Rule Submission Titleremove all Section 11 plane-of-the-net rules
USAP Board Voting StatusNot voted upon
USAP Rules Committee Voting StatusFail
IFP Voting StatusAverage: 0.6 Detail:1,0,0,0,3,0,0
Existing Rule #11.i, 11.i.1, 11.L.3
Proposed Rule Change

remove 11.i, 11.i.1, 11.L.3

Original Rule Text

Plane of the Net. Crossing the plane of the net prior to
striking the ball is a fault. After striking the ball, a player or
anything the player is/was wearing or carrying may cross
the plane of the net. The player may not touch any part of
the net system, the opponent’s court, or the opponent
while the ball is still in play.
11.I.1. Exception: If the ball bounces into a receiving
player’s court with enough backspin or wind aid to
cause it to return back over the net, the receiving
player may cross the plane of the net (over, under
or around the net post) to hit the ball. It is a fault if
the receiving player (or anything the receiving
player is wearing or carrying) crosses the plane of
the net before the ball has first crossed back over
the plane of the net to the opponent’s side. It is a
fault if the player touches the net system, the
opponent’s court, or the opponent while the ball is
still in play.

11.L.3. A player is allowed to go around the net post and
cross the imaginary extension line of the net after
hitting the ball, so long as the player or any item
he or she is/was wearing or carrying does not
touch the opponent’s court. If the player goes
around the net post and crosses the imaginary
extension line of the net but does not make
contact with the ball, a fault will be declared.


Reasoning Behind Suggested Change
The natural flow of the game includes players occasionally using the space across the net alongside their opponents' court.  This is true in all divided-court net games (volleyball, badminton, tennis, ping pong, etc.) including pickleball.  Pickleball had no "plane of the net" rule for many decades without issue.  Plane-of-the-net rules are an un-neccessary restriction on players.  Such  rules also necessitate a tangle of exceptions and special cases (backspin: 11.i.1, after striking the ball 11.L.3), and even today this tangle hasn't been fully articulated: How long is a player allowed to linger past the net after striking the ball?  Can they stay indefinitely?
Also: Faults under rule 7.M are under-appreciated: "Once the ball is in play, a player hitting the ball before it passes the plane of the net."  7.M prevents some of the situations that proponents of plane-of-the-net rules will put forth in defense of the Section 11 rules.  Specifically, some people think that removing the Section 11 plane-of-the-net rules would allow players to hit the ball before it comes to their side of the court, but this is not true, since 7.M makes doing so a fault.
Overall: plane-of-the-net rules restrict the natural flow of the game and needlessly diminish the playing experience, in addition to complicating the rulebook unnecessarily.  The game is better off without such rules.
Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Any time the ball is live and in play; the rules come into play most often in Erne situations.

Rule Book Year2022
Rule Change ID85
Date CreatedJune 22, 2021
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