Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleAlternate Serve / Scoring
USAP Board Vote ReasonFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonFailed. Confusing proposal. Another rally scoring suggestion will be reviewed
Existing Rule #4B
Proposed Rule Change
  1. Serve – The serve alternate every 2 attempts. Fault serves shall result in no points awarded and move to second serve attempt. Could potentially move to opponent after two faults as 0-0 score and play continues till 11. If rally scoring adopted, fault serve can be awarded to the opponent. In doubles, if a fault is recorded the serve moves to second partner or a side out awarded if the second server records a fault.
  2. Score - Changing to a rally scoring when a fault is recorded. Goes with the above-mentioned style of play with alternated serves. Best score style for alternate serve style play.
Original Rule Text

4.B. Player Positions.
4.B.1. Server and Receiver. The correct server and receiver
and their positions are determined by the score and
the players’ starting positions in the game.
4.B.2. At the start of each game, the starting server begins
the serve from the side of the court dictated by the
4.B.3. Each player will serve until a rally is lost or a fault is
declared against the player or team.
4.B.4. As long as the server holds serve, after each point
the server will alternate serving from the right/even
and left/odd sides of the court.
4.B.5. Singles.
4.B.5.a. If the player’s score is even (0, 2, 4 ...), the
serve must be made from the right/even
serving area and be received in the
right/even service court by the opponent.
4.B.5.b. If the player’s score is odd (1, 3, 5 ...), the
serve must be made from the left/odd
USA PICKLEBALL & IFP Official Rulebook (2021)
serving area and be received in the
left/odd service court by the opponent.
4.B.5.c. After the server loses the rally or faults, a
side out will occur and service is awarded
to the opponent.
4.B.6. Doubles. Both players on a team will serve before a
side out is declared, except at the start of each
game, when only the starting server will serve. The
starting server of each game is therefore
designated as “Server 2” for scoring purposes, since
a side out will occur once a rally is lost or a fault is
committed by the serving team and service is
awarded to the opposing team.
4.B.6.a. At the start of each side out

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Allows the rate of play and matches to be a set amount plus/minus a few minutes per match. Allows games to be more competitive. Will provide more structure to the length of play (beneficial in tournament play when playing several events, a weekend). Being able to keep serve creates lopsided scores that can be deceiving. This is evident from recreation all the way to pro level. The proposed changes create a time structure and allow for match play to be universally set to best of 3 or best of 5 with the reduction in time per match play.  Proposed changes are like other paddle/racquet sports that made changes for similar reasons.

Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID273
Date CreatedDecember 20, 2021
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