SUGGESTED USA PICKLEBALL RULE CHANGES FOR 2025

Rule Submission TitleLimit Each Game's Score Regardless of the Point Differential.
Existing Rule #12.C
Proposed Rule Change

12.C.1. Single Elimination with Consolation. The first player/team to score the match-winning point by at least a two-point margin wins, or reaches a maximum score.
12.C.2. (Pro and Senior Pro Player Brackets) Single Elimination Without Consolation. The first player/team to score the match-winning point by at least a two-point margin wins, or reaches a maximum score.
12.C.3. Double Elimination. The first player/team to score the match-winning point by at least a two-point margin wins, or reaches a maximum score.
12.C.6. Non-Pool Play. The participants are seeded based on the results of the round robin and play either a single or double elimination medal round format of two of three games to 11, one game to 15, or one game to 21. Each format requires a two-point win margin, or reaches a maximum score.

 

Original Rule Text

12.C.1. Single Elimination with Consolation. The first player/team to score the match-winning point by at least a two-point margin wins.
12.C.2. (Pro and Senior Pro Player Brackets) Single Elimination Without Consolation. The first player/team to score the match-winning point by at least a two-point margin wins.
12.C.3. Double Elimination. The first player/team to score the match-winning point by at least a two-point margin wins.
12.C.6. Non-Pool Play. The participants are seeded based on the results of the round robin and play either a single or double elimination medal round format of two of three games to 11, one game to 15, or one game to 21. Each format requires a two-point win margin.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Time Efficiency: Implementing a cap at 21 points ensures that games are kept within a reasonable time frame. This is particularly beneficial in tournament settings where scheduling and time management are crucial.

Strategic Depth: The dual condition for winning adds an additional layer of strategy. Teams will need to manage their play style, considering not just the 2-point lead but also the absolute cap on scoring. This can lead to more dynamic and exciting games.

Fairness: This rule change maintains fairness by ensuring that a team still needs to be ahead to win before reaching 11 points. The 21-point cap ensures that excessively long games are concluded in a manner that respects the effort of both teams.

Accessibility: For new players and spectators, having a fixed point cap can make the game more accessible and understandable. It sets a clear expectation for the maximum game duration, making planning and engagement easier.

Player Stamina and Health: Limiting the maximum length of games can also have a positive impact on player stamina and health. By reducing the potential for excessively long games, players can conserve energy and reduce the risk of injury, making the sport safer and more enjoyable.

Currently the rule only indicates that a team must win by at least 2 points. For the typical 11 point game, it's possible that both sides are good at defending, and play passively to a long game such as 30:30. This is very boring for audiences, and takes a long time for each game.

Here proposes to set a limit of game scoring. Take the typical 11 points game for example, a game is played to 11 points, with the necessity to win by at least 2 points, or until a team first reaches 21 points, regardless of the point differential. For a game of 21 points, set the limit to 31 points, etc.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

All games.

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1431
Date CreatedMarch 12, 2024
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