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 TitleIntentional handball or handleball
Existing Rule #7.H
Proposed Rule Change

After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist. Intentionally contacting the ball with the paddle handle or with a hand that happens to be touching the paddle is also a fault. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, as long as a player’s hand is in contact with the paddle, the ball is still in play. The fault is on the player who was hit by the ball.

Original Rule Text

After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, as long as a player’s hand is in contact with the paddle, the ball is still in play. The fault is on the player who was hit by the ball.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

This is a paddle sport where we play on when a ball inadvertently hits a hand or the handle as part of an attempt to hit with the paddle face. There is nothing currently in the rules that disallows intentionally flipping the paddle over and hitting with the handle like a baseball bat, or holding your hand on the paddle face and smacking it or misdirecting it with your hand. And in my opinion there should be - even though I recognize this is not currently a major problem in the sport.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Players intentionally hitting the ball with anything besides the paddle face, exploiting the wording of rule 7.H.

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1814
Date CreatedMay 15, 2024
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