Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitlePlane of the Net exception
USAP Board Vote ReasonFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonFailed. Keeping the current wording would help clarify situations when this event does occur.
Existing Rule #11.I.1
Proposed Rule Change

Remove the word "under".

Original Rule Text



court with enough backspin or wind aid to cause it to

return to the other side of the net, the receiving

player may cross the plane of the net (over, under or

around the net post) to hit the ball. It is a fault if the

receiving player (or anything the receiving player is

wearing or carrying) crosses the plane of the net

before the ball has first crossed back over the plane of the net.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

What is the purpose of the net if not a barrier? Why would a player be allowed to reach under it, under any circumstances?

It makes sense to go over or around the barrier when necessary. Never, ever through. Go under is identical to going "through" the intended barrier.

Not all nets are uniform. Many reach the ground. Some are a couple inches a over the ground, some several inches above the ground. A net's dimensions, height and width, are uniform and make for equal and fair play everywhere. To allow reaching under the net means there will be far more randomness and far less uniformity among nets.

While this occurrence of reaching under the net on an over and back shot is so rare, why even include reaching under as an option in the first place?

  • If we allow players to reach under the net to hit a shot, then a player also ought to be able to reach between the post and the net to hit a shot given the same scenario. Why isn't that allowed? The same reason reaching under shouldn't be allowed- the net is supposed to be a blockade that can't be crossed thru or under.
Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Ball goes over the net and comes back.

Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID434
Date CreatedMay 31, 2022
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