Rule Submission TitleReplace "below the wrist" with "excluding the wrist"
Existing Rule #7.H.
Proposed Rule Change
After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s), excluding the wrist(s), in contact with the paddle. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand, excluding the wrist, is hit, as long as the player’s hand(s) are in contact with the paddle, the ball is still in play.
Original Rule Text
7.H. After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, as long as the player’s hand(s) are in contact with the paddle, the ball is still in play.
Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

The Cambridge Dictionary's definition for "below" is as follows: "in a lower position (than), under." 

The use of the phrase "below the wrist" in 7.H. is fine, if, and only if, the paddle is pointing downwards. But when the paddle is pointing upwards, such as in an overhead volley or smash, "below the wrist" would mean the forearm or more, even though it's obvious that the hand isn't "below the wrist" when the paddle is pointing upwards.

It sounds even more awkward when the arm and paddle are parallel to the ground because "below the wrist" would mean the air space between the wrist and the ground.

Changing the wording to "the hand(s), excluding the wrist" would remove all ambiguity of the phrase "below the wrist" and would apply to all situations regardless of paddle position or elevation.

 

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

This rule would apply any time a ball strikes a player's paddle hand(s) during a stroke, regardless of the elevation of the paddle in relation to the wrist, and subsequently goes over the net.

Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID342
Date CreatedApril 22, 2022
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