Rule Submission TitleGuidance on clothing color
USAP Board Vote ReasonPassed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonPassed. This doesn't add any additional punative result. This just clarifies that the Tournament Director can choose to request apparel changes due to the clothing matching the ball color. It also suggests to players that they should not intentionally choose clothing that is the same color as the tournament ball.
Existing Rule #The Players Section on Page 1
Proposed Rule Change

The Players

Pickleball is a game that requires cooperation and courtesy. A sense of fair play from giving the opponent the benefit of any doubt is essential in maintaining the game’s underlying principles of fun and competition. To that end:

  • All points played are treated the same regardless of their importance; the first point of the match is as important as match point.
  • Either partner in doubles can make calls, especially line calls; there is no place in the game for one partner telling another, “that was my call, not yours”.
  • Prompt calls eliminate the ‘two chance option’. For example, a player cannot claim a hinder from a ball rolling on the court after they hit a ball ‘out’; they gave up their ability to call the hinder by choosing instead to hit the ball.
  • Players strive to cooperate when confronted with a situation not covered by the Rulebook. Possible outcomes can be a replay, allowing the rally to stand, or in extreme cases, asking for a referee to resolve a dispute.
  • Where possible, rules accommodate players with various adaptive needs.
  • Players avoid wearing clothing that closely matches the ball color.
Original Rule Text

The Players 

Pickleball is a game that requires cooperation and courtesy. A sense of fair play from giving the opponent the benefit of any doubt is essential in maintaining the game’s underlying principles of fun and competition. To that end: 

  • All points played are treated the same regardless of their importance; the first point of the match is as important as match point. 
  • Either partner in doubles can make calls, especially line calls; there is no place in the game for one partner telling another, “that was my call, not yours”. 
  • Prompt calls eliminate the ‘two chance option’. For example, a player cannot claim a hinder from a ball rolling on the court after they hit a ball ‘out’; they gave up their ability to call the hinder by choosing instead to hit the ball. 
  • Players strive to cooperate when confronted with a situation not covered by the Rulebook. Possible outcomes can be a replay, allowing the rally to stand, or in extreme cases, asking for a referee to resolve a dispute. 
  • Where possible, rules accommodate players with various adaptive needs. 
  •   
Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Over the past three years various players have complained about the ball being 'camouflaged' by shirts or bottoms that are approximately the same color of the ball.  Section 2.G of the Rulebook provides the Tournament Director some remedy if shirts are a distraction.  Some TDs have used that rule to force an apparel change if an opponent complains about the color of a shirt, for example.  Writing a rule, however, has proved difficult for various reasons; how would the rule handle different shades of a color, how much of a shirt, for example, would need to be that color before the shirt would need to be replaced?  The thought, therefore, is to make this a sportmanship issue by adding these words to "The Player" section on page 1 while still preserving the TDs option of forcing an apparel change in accordance with rule 2.G.4.

There is a complementary effort underway to reinforce this.  When a TD applies for sanctioning, they are now requested to provide not only the type ball that will be used in a tournament, but also the ball color.  Between these new revised words on page 1, the request to provide the ball color as part of the sanctioning application, and providing the ball type and color on the tournament registration page, players should be better prepared to comply with the intent of the new words on page 1.

 

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

All play.

Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID521
Date CreatedJune 22, 2022
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