Rule Submission TitleQuestions About Service Sequence and Player Positions
USAP Board Voting StatusPassed
USAP Rules Committee Voting StatusPartially approved. The 4.B.8 proposed wording is approved. The 4.B.9 proposed wording has failed. That proposed is unnecessarily wordy. There is not a perceived issue with dealling with these scenarios currently. Referees currently allow a stoppage of play when a player CORRECTLY identifies a player out of position or an incorrect server.
Existing Rule #4.B.8, 4.B.9
Proposed Rule Change

4.B.8. Before the serve occurs, any player may ask the referee who is the correct server or correct 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.

4.B.9. Unless asked, the referee shall not identify incorrect server, incorrect receiver, or incorrect player positions until an incorrect player serves or receives, or a player serves from an incorrect position. The referee will immediately stop play and identify the fault(s) when recognized. A player may stop play without penalty to identify an incorrect service sequence or incorrect position.

Original Rule Text

4.B.8. Before the serve occurs, any player may ask the referee for the score, correct server or receiver, correct player position, and may challenge/confirm the called score. Any player may ask any one or more of these questions.

4.B.9. When an incorrect player serves or receives, or a player serves from an incorrect position, the referee will immediately stop play and identify the fault(s).

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

To eliminate the quandary created by players asking generic questions such as “Am I good?” to determine whether they are the correct server and in the correct position. The proposal also clarifies that players can stop play without penalty to identify an incorrect service sequence or incorrect player position.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies
  1. A player who is holding the ball asks the referee, "Am I good?" The referee can tell the player if they are not the correct server or are in the wrong position.
  2. A player stops play after the incorrect opponent partner returned the ball. No fault is applied for stopping play before the ball was dead because the player who returned the ball was the incorrect receiver.
  3. A player stops play claiming the incorrect opponent partner returned the ball. A fault is called against the player who stopped play if the correct player returned the ball.
Rule Book Year2023
Rule Change ID581
Date CreatedJuly 1, 2022
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