Rule Submission TitleDrop Serve: Server's arm must be moving in an upward arc
USAP Board Voting StatusNot voted upon
USAP Rules Committee Voting StatusFail
IFP Voting StatusAverage: 1.4 Detail:1,0,0,0,9,0,0
Existing Rule #4.A. 8. c.
Proposed Rule Change (edited)

NOT APPLICABLE. COVERED BY OTHER DROP SERVE RULE SUBMISSIONS.

Proposed Rule Change

4.A.8.c. If the drop serve is used, the server’s arm must be moving in an upward arc at the time the ball is struck and may be made with either a forehand or backhand motion. The location restrictions of the ball and paddle in 4.A.4 and 4.A.5 do not apply.

Original Rule Text

If the drop serve is used, the ball may be struck with either a forehand or backhand motion without any other restriction; i.e., the location restrictions of the ball and paddle in Rules 4.A.3, 4.A.4 and 4.A.5 do not apply.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Implementing this one stipulation from the traditional serve requirements would limit (at least somewhat) the weaponizing of the serve.  While it's fun to have a great serve, and even the occasional ace, paramount in the sport of pickleball for winning points are the rallies, not the serves.  The upward motion has always been a unique feature of the sport's serve.

From what I understand, one of the reasons for implementing the drop serve was to make the referee's job easier when it comes to determining the legality of the serve.  Having to determine upward motion + paddlehead below wrist + ball contacted below the navel is definitely difficult to do with quick service motions.  One would say almost impossible.  But having to determine only that 1) no force was applied to the drop and 2) that the server used an upward arc in the service motion is far easier.

While the drop serve has proven to be a very valid option since January 2021, and I think it should no longer be provisional but fully allowed, I propose that the drop serve be limited in just this one way so as to keep to the original intent and motion of the serve in tact.

 

Rule Book Year2022
Rule Change ID59
Date CreatedJune 7, 2021
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