Rule Submission TitleMaintain Serving Order throughout Game
USAP Board Voting StatusNot voted upon
USAP Rules Committee Voting StatusFail
IFP Voting StatusAverage: 3.6 Detail:5,0,0,7,3,7,3
Existing Rule #4.B.6
Proposed Rule Change

Eliminate most if not all of these rules.  Add a new rule to the effect of this  The serving order remains the same throughout each game such that server 1 for each team is the first to serve the ball after each side out followed by server 2 from that team.

Original Rule Text

4.B.6.a. At the start of each side out, service begins in the right/even serving area.
4.B.6.b. When the team’s score is even (0, 2, 4 ...), the team’s starting server’s correct position is at the right/even serving area. When the team’s score is odd (1, 3, 5...), the starting server’s correct position is at the left/odd court.
4.B.6.c. After each side out, service begins with the player correctly positioned on the right/even side of the court according to the team’s score. This player is referred to as “Server 1” and the partner is “Server 2.”

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

The number one most confusing thing in pickleball is "whose serve is it".  This confusion happens in 90% of every rec match, in almost every tournament match, and in pro matches.  "Whose serve is it?"  "Am I 1 or 2."  "Did I already serve?"  Because the 1st server is not always the same after each side out (due to the current requirement that the 1st serve after a side out must come from the right side of the court) it is confusing and hard to remember who's serve it is and if a person was server 1 or 2.

Eliminating the "first serve after a side out comes from the right side" in favor of "maintaining the same service order" will take away the confusion of the current rule because each team will know who their 1st and 2nd servers are and the opponents will quickly know as well as the order remains the same throughout the game (and likely throughout the match as teams rarely change the 1st server).  In other words the serving order is always the same (A1, A2, B1, B2 ... A1, A2, B1, B2 ... Aaron, Beth, Chris, Dave ... Aaron, Beth, Chris, Dave ... repeat).

This does not change the positioning of the players (if you started right you are right on even and left of odd and opposite if you started left).  The only change that will be felt is the 1st serve may sometimes come from the left if the 1st server for that team is on the left (i.e. their score is odd) when the side out of the other team occurs.  But this also happens in singles where the 1st serve after a side out comes from the left so it's not entirely foreign.  Since the 1st server is always the same the opponents look across the net, know who the first server is, and if that person is on the left they know that is where the serve is coming from.  This would not change the rule of the very first serve of the game coming from server 2 (i.e. 0-0-20 because that is not a side out and thus does not give the initial serving team of the game 2 serves.

Rule Book Year2022
Rule Change ID112
Date CreatedJune 25, 2021
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