Rule Submission TitleAll clothing colors are acceptable
USAP Board Vote ReasonFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonFailed. See the approved suggestion 526.
Existing Rule #2.G.1
Proposed Rule Change

2.G.1.a. Safety and Distraction. Material or equipment with highly reflective surfaces that could reflect light into an opponent's eyes shall be prohibited, with the exception of eyeglasses or safety goggles. A player may be required to change garments that are inappropriate.

2.G.1.b. Apparel and Equipment Color. There is no restriction as to what colors may be used in clothing that a player is wearing or in the equipment being used.

Original Rule Text

2.G.1. Safety and Distraction. A player may be required to change garments that are inappropriate.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

2.E.2.a. Reflection. The paddle’s hitting surface shall not be adversely reflective, such that it has the potential to negatively affect the vision of opposing player(s).

The reflection prohibition should also be applied to garments. Wearing garments that are highly reflective could be a safety issue if they can reflect sunlight into an opponent's eyes and temporarily blind them as a ball is coming at them.

Clothing that matches the color of the ball being used is a hot topic in forums. There is currently no prohibition of certain colors in the rules, but people still think that it is a safety issue of they can't see a ball that "disappears" into a shirt that matches the color of the ball.

Furthermore, Tournament Directors are currently given no guidance on what is deemed "inappropriate". Some TDs have reportedly made players change their clothes if they closely matched the color of the ball. Most TDs have correctly allowed all colors because the rules do not specifically ban any colors.

The Rules Committee should codify in the rules that all colors are acceptable. TDs will then not have to or be able to force players to avoid wearing certain colors inequitably in various tournaments. This will also eliminate arguments in rec play.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

There are reports on FB forums of players arguing that wearing colors that are the same as the ball is unfair and a safety concern. While other people argue that it isn't a safety concern and that they like wearing bright colors.

People have reported being asked to change clothes by TDs because they were wearing optic yellow and the ball being used was optic yellow. They didn't have anything to change into so they had to buy new clothes at the venue or risk dropping out of the tournament.

Attached is a picture of NBA great Rick Barry at the 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball Nationals. He was allowed to wear these colors because the TD presumably was following the rules, which don't prohibit any colors.

Attached is a mirrored hat that wouldn't be currently banned for use in any tournaments but would definitely be a safety issue.

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Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID568
Date CreatedJune 29, 2022
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