SUGGESTED USA PICKLEBALL RULE CHANGES FOR 2025

Rule change submissions will close on May 15th, 2024, at 11:59 PM. Comments on the existing rule change submissions will remain open until May 31st, 2024, at 11:59 PM.

Rule Submission TitleThe Coin Toss
Existing Rule #5.A.1.
Proposed Rule Change

5.A.1. Any fair method shall be used to determine which player or team has first choice of end, serve, receive, or defer (e.g., a 1 or 2 written on the back of the score sheet, flipping a coin). If the winner chooses to serve or receive first, the loser chooses the starting point end. If the winner chooses the starting end, the loser chooses to serve or receive. Once a selection has been made, it cannot be changed. The player or team winning the first choice has 10 seconds to make their selection. The follow on selection by the opponent(s) is also limited to 10 seconds. A delayed selection is subject to a delay of game penalty.

Original Rule Text

5.A.1. Any fair method shall be used to determine which player or team has first choice of end, serve, receive, or defer (e.g., a 1 or 2 written on the back of the score sheet, flipping a coin). If the winner chooses to serve or receive first, the loser chooses the starting end. If the winner chooses the starting end, the loser chooses to serve or receive. Once a selection has been made, it cannot be changed.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

When players/teams winning the coin toss delay their selection until after warning up it prevents the referee from completing the pre-match setup. When using an electronic scoring device the process cannot be completed until the first player/team makes their selection. Additional time is then needed to annotate the selections on the backup paper scoresheet. Delaying the coin toss selection provides no benefit to the players and delays the start of the match and prolongs the tournament unnecessarily.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Team A wins the coin toss and tells the referee they will let him know their decision after they have warned up. Team B tells the referee that they won’t give him their selection until Team A makes their selection. Nothing during the 6 minute warmup period would have impacted any of the selections by either team. Court conditions did not change. Weather conditions did not change. Lighting did not change.

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1725
Date CreatedMay 5, 2024
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