Six Pickleball Rule Changes for 2023
- Goodbye to the One-Handed Spin Serve
The one-handed spin serve is now prohibited. The one-handed spin serve is where a player would use his or her non-paddle hand to impart spin on the ball. Spin imparted on the ball only with your paddle upon contact is still permitted.
- Replay for a Violation of the Service Motion or Ball Release Rules (this rule applies to tournament play)
A violation of the service motion or ball release rules (making contact with the pickleball above your waist) may result in a replay, if the referee so deems. This new replay rule does not apply to service foot faults.
- Wrong Score Called?
If the server or referee calls the wrong score, then any player may stop play at any time before the return of the serve to correct the score. However, if any player stops play after the return of the serve (or if any player stops play and the score was actually correct, then that player would be committing a fault. So, if the wrong score is called, correct it fast, or wait until the end of the rally.
- Beware of Your Clothing Color
As a sportsmanship guideline, players should “avoid wearing clothing that closely matches the ball color.” Further, if there are any close colors in a pickleball tournament, the tournament director may require a player “to change apparel that are inappropriate, including those which approximates the color of the ball.”
- Equipment Time-Outs Are In (primarily for tournament play but can be applicable to non-officiated play)
During a tournament, the referee can award an equipment time-out to accommodate any necessary equipment adjustment or replacement, so players are not forced to used their time-outs. During non-officiated play, players are encouraged to work together to provide the same reasonable accommodations.
- Other Revisions to Remove Conflict Between Players and Referees (these rules are for tournament play)
Several revisions are made to clarify when line calls are to be made, what happens when a player is hit by the pickleball, what happens when a pickleball is “degraded”, and what questions players may ask of a referee.
Reference one of these documents to understand the rule changes: