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 TitleEliminate Equipment Time-Out
Existing Rule #10.D and 10.H.2
Proposed Rule Change

Combine existing 10.D (Equipment Time-Outs) and 10.H.2 (Extenuating Circumstances) to eliminate Equipment Time-Out as a specific type of time-out.

10.D. Referee Time-Out. The referee may call a referee time-out to address extenuating circumstances that may require an extended interruption of play. There is no set time limit for a referee time-out.

10.D.1. Players are expected to keep all apparel and equipment in good playable condition. If the referee determines that an equipment change or adjustment is necessary for fair and safe continuation of the match, the referee may award a referee time-out of reasonable duration.

10.D.2. Apparel and equipment adjustments that can be accomplished quickly are allowed between rallies (e.g., tying shoelaces, cleaning glasses, adjusting hat) without calling a time-out.

10.D.3. In the interest of safety, if the referee determines a potential medical situation exists (e.g., heat exhaustion, heat stroke) and the player is unable to or refuses to call a medical timeout, the referee is authorized to call a referee time-out and summon medical personnel or the Tournament Director.

10.D.4. The referee shall call a referee time-out to address issues relating solely to blood cleanup and control of active bleeding.

10.D.5. The referee shall call a referee time-out to have foreign substances on the court and playing surface, such as debris, water, or other fluids, removed or cleaned up.

10.D.6. Referee time-outs will not be charged against the player.

10.D.7. Rule 10.A.5 shall be used to resume play.

10.D.8. In non-officiated matches, players will work out a reasonable accommodation among themselves to address extenuating circumstances or they may call for the Tournament Director or Head Referee for assistance.

10.D. Equipment Time-Outs. Players are expected to keep all apparel and equipment in good playable condition. If the referee determines that an equipment change or adjustment is necessary for fair and safe continuation of the match, the referee may award an equipment time-out of reasonable duration. Rule 10.A.5 will be used to continue play. In non-officiated matches, players will work out a reasonable accommodation among themselves for equipment malfunctions.

10.D.1. Apparel and equipment adjustments that can be accomplished quickly are allowed between rallies (e.g., tying shoelaces, cleaning glasses, adjusting hat).

10.H.2. Extenuating Circumstances: The referee may call a referee time-out to address extenuating circumstances that may require an extended interruption of play.

10.H.2.a. In the interest of safety, if the referee determines a potential medical situation exists, (for example, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, etc.) and the player is unable to or refuses to call a medical timeout, the referee is authorized to call a referee time-out and summon medical personnel or the Tournament Director. Referee requested time-outs will not be charged against the player.

10.H.2.b. Active bleeding shall be addressed in accordance with Rule 10.B.5.

10.H.2.c. Foreign substances on the court, such as debris, water, or other fluids, shall be removed or cleaned up.

10.H.2.d. Rule 10.A.5 shall be used to resume play.

Original Rule Text

10.D. Equipment Time-Outs. Players are expected to keep all apparel and equipment in good playable condition. If the referee determines that an equipment change or adjustment is necessary for fair and safe continuation of the match, the referee may award an equipment time-out of reasonable duration. Rule 10.A.5 will be used to continue play. In non-officiated matches, players will work out a reasonable accommodation among themselves for equipment malfunctions.

10.D.1. Apparel and equipment adjustments that can be accomplished quickly are allowed between rallies (e.g., tying shoelaces, cleaning glasses, adjusting hat).

10.H.2. Extenuating Circumstances: The referee may call a referee time-out to address extenuating circumstances that may require an extended interruption of play.

10.H.2.a. In the interest of safety, if the referee determines a potential medical situation exists, (for example, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, etc.) and the player is unable to or refuses to call a medical timeout, the referee is authorized to call a referee time-out and summon medical personnel or the Tournament Director. Referee requested time-outs will not be charged against the player.

10.H.2.b. Active bleeding shall be addressed in accordance with Rule 10.B.5.

10.H.2.c. Foreign substances on the court, such as debris, water, or other fluids, shall be removed or cleaned up.

10.H.2.d. Rule 10.A.5 shall be used to resume play.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Equipment replacements and adjustments are extenuating circumstances that can be handled with a referee time-out. The criteria and procedures are the same for equipment time-outs and referee time-outs. Neither
Original Rule Text
10.D. Equipment Time-Outs. Players are expected to keep all apparel and equipment in good playable condition. If the referee determines that an equipment change or adjustment is necessary for fair and safe continuation of the match, the referee may award an equipment time-out of reasonable duration. Rule 10.A.5 will be used to continue play. In non-officiated matches, players will work out a reasonable accommodation among themselves for equipment malfunctions.

10.D.1. Apparel and equipment adjustments that can be accomplished quickly are allowed between rallies (e.g., tying shoelaces, cleaning glasses, adjusting hat).

10.H.2. Extenuating Circumstances: The referee may call a referee time-out to address extenuating circumstances that may require an extended interruption of play.

10.H.2.a. In the interest of safety, if the referee determines a potential medical situation exists, (for example, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, etc.) and the player is unable to or refuses to call a medical timeout, the referee is authorized to call a referee time-out and summon medical personnel or the Tournament Director. Referee requested time-outs will not be charged against the player.

10.H.2.b. Active bleeding shall be addressed in accordance with Rule 10.B.5.

10.H.2.c. Foreign substances on the court, such as debris, water, or other fluids, shall be removed or cleaned up.

10.H.2.d. Rule 10.A.5 shall be used to resume play.
has a specific time limit nor is the time-out recorded on the scoresheet. Eliminating the equipment time-out simplifies the number and types of time-outs.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies
  1. During a rally, the handle on Player A’s paddle breaks. At the conclusion of the rally, Player A says he has another paddle in his car in the parking lot and it will take about five minutes to get the paddle. The referee declares a referee time-out to allow Player A time to retrieve the replacement paddle from his car. Player A returns in four minutes. The referee inspects the paddle, gives a 15-second warning, and resumes the match.
  2. During a rally, Player B develops a large split in the back of his shorts which exposes his underwear. At the conclusion of the rally, Player B says he has another pair of shorts in his bag at courtside. The referee declares a referee time-out to allow Player B time to go to the restroom to change his shorts. Player B returns in two minutes. The referee gives a 15-second warning and resumes the match.
Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1729
Date CreatedMay 6, 2024
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