LIST OF SUGGESTED PICKLEBALL RULE CHANGES FOR PREVIOUS YEARS

Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleLine calls
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonThe different line-calling criteria for officials versus players is intentional. The rule for players is intended to promote sportsmanship by giving the benefit of doubt to the opponent in close calls. The responsibilities of referees and line judges is not the same as is expressed in Rule 6.D.
Existing Rule #6.D.6
Proposed Rule Change

6.D. Code of Ethics for Line Calling. Pickleball is played according to specific rules. It also requires a code of ethics for line-calling responsibilities when performed by players. The line-calling responsibilities of players are the same asdifferent from those assigned to referees or line judges. The officials make impartial judgment calls to the best of their ability. An official will only rule the ball out if they can clearly see space between the ball and the line, the same standard as a player.The officials make impartial judgment calls with all players’ interests in mind. The player, when assigned line-calling duties, must strive for accuracy and operate under the principle that all questionable calls must be resolved in favor of the opponent.

6.D.6. Players, referees and line judges shall not call a ball “out” unless they can clearly see a space between the line and the ball as it hits the ground.

Original Rule Text

6.D. Code of Ethics for Line Calling. Pickleball is played according to specific rules. It also requires a code of ethics for line-calling responsibilities when performed by players. The line-calling responsibilities of players are different from those assigned to referees or line judges. The officials make impartial judgment calls with all players’ interests in mind. The player, when assigned line-calling duties, must strive for accuracy and operate under the principle that all questionable calls must be resolved in favor of the opponent.

6.D.6. Players shall not call a ball “out” unless they can clearly see a space between the line and the ball as it hits the ground.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

It is just too difficult to make a clear decision whether the center of the ball contacts the line at the speed the balls are being hit today. This will make line calling consistent between line judges, referees and players.

The former standard for players was the same as for line judges. It was determined that it was too difficult to call a ball in or out using the place where the bottom of the ball contacted the line, thus the standard for players was changed. Although the line judge is stationery and has a better look at the ball, it is still extremely difficult in a nanosecond to make an accurate determination of where exactly the ball hit the line. Changing the standard for line judges will lead to more accurate line calling and standardize the definition of an out ball for players and line judges.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Matches with line judges and refereed matches where players appeal an opponent line call or ask a referee to make a line call when the players are unable to make a line call.

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID1045
Date CreatedApril 12, 2023
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