Relishing Pickleball

David Zapatka

The 2019 USAPA/IFP Rules have been updated. Here are some of the highlights:

* Pen or sharpie-type markings are allowed on the paddle playing surface so long as they do not impact the surface roughness and are in good taste.

* At the beginning of the serve, both feet must be behind the baseline and the imaginary extensions of the baseline. At the time the ball is struck, at least one foot must be on the playing surface or ground behind the baseline, and the server’s feet may not touch the playing surface in an area outside the confines of the serving area.

* Any fair method can be used to determine which player or team has first choice of side, service or receive. (Example: Write a 1 or 2 on the back of the score sheet.) If the winner chooses to serve or receive first, the loser picks the starting side. If the winner chooses the starting side, the loser chooses to serve or receive. The winner can defer first choice to opponent(s).

* In doubles play, if one player calls the ball “out” and the partner calls it “in,” then doubt exists and the team’s call will be “in.” Any player may appeal a call to the referee. If the referee did not see the ball, the ball is considered in.

* There are no medical timeouts for muscle cramping unless deemed necessary by the on-site medical team or the tournament director.

* Any player may call a timeout before the service motion has begun.

* A service let called by the referee or player will result in a dead ball.

* Apparel and equipment adjustments that can be accomplished quickly are allowed between points (e.g., tying shoe laces, cleaning glasses, adjusting hat).

* A timeout may be called at the start of the second or third game in a two-out-of-three game match.

* Balls can be hit twice, but this must occur during an unintentional, continuous, single-direction stroke.