SUGGESTED USA PICKLEBALL RULE CHANGES FOR 2025

Rule Submission TitleDistraction Rule Clarifications
Existing Rule #3.A.7 and 11.J
Proposed Rule Change

3.A.7. 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, or prepare to hit the ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, and waving the paddle in a distracting manner., or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s ability or concentration, or ability to hit, , the ball.

11.J. Distractions. Players may shall not distract an opponent when the opponent is about to play the ball. If, in the judgment of the referee, a player has distracted their opponent, distraction has occurred, the referee shall immediately call a fault on the offending team. See Rule 3.A.7.

Original Rule Text

3.A.7. 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.

11.J. Distractions. Players may not distract an opponent when the opponent is about to play the ball. If in the judgment of the referee a distraction has occurred, the referee shall immediately call a fault on the offending team

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Reasoning behind suggested change

 

The use of the word “may” in the first sentence of the original rule text of 3.A.7 is unnecessary. Referees either determine a distraction occurred or did not; there is no time where referees may not call a distraction when one exists, or may call one when one does not exist.

 

The other minor change to 3.A.7 adds the words ‘or prepare to hit’ as an additional time-frame when distractions can occur. Now a continuum of three time-frames are included: (1) the mental concentration of the player before preparing to strike the ball, (2) any physical preparation the player takes before striking the ball, and (3) the actual physical act of striking the ball.

 

Lastly, the other change to 3.A.7 is to make it read easier by simply removing the repeated words that currently exist in the first and second sentences.

 

The change to Rule 11.J, also removes the word, ‘may’ for similar reasons. The other changes to 11.J are for easier reading and reference to the definition of ‘distraction’ in Rule 3.A.7.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

N/a

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1454
Date CreatedMarch 16, 2024
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