LIST OF SUGGESTED PICKLEBALL RULE CHANGES FOR PREVIOUS YEARS

Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleNo Game Three End Change When First Game Forfeited Due to Late Arrival
USAP Board VotePassed
USAP Rules Committee VotePassed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonThis incorporates Casebook item 10-23 into the Rulebook.
Existing Rule #5.B.3
Proposed Rule Change

5.B.3. In a match with two out of three games to 11 points, in game three, the teams will switch ends when the first team reaches a score of 6. Serve remains with the player holding serve. Exception: If the first game of such match was forfeited due to late arrival, the teams will not switch ends during game three. 

Original Rule Text

5.B.3. In a match with two out of three games to 11 points, in game three, the teams will switch ends when the first team reaches a score of 6. Serve remains with the player holding serve. 

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Changing ends of the court during a match is intended to reduce if not eliminate any unfair advantages/disadvantages created by the weather or other play conditions. Under regular circumstances in a match with a format of two out of three games to 11, the game three mid-game end change ensures fairness by allowing teams to spend as equal as possible playing time on both ends of the court. If the first game of the match is forfeited due to late arrival (i.e., no rallies were played), however, there is no need for a mid-game end change in game three. Continuing to require it under such circumstances operates to allow one team to spend a majority of their playing time on one particular end, potentially reducing overall fairness and adding an unnecessary operation to total match time. Because other rule based game forfeits can occur at any point in the match, it is best to leave the game three mid-game end change in place in those situations.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

In a match with a format of two out of three games to 11, Team A fails to report to court within 10 minutes after their match was called to play (but prior to 15 minutes after). Pursuant to Rule 13.H.4., a game forfeit was issued to Team A. Play starts in Game 2 with Team A on Side 1 and Team B on Side 2. Game 2 finishes. Team A and B change ends and resume play with Game 3. To ensure with certainty that the teams receive as equal as possible playing time on both ends of the court, there should be no mid-game end change in this match's Game 3. Otherwise, Team A or B may be unfairly subject to adverse conditions.

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID1076
Date CreatedApril 25, 2023
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