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 TitleNot Ready Signals
Existing Rule #4.C, 4.C.1, 4.C.2
Proposed Rule Change

4.C.2. After the start of the score being called, “not ready” signals will be ignored, unless there is a hinder. A player or team out of position is not considered a hinder. Verbal indicators to stop play such as "stop" and "wait" will be recognized.

Original Rule Text

4.C.2. After the start of the score being called, “not ready” signals will be ignored, unless there is a hinder. A player or team out of position is not considered a hinder.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

In the spirit of good sportsmanship and fair play, the rules support a rally not starting when a player is obviously not ready. The proposed modification to rule 4.C.2 will incorporate the ruling from Referee Casebook case 7-23 which requires referees to acknowledge certain words spoken by players to stop play between the time the score is called and the ball is served. This rule change will formally allow a way for players to indicate they are not ready during that pre-serve time and also codify a manner to stop play during a rally. Recognizing a verbal play stoppage will readily resolve who should be faulted in situations where a live ball is physically stopped in response to a player’s verbal urgings to stop play.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

After the score is called, the receiving team realizes they are positioned incorrectly. One of the players shouts “wait” and the receiving team quickly scurries to their correct positions. Since the serve has not taken place, play is stopped in fairness to the receiving team so the server does not serve the ball while the players are repositioning (not ready). After the players are in their correct positions and all are ready to play, the score is re-called. This rule change will result in the same courtesy being given to a receiving team that is granted to a serving team via rule 4.E.2.

Player A2 serves to Player B2, both who are correctly positioned. However, Player A1 thinks Player B2 is the incorrect receiver and continuously shouts “Stop, wrong receiver” after Player B2 returns the serve. Player A2 knows Player B2 was the correct receiver and hits the ball back to Team B. Player B1 catches the live ball in response to Player A1’s shouts. Since Player B2 was the correct server and a position error did not occur, a fault is to be called on the player who stopped the rally.

Although Player B1 physically stopped the ball, this suggested rule modification will unequivocally support Player A1 being identified as the player who stopped the rally by shouting “stop,” which occurred before the ball was physically caught. This will resolve any question of holding Player A1 accountable for stopping the rally and adheres to the logic that Player A1 should be the player faulted for incorrectly identifying a receiver error.

Rule Book Year2025
Rule Change ID1839
Date CreatedMay 15, 2024
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