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 Title4.N.3. Fault if serve return goes into the net or out of bounds
Existing Rule #4.N.
Proposed Rule Change

4.N. Receiver Faults. It is a fault against the receiving team resulting in a point for the server if:

4.N.3. The receiver or their partner plays the ball after the serve bounces on the correct service court and their play results in the ball hitting into the net on their end of the court, without crossing over to the server’s end of the court or if their play results in the ball not being returned successfully into the court on the server’s end, e.g. being hit out of bounds or into a permanent object.

Original Rule Text

This is a new rule, an addition to section 4.N.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Since in doubles play it is not a fault for an incorrect receiver to play the ball and the action of receiver touching the ball occurs first, it is argued that upon an incorrect receiver touching the ball, the immediate call should always be a replay regardless of whether the receiver’s play on the ball was a successful return or not.  Hence, an incorrect receiver, upon realizing that the correct receiver will not get to a well placed serve, can merely touch the ball to force a replay and negate the serve of the serving team.  It adds “insult to injury” that the incorrect receiver’s play on the ball does not even have to be a successful return as the offending team is “rewarded” with a replay while the team that is complying with the rules has their good play “erased”.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

This would apply to all  doubles games where they incorrect receiver is returning a serve, but the well-intended change to replay out of position situations has given rise to a scenario where an offending team is rewarded at the expense of the team that has not violated any serving rule.

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1837
Date CreatedMay 15, 2024
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