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 TitleClarity for Line Call Appeals by Players
Existing Rule #6.C.3
Proposed Rule Change

6.C.3.  The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made. Any ball that cannot be called “out” will be considered “in.” A player cannot claim a replay because the ball was not seen or there is uncertainty.
A player who does not make an out call and does not return the ball, may appeal to the referee (after the ball is dead) to make the call if they did not clearly see the ball land. If the referee is unable to make the call, the ball is “in.” The moment the receiving player/team appeals to the referee, they lose their right to make any subsequent "in" or "out" call for that rally.

Original Rule Text

6.C.3. The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made. Any ball that cannot be called “out” will
be considered “in.” A player cannot claim a replay because the ball was not seen or there is uncertainty.
A player who does not make a call may appeal to the referee to make the call if they did not clearly see the
ball land. If the referee is unable to make the call, the ball is “in.” The moment the receiving player/team
appeals to the referee, they lose their right to make any subsequent "in" or "out" call for that rally.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

The 4th sentence in 6.C.3 is vague and under certain interpretations could allow for a player to return a ball (which subsequently is a fault) and even though they didn't make an "out" call, they are allowed to appeal to the referee  on the prior bounce of the ball to question if the ball was in or out. This "allowing" of the player to return the ball and then when they have lost the rally, allow them to ask the referee if the prior bounce was in or out allows for a player to 2 chances to win the rally. Or better put, they get "2 bites of the apple."  If a player choses to return a ball (that has bounced) rather than call the ball out, they have exercised their option to play the ball and not make an out call. If their return shot lands out or into the net/ground, they can't "back up" and now ask the referee if the bounce of the ball BEFORE their return shot was in or out. This would give the player 2 chances to win the rally; which is not fair.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Receiver returns the serve. The return of serve lands out of bounds. The receiver now wants to appeal to the ref to see if the serve had landed in or out. The referee does not allow the appeal because no out call was made and the player chose to return the serve rather than call the serve "out".

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1737
Date CreatedMay 7, 2024
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