Rule Submission TitleRestrict hand contact with ball to incidental contact with hands contacting the paddle handle
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonLimiting contact to the paddle handle is too restrictive. The scenario is certainly clever but the action does not provide any apparent unfair advantage. A player manipulating the ball with their fingers is subject to a fault for an illegal carry.
Existing Rule #7H
Proposed Rule Change

7.H.  After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle handle and below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle handle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, as long as a player’s hand is in contact with the paddle handle and the hand contact is incidental, the ball is still in play. The fault is on the player who was hit by the ball.

Original Rule Text

7.H.  After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, as long as a player’s hand is in contact with the paddle, the ball is still in play. The fault is on the player who was hit by the ball.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

In a widely circulated video entitled "Operation "Break the game of pickleball" is in full effect,"   a technique is demonstrated where a player anchors their palm to the tip of the paddle and essentially plays handball intentionally with ball contact. Given the current rule wording, this would be legal as the hand below the wrist is contacting the ball, and is in contact with the head end of the paddle.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

Link to the widely circulated video demonstrating this technique https://www.instagram.com/reel/CoxMGnJA-Qw/

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID991
Date CreatedMarch 24, 2023
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