LIST OF SUGGESTED PICKLEBALL RULE CHANGES FOR PREVIOUS YEARS

Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleLine Call Rules
USAP Board Vote ReasonFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonFailed. The committed felt that this already an option for players
Existing Rule #6.d.9
Proposed Rule Change

Proposed Rule 6.d.9 Revision

In doubles play, if one player calls the ball "out" and the partner calls it "in", then doubt exists and the team's call will be "in". If a player makes an "out" call, the opposing team may ask if the player's partner was able to see the ball clearly enough to render an opinion. If the player's partner either confirms the "out" call or was unable to see the ball clearly, the original call stands. If the player's partner disagrees with the original "out" call, the team's call will be "in." However, any player may appeal a call to the referee. If the referee did not clearly see the ball, the original call stands.

Original Rule Text

Existing Rule 6.d.9

In doubles play, if one player calls the ball "out" and the partner calls it "in", then doubt exists and the team's call will be "in." Any player may appeal a call to the referee. If the referee did not see the ball, the ball is considered "in."

 

 

 

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

The player's partner is often closer to the ball's contact point than either the referee or the opposing team. Under the present rule, despite that advantageous position, the partner is entitled to remain mute, much to the consternation of the opposing team and/or the referee.

The player's partner absent the option to be consulted is in a quandary. Does the partner "voluntarily" provide an opinion that may not be corroborative and risk upsetting the player's partner's emotions for the remainder of the game? Or, does the player's partner remain silent and risk upsetting the opposing team's players for the remainder of the game and possibly the remainder of the match?

At Section 1, page 1 of the Rule Book at lines 17-19, the entry reads: "Pickleball is a game that requires cooperation and courtesy. A sense of fair play from giving the opponent the benefit of any doubt is essential in maintaining the game's underlying principles of fun and competition."

Permitting the opposing team to ask the partner's opinion may diffuse an otherwise tense situation. If the referee was unable to see the ball clearly, permitting the referee to question the player's partner serves to support the game's code of ethics and the spirit of cooperation and courtesy.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Team A hits the ball onto Team B's end of the court that lands close to the base line. Team B's Player-1 calls the ball "out". Team B's Player-2 stands mute.

  1.  Team A asks Player B-2's opinion. If B-2 supports the call, the original "out" call stands.  If B-2 disagrees with the "out" call, the ball is declared "in".
  2.  Team A appeals the call to the referee. If the referee was not able to clearly see the ball, the referee  asks Player B-2 to tender an opinion. If Player B-2 states that he/she did not see the ball clearly, or if B-2 states that the ball was "out", the original call stands. If B-2 declares the ball was "in", the Team's call is changed to "in".
Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID281
Date CreatedFebruary 28, 2022
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