2023 Updates to Pickleball Rules

2023 Updates to Pickleball Rules

Did you know that every year the USA Pickleball rules committee reviews and revises the rules of pickleball? With 2023 just around the corner, players all over the country are eagerly anticipating which of the rumored changes to the game may or may not take place.

Here is what we know to be approved by the USA Pickleball Rules Committee but are still waiting on approval by the Board of Directors:

  1. Your Clothing Should Not Match the Ball Color or Be Reflective: This potential change has two parts. 
    1. Rule 2.G.1 526 states that players should refrain from wearing clothing that could camouflage the ball by virtue of the ball and clothing being closely matched in color.
    2. Rule 2.G.1 568 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.

What caused this change? 

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. TDs are currently given no guidance on what is deemed "inappropriate".  Most TDs have correctly allowed all colors because the rules do not specifically ban any colors. (Source: https://rules.usapickleball.org/entry/568/)

The ruling does not apply to distracting or bright color pickleball paddles so keep the fun tie dye pickleball paddles in play! 

2. No More Spin Serve?

According to a recent article on the topic, the spin serve will no longer be legal. if you spin the ball as you release it from your hand, you must re-serve the ball.  The only new restriction is spinning it upon release. 

3. Changes to Equipment Time-Outs

In the past if you broke a paddle or maybe had a wardrobe malfunction you must use a time-out and has a 2-minute limit to correct your issue.  The new rule would not require a time-out to be used and the time rule has changes to a "reasonable duration" of time.  Will "reasonable duration" cause more headaches for TD's to decipher down the road? We will see how this one plays out. 

More information and the latest updates can be found at usapickleball.org

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