A1 opts to play the remainder of the match alone. Play resumes at 0-8-2 with Player D2 serving to the left court where Player A2 would be positioned. Since Player A2 is not on the court, Team D scores a point after Player D2 makes a good serve. The score is now 1-8-2 and Player D2 serves to Player A1 in the right court. Player A1 returns the serve and plays the rally as a singles player, winning it when Player D1 misses a shot. The serve rotates to Player A1 at 8-1-1. Player A1 serves from the right to Player D2 and wins the rally. At 9-1-1, however, Player A1 serves from the left and loses the rally. The serve then passes to the right court where Player A2 would be positioned at 9-1-2. The referee calls the score and after 10 seconds Team A is faulted. The serve passes to Player D2, who serves to the right where Player A2 would be positioned at 1-9-1, but the ball misses the court. The serve then passes to Player D1 at 1-9-2, who makes a short serve. Side out takes the ball to Team A where Player A2 would be positioned in the right court at 9-1-1. The referee calls the score and after 10 seconds Team A is faulted. The serve then passes to Player A1, who serves from the left court at 9-1-2 and wins the rally. The score is now 10-1-2 and Player A1 serves from the right court, again winning the rally and the match. The final score is 11-1, 11-1 in favor of Team A. Team A is able to claim its third win and seal a first-place victory. Under the current rule, Team A would be forced to retire due to Player A2's condition and take an 11-0, 11-0 loss. There would then be a three-way tie with two wins for Teams A, B, and D. If each team beat the other in head-to-head matches, the tiebreaker would be overall point differentials, which would result in a third place finish for Team A because the team's overall point differential would be reduced 22 points due to the loss against Team D.
IFP Voting StatusAverage: 7.3 Detail:7,7,10,10,0,10,7
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