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 Rule Change ID Submitted From Comment
26June 22, 2021Andrew

Would have to consider players who are hard of hearing and wear hearing aids for legitimate reason.

123July 4, 2021Don

With this rule change, we are now allowing players to carry balls on their person and in the event that a ball falls out and the opponents stop play for hinder or safety concerns, we now have to call a fault on them? What if one of the opponents did not see the ball fall out of a pocket and out of habit calls "ball on". Are they now supposed to be faulted for being "habitually safe"? No good can come from allowing players to carry balls on the court.

26June 26, 2021Bill

With the exception of medically necessary hearing aids, I see no reason that players should be allowed to wear earbuds. How would you know if the person was receiving constant coaching via cell phone?

86July 5, 2021Don

Why should my opponent have more rights to my court space than I do? Under certain conditions (hitting the ball then crossing, following the ball back over after backspin) it is reasonable to allow a player to cross into my court space. BUT, this does not mean that I need to concede any space on my side of the net. You play on your side and I'll play on mine.

97June 28, 2021Vaunette

Upon retirement of a match, points that were scored should stand. For example, if the game score was 8-6 once a individual/team retires the score should NOT suddenly become 11-0.

83June 25, 2021Nick

Unless I am missing something, rule 6.D.7 does not require an out call at any time.
It does require an in call unless you can clearly see a space between the ball and the line.

168July 12, 2021Kevin

Under the Proposed Rule if my paddle were to touch in the NVZ prior to striking the ball it would not be a fault, assuming my feet are on the ground outside of the kitchen. My paddle touches the kitchen as I start my swing and I reestablish my position outside of the NVZ between the time my paddle lifts off the surface and before I hit the ball.

The intent of the proposed rule change has merit but I don't think the wording is quite right.

23June 7, 2021Pam

Totally agree with the suggestion.

103July 10, 2021Dave

Totally agree with submitter!!!!! The key part of the uniqueness of the game of pickleball was the serve. Anybody could play. Until the cheater, ace, wicked, sidearm, smash, over the waist, drop serve came into play. Now pickleball is just like any other sport. Not social, not fun. Just constant frustration. The competitive players are ruining recreational play with the help of… the drop serve. Yes, they should go to competitive play. But they are not. They are just beating up on old ladies and senior citizens, many of whom have various levels of disabilities. Big whoop. The Bainbridge Island Boys must be turning over in their graves.

103July 10, 2021Dave

Totally agree with submitter!!!!! The key part of the uniqueness of the game of pickleball was the serve. Anybody could play. Until the cheater, ace, wicked, sidearm, smash, over the waist, drop serve came into play. Now pickleball is just like any other sport. Not social, not fun. Just constant frustration. The competitive players are ruining recreational play with the help of… the drop serve. Yes, they should go to competitive play. But they are not. They are just beating up on old ladies and senior citizens, many of whom have various levels of disabilities. Big whoop. The Bainbridge Island Boys must be turning over in their graves.

138July 4, 2021Don

This rule was changed specifically in a global effort to remove many of the "gotcha" faults that occurred before the ball was served. The starting server form of identification (Band) is the key. As long as the "band" player starts serving and receiving (assuming a 0-0 score) the actual players and player's names are irrelevant for fault calling purposes. The scoresheet is NOT the key as this is only an aid for the referee to keep track of who is supposed to be serving and receiving. The game is about the players; not the referee.

40July 5, 2021Bill

This rule change would greatly increase the time required for a game.

127June 27, 2021Robert

This rule change should be adapted in the spirit of fair play, sportsmanship, and safety

86June 25, 2021Nick

This proposal creates too much interpretation as to whether or not the opponents moved far enough out of the way.
The situation covered is a fairly infrequent occurrence. I do not think it is needed.

40June 7, 2021Darla

This isn't tennis. No thanks to changing this rule in pickleball. One serve is plenty.

40July 14, 2021David

This is unnecessary. The team that wins the toss will have too much advantage. Beginners will eventually learn the correct score. Bad rule change.

48June 26, 2021Ed

This editorial change makes sense and helps everyone remember that the NVZ line is part and parcel of the NVZ.

77June 25, 2021Ken

These proposed changes make sense. One must weigh potential (and likely very rare) abuse of the proposed medical time out rules versus safety of the players. Player safety shouid take priority. Also, as stated in the reasoning for the rule changes, referees and tournament directors may not be qualified to render on the spot decisions about the validity/severity of a medical issue.

97June 25, 2021Jameson

There should be conditions on which retirement is acceptable versus forfeit. Injury, time, weather, etc.

