LIST OF SUGGESTED PICKLEBALL RULE CHANGES FOR PREVIOUS YEARS

Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleIssuing a Technical Penalty at the End of a Match.
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonOnce the match-winning point has been scored, the match is over and player conduct issues should be reported to and addressed by the Tournament Director. There are circumstances that would be inappropriate or impractical to reconvene the match. Behavior that warrants a technical foul does not always occur immediately after the match-winning rally and could occur long after one team has left the court.
Existing Rule #13.C.5.h. and 13.G.3.e.
Proposed Rule Change

COMBINED 13.C.5.h. /13.G.3.e. Maintain player conduct. In USA PICKLEBALL tournaments, the referee is empowered to call verbal warnings, technical warnings, technical fouls anytime the players are at the court, before, during or after the match. The referee is empowered to forfeit a game or match based on a defined combination of technical warnings and/or technical fouls. Play shall not be stopped to assess a warning or foul. The assessment of the warning or foul shall be applied after the rally has ended. After a match, if an assessed Technical Penalty affects the outcome of the match, the referee will recall the players to the court to restart the match or confirm the final scores. The referee may also recommend an ejection to the Tournament Director.

OR

13.C.5.h. Maintain player conduct. In USA PICKLEBALL tournaments, the referee is empowered to call verbal warnings, technical warnings, technical fouls anytime the players are at the court, before, during or after the match. The referee is empowered to and to forfeit a game or match based on a defined combination of technical warnings and/or technical fouls. The referee may also recommend an ejection to the Tournament Director.

13.G.3.e. Verbal warnings, technical warnings and technical fouls may be assessed any time the players are at the court, independent of whether the match is in progress. This includes during warm-up time. Play shall not be stopped to assess a warning or foul. The assessment of the warning or foul shall be applied after the rally has ended. After a match, if an assessed Technical Penalty affects the outcome of the match, the referee will recall the players to the court to restart the match or confirm the final scores. Behavior raising to the level of a warning or foul after the match is over shall be brought to the attention of the Tournament Director.

Original Rule Text

Current: 13.C.5.h. Maintain player conduct. In USA PICKLEBALL tournaments, the referee is empowered to call verbal warnings, technical warnings, technical fouls, and to forfeit a game or match based on a defined combination of technical warnings and/or technical fouls. The referee may also recommend an ejection to the Tournament Director.

Current: 13.G.3.e. Verbal warnings, technical warnings and technical fouls may be assessed any time the players are at the court, independent of whether the match is in progress. This includes during warm-up time. Play shall not be stopped to assess a warning or foul. The assessment of the warning or foul shall be applied after the rally has ended. Behavior raising to the level of a warning or foul after the match is over shall be brought to the attention of the Tournament Director.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

At a recent tournament a losing player threw his paddle over the fence with total disregard for the possible consequence of his action  Many Tournament Directors are reluctant to confront player misbehavior; as such, players are not being held accountable for their misconduct. Wins and points matter to players. Therefore, penalty worthy behavior that occurs after a match ends should have the same consequence for a team/player as it does before or during the match. Hopefully, this rule change will be a deterrent to unsportsmanlike conduct independent of whether the match is in progress or not.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies
  1. In a 2/3 match each team has 1 win. Team A has 2 Technical Warnings. Team A wins game 3 and the match. However, a winning player’s behavior after the match warrants a third Technical Warning. Result: game forfeit of game 3 and loss of the match.
  2. In a 2/3 match, Team A has 2 Technical warnings. Team A wins the first 2 games and the match. If a 3rd Technical Warning is assessed after the match, Team A would lose game 2 by forfeit. The game count is now 1-1 forcing game 3 to be played. If a Technical Foul as assessed after the match, Team A would lose the match due to penalty match forfeit.
  3. At the end of a match a winning player celebrates using loud extreme profanity. A Technical Foul is issued with loss of match point and the game is resumed at the reduced score.
  4. At the end of a match a losing player tosses his paddle outside the court with total disregard of where it might land. TF issued and a point is deducted from the final score.
Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID1008
Date CreatedMarch 30, 2023
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