Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleSingle Toss Serve
USAP Board Vote ReasonFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonFailed. We do not want to limit the number of serve attempts. Note that the spin serve will now be illegal.
Existing Rule #4.M
Proposed Rule Change

*additional rule vs change of rule  (4.M.12)

The server has only one attempt to toss the serve. Once the ball leaves the server’s toss hand, the serve must be completed. Failure to serve the ball will result in a fault.

Original Rule Text

4.M. Service Faults. During the service, it is a fault against the server resulting in loss of serve if: 4.M.1. The server serves from the incorrect serving area. 4.M.2. The incorrect player serves the ball. 4.M.3. The served ball touches any permanent object before it hits the ground. 4.M.4. The served ball touches the server or their partner, or anything the server or their partner is wearing or holding. 4.M.5. The served ball lands in the non-volley zone which includes the NVZ lines. 4.M.6. The served ball lands outside the service court. 4.M.7. The served ball hits the net and lands inside the nonvolley zone. 4.M.8. The served ball hits the net and lands outside the service court. 4.M.9. The server uses an illegal serve (Rules 4.A.5.a, 4.A.5.b, 4.A.5.c) when performing the Volley Serve. (Rules 4.A ² 4.A.5.d) 4.M.10.The server or their partner calls a time-out after the serve has occurred. 4.M.11.A fault occurs when the server hits the ball to make the serve while the score is being called.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

This makes the one handed spin serve a more risky maneuver and mitigates players from creating as much spin (rpm’s) as possible. If players try to create maximum spin, there is would be  significant downside. Applying just a bit of spin would be the safer play and have less of an effect on the serve.

Since it will be impossible to stop all spin on the serve, particularly being able to call this from 44 feet away in matches without referees, the single toss serve is a fair balance between risk and reward.

One thing to consider… Language might be needed to differentiate and identify the drop serve from the volley serve.
This would be to prevent an errant toss and a player letting it bounce and then hitting it. “Tossing” the serve would make that an illegal drop serve and be a fault as well.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

When a player tries to spin the ball on a serve and the toss is not to their liking, the server will be forced to hit the ball, most likely just lobbing it in. If they fail to hit the serve and the ball bounces, it will be a fault.

Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID502
Date CreatedJune 18, 2022
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