63June 22, 2021Marsha

The traditional method of scoring is one of the features that makes pickleball unique and perfectly challenging, It may take some players more time to grasp the method than others, but it is does not prevent them from immediately enjoying the game and they eventually learn the system. There is nothing wrong with the traditional scoring method so I don't see a need to change it. However, when time is of the essence, rally scoring can be used as a variation.

63July 19, 2021david

The rally point should be adapted as soon as possible. The advantage is obvious. I think the pickleball is the only sport stuck in the past and did not keep up with time. I'm glad to see that the association is ready to move forward.

63June 26, 2021Bill

The proposal is for a radical change to the sport. Perhaps a better approach would be to start a new sport (with a different name) using the proposed changes and see if the community likes the new sport.

94July 2, 2021Paul

The problem with the current rule is that the 10 second clock automatically runs, and that encourages "quick serving" and unsportsmanlike conduct.

94July 2, 2021Paul

The problem with the current rule is that it encourages "quick serving" and unsportsmanlike conduct. Recently at the Boise Regional (at game point, 10-7), the referee called the score, calling it as 10-7-1. We believed it was 10-7-2. I immediately placed my hand in the air and made eye contact with the referee and began inquiring about whether the server was a 1 or 2. The opposing team, realizing that my hand was in the air and that I was completely unprepared, immediately "quick served" me and won the point as the ball bounced through my side of the court. The referee said that once the score was called, I could not raise my hand. I asked about whether it was good sportsmanship to "quick serve" an obviously unprepared opponent, and he said that was a different issue. I believe that the rule should be changed to allow a good faith inquiry about what the score is after it is called and that the 10 second clock should be "tolled" or stopped while that inquiry is sorted out. The rules should not encourage "quick serving", which in any other sport would be viewed as bad sportsmanship -- not to mention, not particularly good viewing for spectators.

A similar problem exists coming out of the time out. The rule as currently written seemingly requires the referee to call that score 60 seconds after the time out is called - even if the players are unprepared. And then the serving team can again "quick serve" the opposition, even if they are unprepared. Most referees use common sense and don't call the score if one team is unprepared at 60 seconds. But the rule as written seems to cut off that discretion from the referee. That rule should be revised as well to try to prevent "quick serving" - if necessary a referee should first give a warning rather than call the score and permit a quick serve.

62June 22, 2021Don

The losing team should then be required to also sign the scoresheet, in order to keep the winner from rushing to sign it to keep from losing their last point. Perhaps the time limit should instead be "when the Referee Leaves the court"

53June 25, 2021joe

The " Wheelchair Rules Committee" (of which I am a member) under the guidance of Jim Loving and Sharon Mackenzie has fostered parity among pickleball players by limiting rules which may lead to exclusion rather than inclusion of physically challenged/adaptive players. Simply stated our mandate is to eventually have all players play by the same rules. That is to limit distinguishing definitions and rules which set players apart. At the moment we are very satisfied with the two bounce RULE and "foot fault" definitions that are in the 2021 rule book. If organizations/government agencies suggest or request specific rules/definition changes applicable to "adaptive" players I request that before these are acted upon by the USAP that they be circulated to the aforementioned committee for consideration and recommendation.

16June 20, 2021Alan

Switching sides in every game would create a bigger issue with the overall time in a match. Adding and additional 2 mins in every best 2 of 3 match will add up quickly based on the number of matches there are in the bigger tournaments.

20July 5, 2021Bob

Support rule change in its entirety, consolidating the 2 serves with no paddle restrictions and contact of the ball below waist should standardize the rule and eliminate controversy on paddle position.

20June 28, 2021Tom

Suggestion to leave drop serve BUT have it follow ALL OTHER RULES for serving ..
ALL OTHER SERVICE RULES APPLY including 4.A.3, 4.A.4 & 4.A.5

