New year, new rules! Each year USA Pickleball takes a look at the evolution of the sport, player input, and the current rules to determine if any rulebook changes should be made to protect the integrity of game. Last year, arguably the biggest change was the elimination of the spin serve - Where a player could spin the ball in their hand before serving it, creating a significantly higher amount of spin. While maybe not as “game altering” as last year’s changes, 2024 will see a handful of changes designed to keep pickleball moving forward without any shenanigans!
Before we get into the 5 rule changes, here’s a little bit of information on how rule changes are submitted, voted on, and ultimately get approved or denied.
How Are Changes Submitted, and Who Can Submit Change Requests?
The rule-changing process is long, thorough, and transparent, as you would expect from USA Pickleball. Here’s a quick, basic rundown of how it works.
- Members submit recommendations via USA Pickleball in the early part of each year.
- The public has the opportunity to comment on each rule that is submitted. The goal is to get a general feeling and a larger group’s perspective on the proposed changes.
- Proposed rule changes and public comments are submitted to the IFP Rules Committee.
From there, the IFP Rules Committee, alongside the USA Pickleball Rules Committee, votes on the proposed changes. Once the IFP completes its voting, they share all of the results on USA Pickleball’s website. After that, the Rules Revision Committee begins writing the rules.
If you’d like to learn more about the revision process, click here to view USA Pickleball’s website.
Here’s what you need to know when stepping on the court in 2024.
Rule Change #1
A rally will now be replayed if a ball barely pops over the temporary net and hits a draping part on the opposite side of the net. While playing on temporary nets in the past, if a player was to hit a shot that hit the tape, rolled over and landed on a sagging part of the net, affecting its bounce, the rally would end in a point or sideout for the player that last struck the ball. In 2024, that point will be replayed to protect the integrity of the rally. This new rule is pretty cut and dry and definitely passes the “vibe check.”
Rule Change #2
Paddle specifications have been adjusted to address new technology and alterations. The most important addition to the rule is “any objects or features that allow a player to impart excessive spin on the ball” are not allowed. Basically, the rule now states that nothing can be added to your paddle to make it more grippy, create more spin action, or enhance slice or topspin in any way.
None of Zero Zero Start has seen players use this have you?
Rule Change #3
“Am I good?” No longer will you need to check with the referee to make sure you’re serving in the correct order or in the correct position. In 2024, it’s now the responsibility of the referee to correct the players that are starting a rally in the wrong position before the rally starts. If the rally starts and the referee notices afterward, the rally will be stopped and replayed from the correct position. No more free points for opponents serving from the wrong spot in ‘24!
Rule Change #4
Carrying the ball will now be a fault regardless of whether you intentionally carried it or not. Previously, if a player carried or “caught” the ball, the referee was to determine whether it was done intentionally or not. After that determination, the rally either stood or was a fault. In 2024, regardless of intent, if you catch or carry your shot, it’s a fault, no matter what.
Rule Change #5
A player is now allowed to use any available standard timeouts in addition to their 15-minute medical timeout. If extra time is needed to play after a medical timeout, a player can now use any of their remaining timeouts to add more time to their medical timeout.
Check out the Zero Zero Start team talk on the New Pickleball Rules for 2024!
That’s what you’re looking at for 2024! Nothing huge, nothing major, but some good additions to a rulebook that seems to have stabilized and is cruising forward! Need a new paddle to get out on the court in the new year? There are hundreds of pickleball paddles on the market, which is why we have an entire page dedicated to Pickleball Paddle Reviews! If you need more information, give us a call at 1-866-382-3465, email us (email@example.com), or utilize our LIVE CHAT to speak with a Paddle Expert today. We’re JustPaddles, and we’re with you from Click to Court!