Rule Submission TitleAm I the correct receiver?
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonThis is now irrelevant since referees will correct player positions per rule change 1017.
Existing Rule #4.B.8
Proposed Rule Change

Before the serve occurs, any player may ask the referee for the score, who is the correct server or receiver or whether any player is in an incorrect position. A generic question such as “Am I good?” may be asked and shall be considered to encapsulate both the correct server question and the correct position question if asked by the serving team. If the question arises because the receiver is correct by score, but the server is in an incorrect position, the referee may answer "you are in the correct position (4.B.1) but not the correct receiver" to avoid confusion. For non-officiated play, a player may ask the opponent the same questions and the opponent shall respond with the appropriate information.
-or-
Before the serve occurs, any player may ask the referee for the score, who is the correct server or receiver or whether any player is in an incorrect position. A generic question such as “Am I good?” may be asked and shall be considered to encapsulate both (4.B.1). For non-officiated play, a player may ask the opponent the same questions and the opponent shall respond with the appropriate information.

Original Rule Text

Before the serve occurs, any player may ask the referee for the score, who is the correct server or receiver or whether any player is in an incorrect position. A generic question such as “Am I good?” may be asked and shall be considered to encapsulate both the correct server question and the correct position question if asked by the serving team. For non-officiated play, a player may ask the opponent the same questions and the opponent shall respond with the appropriate information.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Referee Casebook entry 1-23 tells officials that if the correct server lines up in the incorrect position and the receivers are lined up correctly by score - if the receiver diagonally across from the server in the incorrect position asks if they are the correct receiver, we (as officials) are to answer yes. This is because to answer no may cause them to misinterpret and change positions, thus being wrong -or- potentially coach the server that they are incorrect. The answer of "yes" however is factually incorrect. A foundation of being a referee should always be honesty and thus we should never answer any question knowingly wrong. The rule 4.B.8 in fact directs opponents in non-officiated play to answer correctly. As the above stated confusion may apply in this scenario, there should be an exception allowing the official or opponent to answer, "you are in the correct position but not the correct receiver". We are not coaching, only answering a question. If the server is then tipped off, that responsibility lies with the receiver who brought the situation to light and not the official.

While I understand that by rule a receiver may be in any position on their end of the court and thus a correct receiver position question may not be valid, it is much less likely that the player is interpreting the answer in such a way. Rule 4.B.1 states "Server and Receiver- The correct server and receiver and their positions are determined by the score and the players’ starting positions in the game." This would allow and give foundation for us to answer in such a way to be both honest and avoid confusion.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Player A is the banded player and with a score of 2-0-1 lines up in the left (odd) court to serve. On team 2, player C is the banded player and is in the right (even) court. Her partner, who is the non-banded player and is now diagonal across from the server with a score of 2-0 and asks, "am I the correct receiver". As a referee we are instructed by casebook entry 1-23 to answer "yes" although that is incorrect. This rule change would allow us to answer, "you are in the correct position, but not the correct receiver".

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID1015
Date CreatedApril 3, 2023
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