One of the great parts of pickleball is that the rules encourage long rally’s between the players. A key component of this is the service rules in effect prior to 2021. In essence the server was unable to dominate a point solely with their serve. Combined with the two bounce rule and the No Volley Zone rules, this makes pickleball a game of shot exchanges and shot positioning rather than of power. The 2021 provisional rule allowed a power serve to suddenly become a part of the game and threatens to create a “serve and volley” environment.
A second major part of the joy of pickleball is that the rules are such that there is not a great advantage provided naturally to the stronger male player. Mixed gender, and mixed generational play is lots of fun and I have played in all sorts of gender and age combinations without feeling that oh rats there is a youngster or a women on my team, now we are in going to get overwhelmed by the men on the other side… the service rules are a significant part of that joy and if one allows drop serves to have all sorts of spins and power moves that are not available with the service rules prior to 2021, then power and gender and age become greater factors hurting the game.
A third aspect to the pickleball rules prior to 2021 was that the serving team is at a slight disadvantage in that they cannot over power their opponent with their serve AND they have to wait for the return to bounce, allowing the return team to take the net. At the same time, the serving team is the only one to score a point toward victory, thus points have special value as to win a point, you have to overcome a disadvantage. This is unique to pickleball and is a great part of the game.
Simplicity. I teach beginning pickleball all the time. When I get to teaching how to serve, you explain the three rules (below belly button, upward motion, below the wrist) and then you have to say, but then there is also this other way and anything goes??? that’s nuts.
I agree that for some players, especially beginners, it is easier to serve off the bounce, so let a drop serve be allowed but DO NOT allow them to hit the serve any way they want, keep it low to high, below the belly button and below the wrist.

112July 4, 2021Don

So nothing was mentioned about how the receiving team would "line up". I assume they would still line up according to their score? So after a side out, the serving team has 4 and the receiving team has 5. So the starting server (band) player would serve from the left court to the banded player on the receiving team. I can see the merit on making it easier on the ref for the serving team, but it seems like more thought is going to be needed to ensure the receiving team's correct receiver.

186July 8, 2021judy

Rule 186 hit wrong number can’t change it

Drop or regular
Two rules:
1) upward motion
2) contact below waist

Why? You can spin it anyway without the below the wrist rule.

For refs, the above the waist rule is almost impossible to call. Even slow mo demos are not clear.

Regular serves can provide as much spin as the drop. Trust me on that one.

Keep drop and regular. Remove third requirement about the wrist.

13July 12, 2021Kevin

Research indicates that the ball is only in contact with the paddle for 2-3 milliseconds. Humans are unable to process visual images in that time frame. The problem with the "Paddle above the wrist" rule is that it for many side arm servers it is pretty much impossible to distinguish between a barely legal serve and a barely illegal serve. It simply happens too fast. Even if you do a slow motion video of some of these servers it can be hard to distinguish with certainty.

The tradeoff here is that it is really hard to hit the ball significantly above your waist and keep the the paddle head below your waist. (Exception: Lob serve) If you try to hit the ball above your waist and your paddle head below your wrist you will end up with an awkward "chicken wing" serve.

52June 26, 2021Bill

Referees need to keep the game moving. There have been many times that I've called the 15-second warning and one or more players are slow in responding. Nothing gets them moving like seeing the referee's hand counting out the seconds.

168July 4, 2021Don

Push-off faults are some of the hardest to call because the ref must watch the feet reestablish while listening for the "pop" of the ball. IMO all other NVZ faults are easier to call because once the swing starts (for me it is the movement of the paddle arm) all I need to watch is if the zone is touched at any point until the player regains bodily control. This requirement to make all NVZ faults basically the same as a push-off fault makes the ref's job much, much harder.

20June 3, 2021DAVID

Please keep the drop serve. I see a lot of new players using it successfully. Also, I have yet to see anyone use the drop serve to deliver any kind of "wicked" serve that is especially difficult to return. I would support a change which made the new drop serve the only allowed serve. Feel free to eliminate the traditional serve.

103June 27, 2021Bo

Please DROP the DROP serve. It gives some spinners an advantage, but we really aren't after aces like Tennis

146July 12, 2021Kevin

Player officiated rather than Self Officiated

11June 25, 2021Craig

o-o-Start makes sense for the reason stated

39June 2, 2021Mark

Non-volley zone is grammatically incorrect. The 'No-volley' zone more accurately describes what a player may not do; no volley's are allowed without penalty. The term no-volley was introduced in the Alternate Rulebook.

63June 25, 2021Kevin

No, No, No, No and No.

As a former volleyball player that played before and after the change to rally scoring this dramatically changes the game. Pickleball is a game of momentum. Scoring only when a team serves preserves the ability for the comeback. Rally scoring essentially removes momentum and largely lead changes. With rally scoring (games to 11 or 15) when one team gets up by 3 or 4 points the game is essentially over as it is extremely hard using rally score to come back. If rally score is implemented there will be no more teams that come back from being down 1-9 or 2-8.

If rally score were to ever be implemented the minimum game should be to at least 25 to allow for momentum shifts and it would be even better if it were played to 31. Rally score should never be "win by 1" as that allows a tie game to win on a serve receive.

