Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleBonus Points:
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonThe propsed change is problematic on several levels. The stated goal of discouraging targeting players is unlikely to be realized. Targeting happens when players are near the NVZ where soft dinks usually do not end the rally. This would not be good for singles since one or both players are usally at the baseline and a soft dink winner has nothing to do with reducing targeting. The criteria as stated is technically incorrect because a rally is not won when the ball lands in the NVZ. The second bounce ends the rally and if the second bounce lands outside the NVZ then a point is not won "with the ball landing in the NVZ".
Existing Rule #4.G
Proposed Rule Change

4. F, Scoring, A singles player or doubles team scores points only when serving. Points may be awarded when winning the point with the ball landing in the NVZ or when technical fouls are called against the opposing side.
4. G, Points, a point is scored by the serving the ball and winning the rally
4. G.1 Two (2) Bonus Points are awarded to either the serving or receiving team winning the rally with the ball landing in the NVZ.
4. G.2 The serving team is awarded the two (2) Bonus Points in addition to the point scored as the serving team. The receiving team is awarded only the two (2) bonus points.

Original Rule Text

4.G Points.  A point is scored by the serving the ball and winning the rally.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Bonus points are proposed to reward skill performance, reward receiving (defensive) team play while providing opportunity to “catch up” similar to the 3 pointer in basketball. Two other benefits are to encourage skill versus power targeting the weaker player in Doubles play and reduce game time.

Targeting in pickleball is when a team deliberately attacks the weaker player often with power. In the competitive tournament environment and professional game, it is expected and players are usually prepared; at Club level play it is exploited by players who where there is discrepancy in skill level. This is high priority discussion at Ambassador Meetings and club level discussions. This rule change will favor skill play over power.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies
  1.   Blocked banger drive that bounces unreturnable in the non-volley zone.
  2.   The drop shot from the transition zone.
  3.   The finesse shot during a dink exchange.
  4.  The overhead that is struck landing in the NVZ nor-returnable.
  5.  Provides the receiving team a scoring opportunity to win late in the game.
  6. Expect to have same impact the 3 pointer has in Basketball.
  7. Targeting penalties in football
  8.  level the playing field when physical or age are diverse between teams.
Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID963
Date CreatedMarch 19, 2023
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