Rule Submission TitleDegraded but not cracked ball
Existing Rule #11.E.
Proposed Rule Change
11.E. Degraded or Cracked Ball. If a referee is present, players may appeal to the referee before the serve occurs to determine if a ball is degraded, soft, broken, or cracked. If the appeal is before the serve occurs, the referee will stop play, inspect the ball for cracks, and either replace it or return it into play. If both teams agree that the ball is degraded, the ball will also be replaced. The referee will recall the score.
In non-officiated matches, if both teams agree, players may replace a cracked or degraded ball before the serve occurs.
If any player suspects the ball is or becomescracked after the serve, play must continue until the end of the rally. If, in the judgment of the referee, a broken or cracked ball impacted the outcome of a rally, the referee will call for a replay with a replacement ball. In non-officiated play, if the players do not agree that a cracked ball impacted the outcome of the rally, the rally stands as played.
Note: An appeal after a rally about a degraded (or soft) ball is too subjective to make a fair judgement.
Original Rule Text
11.E. Broken or Cracked Ball. If a referee is present, players may appeal to the referee before the serve occurs to determine if a ball is broken or cracked. If the appeal is before the serve occurs, the referee will stop play, inspect the ball, and either replace it or return it into play. The referee will recall the score. In non-officiated matches, players may replace a cracked ball before the serve occurs. If any player suspects the ball is or becomes cracked after the serve, play must continue until the end of the rally. If, in the judgment of the referee, a broken or cracked ball impacted the outcome of a rally, the referee will call for a replay with a replacement ball. In non-officiated play, if the players do not agree that a cracked ball impacted the outcome of the rally, the rally stands as played.
Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

In Florida's heat, the balls can become soft which affects bounce and playability. There needs to be a rule for replacing balls that are degraded and that is fair to both teams.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Prior to serve, the server squeezes the ball by hand and it compresses more than is expected.

During play, the balls bounce is flat and lower than normal.

Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID360
Date CreatedMay 9, 2022
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