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 TitleRound-robin tie-breaker criteria
Existing Rule #12.C.4
Proposed Rule Change

12.C.4. Round Robin. All players/teams play each other. Games may use any of the approved tournament scoring options. (See Rule 12.B.) The winner is determined based on number of matches won. If two or more teams are tied, ties shall be broken in accordance with 12.C.4.a. through 12.C.4.e. The method that succeeds in breaking the tie will be used to rank all tied teams.Once a tie has been broken, any subsequent ties in the bracket shall be broken by going back to 12.C.4.a. and continuing through each successive tie-breaker until a winner is determined.

Original Rule Text

12.C.4. Round Robin. All players/teams play each other. Games may use any of the approved tournament
scoring options. (See Rule 12.B.) The winner is determined based on number of matches won. If two or more teams are tied, ties shall be broken in accordance with 12.C.4.a. through 12.C.4.e. Once a tie has been broken, any subsequent ties in the bracket shall be broken by going back to 12.C.4.a. and continuing through each successive tie-breaker until a winner is determined.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Remove this sentence:  Once a tie has been broken, any subsequent ties in the bracket shall be broken by going back to 12.C.4.a. and continuing through each successive tie-breaker until a winner is determined. 

 

With the "restart" of the process after each tie is broken, the tiebreaker weighs too heavily on head-to-head, not taking into account point differential among tied teams or point differential of all teams in the pool.  This especially affects 3+ way ties.

The determining tiebreaker factor should have more basis in statistics, not just the head-to-head component.

Round robin winners tiebreakers should be determined by competitive play as demonstrated in statistics.

 

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Teams that are tied with 3 or more teams are often impacted.

Close games are not considered, only head-to-head wins when the tiebreaker "resets."

For example, 3 teams tied after the round robin with a 3-1 record.  Team A beat Team C 15-4, Team C beat Team B 15-13, Team B beat Team A 16-14.  Team A automatically moved on out of the pool since they had the biggest point differential in the pool of 5 overall teams (by 1 point).  The game between Team A and C was not as competitive as the other games, according to the score.  Team B lost only one game by 2 points, but Team C advanced since they beat Team B.

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Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1838
Date CreatedMay 15, 2024
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