Rule Submission Titlegive opponent a sporting chance in backspin scenario
USAP Board Voting StatusNot voted upon
USAP Rules Committee Voting StatusFail
IFP Voting StatusAverage: 5.9 Detail:5,10,5,7,5,7,2
Existing Rule #11.i
Proposed Rule Change

add a new rule, which would be 11.i.2:


11.i.2 - In the backspin / wind aid scenario described in Rule 11.i.1 above, the player whose turn it is to strike the ball shall have right-of-way to play the ball, and the opposing player or players are required to yield playing space on their side of the net in order to give the striking player a sporting chance to play the ball. Failure to yield in this scenario is a fault.

Original Rule Text

Plane of the Net. Crossing the plane of the net prior to
striking the ball is a fault. After striking the ball, a player or
anything the player is/was wearing or carrying may cross
the plane of the net. The player may not touch any part of
the net system, the opponent’s court, or the opponent
while the ball is still in play.
11.I.1. Exception: If the ball bounces into a receiving
player’s court with enough backspin or wind aid to
cause it to return back over the net, the receiving
player may cross the plane of the net (over, under
or around the net post) to hit the ball. It is a fault if
the receiving player (or anything the receiving
player is wearing or carrying) crosses the plane of
the net before the ball has first crossed back over
the plane of the net to the opponent’s side. It is a
fault if the player touches the net system, the
opponent’s court, or the opponent while the ball is
still in play.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change
The spirit of the game is to put the ball in a place where one's opponent is challenged to legally return the ball when given a sporting chance.   Physically blocking the opponents' ability to play the ball deprives them of a sporting chance, and is thus unsportsmanlike.

USAP Rules Committee note:
Distraction fault already covers if opponent impedes player trying to hit the ball

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

The 11.i backspin/wind-aid scenario

Rule Book Year2022
Rule Change ID86
Date CreatedJune 22, 2021
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