2024 pickleball rule changes: Everything you need to know about 2024 pickleball scoring rules

2024 pickleball rule changes: Everything you need to know about 2024 pickleball scoring rules


By Jaclyn Brandt

On: 02/14/2024

2024 pickleball rule changes & scoring rules.

USA Pickleball takes a look at the pickleball scoring rules each year and makes changes based on player feedback and other experiences. Here is a look at your 2024 pickleball rule changes:

Correcting Server, Receiver and Player Position Errors (4.B.9)

It is now up to the referee to confirm that everyone is in the correct position, and the right server has the ball, before calling the score.

  • If a player stops a rally to point out a position or serving error, that player should receive a fault.

  • If a referee stops a rally to point out a position or serving error, the rally should be replayed.

  • If a rally has already ended when an error is pointed out, the rally shall stand.

The official rule change:

Faults for incorrect server, incorrect receiver and player position errors are eliminated. The referee will now correct any such player errors before calling the score. Rule 4.B.9 is the primary rule text. Several other rules have been modified or deleted to correlate with this change.

Draping Net (2.C.6/11.L.5.b)

The referee will no longer rule when a ball hits a draped net — it will instead be an automatic replay (whether there is an official or not).

The official rule change:

Rule 2.C.6 called for a replay when a ball goes over the net and hits a net that is draped on the ground (except on a serve) but only if the referee determined that the ball was affected by the draped net. This rule, and Rule 11.L.5.b for temporary nets, now call for a replay without qualification. A determination that the ball was affected by the draped net is now not required in officiated or non-officiated play.

Catch or Carry Ball on the Paddle (7.L)

This rule eliminates the requirement to determine intent when a player is caught catching or carrying a ball on their paddle. With the new change, it is automatically a fault.

The official rule change:

Rule 7.L now makes catching or carrying a ball on the paddle a fault without having to determine that the catch or carry was deliberately done.

Conceding a Rally (13.E.4/13.E.5)

When a team or player appeals a line judge’s “out” call and it is then ruled “in” by the referee, it will result in an automatic replay.

Similarly, if a team or player does not agree with a line judge’s “out” call against their opponent, the team or player may overrule the line judge and a replay will occur.

In both cases, the benefitting team or player may also concede the rally.

The official rule change:

Rule 13.E.5 calls for a replay when a player overrules to their detriment a line judge’s ‘out’ call as ‘in.’ The player or team may now choose to concede the rally to their opponent if they determine they would have been unable to return the ‘in’ ball. Similarly, Rule 13.E.4 calls for a replay when the referee overturns a line judge’s out call as in. The player or team who benefitted from the referee’s ruling may now choose to concede the rally to their opponent if they determine they would have been unable to return the ‘in’ ball.

Medical Time-Outs (10.B.2.c)

If a player needs more time to recover from a 15-minute medical time out, they may use their in-game standard time outs. Previously they had to concede the match if they were not able to return after the initial 15 minutes.

The official rule change:

A player is now allowed to use available standard time-outs after the 15-minute medical time-out has expired to allow more time before the player must retire from the match.

NOTE related to medical time-outs:

Previously, a player was able to rescind a requested medical time-out, but with the new rules the requested time-out will be charged to the player, even if rescinded.

The official rule change:

Case 5-23 in the USAP Casebook establishes how and when a player can rescind a requested medical time-out, and that the medical time-out would not be charged to the player. The ruling has been revised to require that the requested medical time-out be charged to the player.

Paddle Specifications (2.E.2/2.E.5.a/2.E.5.c)

USA Pickleball added new paddle specifications due to technology being implemented on new paddles, as well as alterations allowed.

Some of the rules include:

The hitting service of the pickleball paddle may not contain:

  • Delamination

  • Holes

  • Cracks

  • Rough textures

  • Indentations that have caused a break in the paddle surface

  • Any objects or features that allow a player to add excessive spin on the ball

  • Reflection that could affect the vision of your opponent or opponents

Alterations or additions to a paddle that is already certified may include:

  • Edge guard tape

  • Weighted tape

  • Weights for an "Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) integrated weight system"

  • Using inserts to change the grip size

  • Grip wraps

  • OEM interchangeable grips

  • OEM replacement paddle faces

  • Name decals or other identification markings on the paddle face

The paddle may also include pen markings for identification purposes only, including:

  • Name

  • Signature

  • Phone

  • Email

  • Address

The official rule change:

Paddle specifications have been updated to address new and emerging paddle technology and features and to clarify the alterations that players are allowed to make to certified paddles.

Mini-Singles (12.O)

There are a number of changes in relation to mini-singles. Mini-singles is played with the same rules as singles, except for a few differences:

  • Although mini-singles is played on a standard court for pickleball, the center line will extend through the non-volley zone on each side of the net.

  • Each player uses only one side of the court, which is dependent upon their position based on their own score — whether they are serving or receiving.

    • Even = Right

    • Odd = Left

    • The player’s position is unrelated to their opponent’s score.

  • Each shot must land in their opponent’s current in-play side of the court.

The outer edge of the baseline, outer line, and center line are the boundaries of the court.

The official rule change:

Mini-singles is currently an approved format. The specific rules governing mini-singles are now incorporated in the Rulebook.

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