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New Pickleball Rules for 2021

Posted on January 7, 2021


No one knows what 2021 will bring - hopefully, it will be a better year than 2020 has been (with the exception of the good news of the birth of Pictona). One change will be some new pickleball rules and clarifications from USA Pickleball Association. While most of the changes involve rewording of existing rules for more clarity, there are a few significant changes.

  1. There will be no more service lets. If a served ball touches the net and then lands in the correct service court, the ball will be played.
  2. Drop serves are now allowed. In other words, it is acceptable to drop the ball and then immediately hit the ball for a serve. But, the server’s release of the ball must be visible to both the receiver and the referee. The ball may not be tossed up or thrown down. For a drop serve only, the old serving rules (ball hit below waist, etc.) no longer apply. This rule is provisional, meaning after one year it will be evaluated to decide if the drop serve is to remain.
  3. Before the serve, any player on the serving team OR receiving team may ask the referee for the score, correct server, correct position, and may challenge/confirm the called score.
  4. Third party coaching is now allowed when teams switch court ends.
  5. A player may only request one medical time-out per match. However, the referee may call for medical assessment of a player without penalty to the player.

The 2021 Rules will be effective as of January 25, 2021. Click on the link below to access the 2021 Official Rules, a shorter Alternative Rulebook, and a document that provides just the rule changes.

USA Pickleball/IFP Official Rules - USA Pickleball


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