Rule Change Process

Rule Submission TitleSafety: make entering an adjacent court an explicit fault
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonThis would produce faults that have no effect on the rally being played. The language is flawed for a number of reasons. A player's hat falling on the other court would be a fault. The change would apply even when the other court is not in use.
Existing Rule #7.G
Proposed Rule Change

A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle contacting
the net system, the net posts, the opponent’s court, or an adjacent court that is in use or scheduled for competition when
the ball is in play.

Original Rule Text

7.g A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle contacting
the net system, the net posts, or the opponent’s court, when
the ball is in play.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

The suggested change enhances player safety by explicitly making the entering of an active adjacent court a fault. "Scheduled for competition" is verbiage borrowed from USA Volleyball rule 9 to handle similar safety concerns and to clarify that a court that is currently empty at the start of a match, but will soon be in use remains out of play for the entire match.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

This rule would apply to the common scenario of tournament competition in facilities where barriers do not exist between courts and where a player can feasibly enter an adjacent court pursuing a ball. While rules do cover a hindrance for someone entering a court (where the adjacent court would stop play), there is no fault defined to discourage a player from attempting to retrieve a ball from such a space. Presently the provisions of 3.A.24 do not clearly define an adjacent court as a permanent object.

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID982
Date CreatedMarch 22, 2023
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