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 TitleNVZ definition for mini-singles
Existing Rule #12.O.3
Proposed Rule Change

12.O.3.d The entire 7-foot-by-20-foot non-volley zone definition remains unchanged from normal doubles and singles play, even though only half of the non-volley zone on each end of the court is part of the in-play court.

Original Rule Text

None

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

There is confusion among players, referees, and tournament directors regarding how to define the non-volley zone for mini singles. This adds needed clarity.

The primary question is about what to do with the half of the normal NVZ that is out of bounds on any given rally. Reasonable people may disagree about whether 3.A.22 means that the 7x20 area is still all off limits to volleys, or if 12.O.3.c redefines the NVZ. Rule proposal 1532 tries to resolve this by explicitly defining the NVZ as 7x10 in mini singles. However, this approach has a major flaw.

See this video at time 4:40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtSOVfMeP4M. If the NVZ is just the in-bounds 7x10 area, then when you are playing cross-court in mini singles, you can literally stand inside the normal court, a couple feet from the net, and give your opponent no options for where to hit the shot. This move is game breaking, and far from any possible legal play in a normal game of pickleball. The only reason some players don't do this currently is either a lack of imagination or a gentleman's agreement to not ruin the game like this.

This rule would explicitly prevent this type of maneuver. An alternative rule could be to say that when playing straight across in mini-singles, the NVZ is 7x10 (which would allow for an Erne on both the left and right side of the 10 foot wide court, but to state that when playing cross-court, the full 7x20 NVZ still applies.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Playing mini-singles and trying to Erne inside the court. There is confusion as to what is legal and what the NVZ definition is. It is especially important to resolve this for mini-singles when you are playing cross court - there is only 1 reasonable NVZ definition there. For straight-on rallies, either NVZ definition could work.

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1817
Date CreatedMay 15, 2024
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