Guide to Pickleball Rule Changes (2022)
It is important to keep updated with the Pickleball Rules, every change of the Rules shall be reviewed by the USAPA Rule Committees and yearly, the Official Rule Book has revisions every now and then as the Pickleball hits up in the field of racquet sports.
Here are some of the new changes of the Pickleball Rules which were rolled out in 2021.
Each year there is probably one rule change that is more controversial than the others. This year, we expect the change to the ‘let’ serve rule to fall in that category.
The Rules Committee is committed to the following priorities when they approve rules:
- The first priority is preserving the integrity of the game. Nothing is more important to the committee than that.
- Second priority is what is best for the players; are there rule changes the committee can make to improve their experience, make it easier for players to learn, to play, etc
- Third priority is what’s best for officiating; what can the committee do in rules space to make it less likely that players will argue with or get into conflicts with referees.
- The Wheelchair recommended playing surface area for Wheelchair play is 44 feet (13.41 m) wide and 74 feet (22.55 m) long. The size for Wheelchair play in a stadium court is 50 feet (15.24 m) wide by 80 feet (24.38 m) long.
- The paddle’s hitting surface shall not contain delamination, holes, cracks or indentations that break the paddle skin or surface.
- Hand-drawn or handwritten markings are allowed on the paddle’s playing surface as long as they do not impact the surface roughness and are in good taste. No aftermarket graphics are allowed on a commercially made paddle other than “hand drawn” or “handwritten” pen markings. Any hand-drawn or handwritten depictions must be in good taste.
- Coaching is a Communication of any information, including verbal, nonverbal, and electronic, from someone other than a player’s partner, that a player or team may act upon to gain an advantage or help them avoid a rules violation.
- Ejection refers to a behavior violation so flagrant that it warrants ejection from the tournament by the Tournament Director. The player may stay at the venue but may no longer play in any matches.
- Expel is a behavior violation so flagrant that the Tournament Director prohibits the player from playing in any current and any future brackets of the tournament. In addition, the player shall leave the venue immediately and not return for the remainder of the tournament.
- Forfeit is an egregious behavior violation or a combination of technical warnings and/or technical fouls that result in either a game or match being awarded to the opponent.
- Hinder -refers to any transient element or occurrence not caused by a player that adversely impacts play, not including permanent objects. Examples include, but are not limited to, balls, flying insects, foreign material, players or officials on another court that, in the opinion of the referee, impacted a player’s ability to make a play on the ball.
- Imaginary extension is a term used to describe where a line would extend if it projected beyond its current end point. Players and referees are to project where the line would extend if it were not limited to the boundaries of the playing area.
- Live Ball/In Play It is the point in time when the referee or server starts to call the score.
- Momentum is a property of a body in motion, such as a player executing a volley, that causes the player to continue in motion after contacting the ball. The act of volleying produces momentum that ends when the player regains balance and control of their motion or stops moving toward the non-volley zone.
- Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) – The 7-foot-by-20-foot area adjacent to the net and specific to each team’s end of the court relating to NVZ faults. All lines bounding the NVZ are part of the NVZ. The NVZ is two-dimensional and does not rise above the playing surface.
- Plane of the Net is the imaginary vertical planes on all sides extending beyond the net system.
The entire score must be called before the ball is served. The moment the ball is served there should be at least one foot must be on the playing surface behind the baseline, neither of the server’s feet may touch the court on or inside the baseline and neither of the server’s feet may touch outside the imaginary extensions of the sideline or centerline.The Contact with the ball must not be made above the waist.
In addition to the standard serve sequence, players may opt to use an alternate “drop serve” method.It provides a better serve method for the physically impaired, such as the use of only one arm. This makes it easier to enforce by players and referees. Referees only need to verify the ball is dropped correctly. It is also easier to teach beginners. This aims to provide an alternate serve method for those who develop ‘server’s block’, otherwise known as the “yips.” The Servers may use the normal serve or provisional drop serve at any time during the match. No notification is needed.
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