26June 22, 2021Don

My hearing aids are also blue tooth and allow me to hear my phone ring and listen to the caller without anyone else hearing it. It will work at about 20 feet from the phone. You could try to force players to disable blue tooth, but if the phone is on the sideline, the person holding it could quickly enable blue tooth and then call the phone to talk to the player.
My playing ability is better with correct hearing, and I can easily hear the referee and also the "pop" of the ball being hit by the opponents, which is important in my reaction time.

20June 25, 2021Patrick

My comment is regarding the rule on serving from a dropped, bounced ball.

I began playing pickleball less than a year ago, and now I play 3 or 4 times per week. My playing ability is at a 3.0 - 3.5 level. When beginning, I struggled with serving by striking the ball in the air. I tried serving by dropping the ball and letting it bounce. I learned that this type serve gives me a bit more time to strike the ball and made it substantially easier to consistently hit the service area across the net. Therefore, I think this rule is important in allowing more players to learn to play and develop their game.

However, there is another important issue that this rule addresses. The pickleball rules have three requirements that are relevant to the bounce serve. First, the player's arm must be moving in an upward arc. (Rule 4.A.3.) Second, the highest point of the paddle head must not be above the player's wrist. (Rule4.A.4) Lastly, the ball must be struck below the level of the player's waist. (Rule 4.A.5). My observation of non-tournament play is that one or more of these rules is often violated when serving from the air - usually inadvertently. However, when serving from the bounce, it is virtually impossible to violate any of these rules as the ball doesn't bounce high enough to allow any of these three rules to be violated.

If anything is changed regarding the service rule, the Committee should consider banning serving the ball out of the air and requiring that the bounce serve be mandatory.

Thank you for allowing player comment on the Rules as you consider changes for 2022.

91July 10, 2021Dave

Many pickleball paddles are legal according to all parameters and are only classified as illegal because they didn’t go thru the approval process. In other words they are legal in every sense except for the fact that they don’t have a USAPA Approved stamp on them. Bogus. For all practical intents and purposes my paddle is legal. I should not be punished because of a technicality. To check a paddle for all of the required parameters (weight, height, width, etc.), how hard can it be? Should take about a minute.
Players should be allowed to request that their paddles be checked instead of being forced to go out and buy another paddle.

8June 26, 2021Bill

Losing a point (or adding one point to the opponent) is a strong deterrent to bad behavior. Keep it as it is.

20July 14, 2021David

Keep the drop!

It is easier for a lot of beginners.

The chainsaw serve could ruin pickleball if enough people learn to do it well enough (I can), but mandating the drop serve could easily eliminate the chainsaw serve.

Keep the drop, lose the chainsaw!

29June 22, 2021Andrew

Just like to say I agree with this rule change! I can tell you in other sports with more mature rule books this is the case.

23June 26, 2021jeff

Its my believe that the no let serve rule was a positive change to the game, it promotes a better flow of the game and it cancels out false net calls, there is a lot of noise about this rule change because people resist change.

109July 10, 2021Dave

It is not difficult at all to determine the level of the navel, but top of hip isn’t that bad either. Because the navel is at the same exact height. The best rule would simply state that “ The ball must be served BELOW the navel. If any part of the ball touches the navel that is a fault.” The navel would provide a good reference point. Bob is on to something though. “The ball must be served below the top of the hip bone” would also work.
The word that really has to go is “waist.” A hip bone is about 8 inches in height. You can fit more than three pickleballs in that space!!! Thus the waist is not a reference point. Hence the difficulty in determining if a serve is legal or not. The navel and top of the hip are.
Like I said, Bob is on to something and I agree with his concept. It has actually been one of my pet peeves and I have been trying to submit the same rule change but have not been able to figure out how. It’s July 9th and the deadline is July 10th. Mark Piefer told me that he has authorized my submission but I don’t really know what that means. Does that mean he sent it in or do I still have to do it? I would prefer not to have to wait until next year to submit my idea.

11June 20, 2021Alan

Introducing the word "start" into the score call cadence will only result in more confusion I feel. As a new player, the understanding that you call a 1 or a 2 to denote if they are the 1st or 2nd server after each team's score is knowledge they should learn as they first start playing.

27June 11, 2021Jordan

Instead of "no spin" on serve, I think just outlawing creating spin with both hands would be sufficient.. In other words, one hand only for the toss, one hand to hit with the paddle..

I agree that outlawing the crazy amount of spin that can be accumulated with 2 hands is a good thing for the game long term..

 Rule Change ID Submitted From Comment