SECTION 10 – TIME-OUT RULES

  1. A. Standard Time-Out. A player or team is entitled to two time-outs for 11- or 15-point games and three time-outs for a 21-point game.

10.A.1. Each time-out period may last up to 1 minute.

10.A.2. Play may be resumed early if all players are ready.

10.A.3. If a team has any remaining time-outs, any player on that team may call a time-out before the next serve occurs.

10.A.4.  Before the serve occurs, if a team calls a time-out while having no time-outs remaining, no penalty shall be called.

10.A.5. The referee will announce when there are 15 seconds remaining. At the end of
the time-out period, the referee shall call ‘time in’ and then call the score when all
players are (or should be) ready to play.


  1. B. Medical Time-Out. A player needing medical attention during a match should request a medical time-out from the referee. Once the medical time-out has been requested, the following guidelines shall be used:

10.B.1.   The referee shall immediately summon on-site medical personnel, or the Tournament Director if no medical personnel are present, to assess the situation and render appropriate first aid.

10.B.1.a. When medical personnel or the Tournament Director arrive, the referee shall start the 15-minute timer.

10.B.2.   If medical personnel, or the Tournament Director if no medical personnel are present, determine that a valid medical condition exists, then that player will be allowed no more than 15 minutes for the medical time-out.

10.B.2.a. The time-out must be continuous and may be up to 15 minutes. If the player uses fewer than 15 minutes, the remaining time is lost and no additional medical time will be available to the player during the match

10.B.2.b. If the player cannot resume play after the 15-minute medical time-out period, the match will be declared a retirement.

10.B.3.   If medical personnel, or the Tournament Director if no medical personnel are present, determine that no valid medical condition exists, the player or team will be charged a standard time-out, if available, and issued a technical warning.

10.B.3.a. If a standard time-out is not available, then a technical foul will be issued.

10.B.3.b. The medical time-out is no longer available to that player for that match.

10.B.3.c. A player may be granted only one player- requested medical time-out per match.

10.B.4.   Rule 10.A.5 procedures will be followed to continue play after a medical time-out.

10.B.5.   Presence of blood. If blood is present on a player or on the court, play may not resume until the bleeding has been controlled and blood on clothing and the court has been removed.

10.B.5.a. Issues relating solely to blood cleanup or control will be considered a referee time- out.

10.B.5.b. Rule 10.A.5 procedures will be followed to continue play.


  1. C. Continuous Play. Play should be continuous, although players are permitted to quickly take a drink or towel off in between rallies as long as, in the judgment of the referee, the flow of the game is not adversely impacted. The referee shall call the score when play should be resume

10.D. Equipment Time-Outs. Players are expected to keep all apparel and equipment in good playable condition and are expected to use regular time-outs and time between games for adjustments and replacement of equipment. If a player or team is out of time-outs and the referee determines that an equipment change or adjustment is necessary for fair and safe continuation of the match, the referee may award an equipment time-out of up to 2 minutes. Rule 10.A.5 will be used to continue play. In non-officiated matches, players will work out a reasonable accommodation among themselves for equipment malfunctions.

10.D.1. Apparel and equipment adjustments that can be accomplished quickly are allowed between rallies (e.g., tying shoelaces, cleaning glasses, adjusting hat).


  1. E. Time Between Games. The period between games in a match shall not exceed 2 minutes. Rule 10.A.5 procedures will be followed to resume play.

10.E.1.   In between games of a match, players may take one or both of their upcoming game’s timeouts. The players must inform the referee, or their opponents if there is no referee. If a team returns to play before one (or both) requested time-outs have started, the team retains the time-out(s) for the upcoming game. The normal two minutes in between games will be used before any team- allotted timeouts.


  1. F. Time Between Matches. The standard time between matches shall be 10 minutes. If all players are ready to play prior to 10 minutes, the match may be called early.

10.F.1.  In a championship match with a tie-breaker match: If the winner of the loser’s bracket defeats the winner of the winner’s bracket, then a tie-breaker match to 15 points must be played. Maximum time between the championship match and the tie- breaker match is 10 minutes.


  1. G. Suspended Games. A game suspended due to extenuating circumstances shall be resumed with the same server, score, and remaining time-outs as when interrupted.
  2. H. Other Time-Out Rules.

10.H.1.  Before A Match or Between Games: Neither medical nor regular time-outs may be taken before a match starts. A match cannot begin until all players are present and the starting score is called. Time-out(s) may be used before the start of the second and subsequent games in a multiple-game match.

10.H.2.  Extenuating Circumstances: The referee may call a referee time-out to address extenuating circumstances that may require an extended interruption of play.

10.H.2.a. In the interest of safety, if the referee determines a potential medical situation exists, (for example, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, etc.) and the player is unable to or refuses to call a medical timeout, the referee is authorized to call a referee time-out and summon medical personnel or the Tournament Director. Referee requested time-outs will not be charged against the player.

10.H.2.b. Active bleeding shall be addressed in accordance with Rule 10.B.5.

10.H.2.c. Foreign substances on the court, such as debris, water, or other fluids, shall be removed or cleaned up.

10.H.2.d. Rule 10.A.5 shall be used to resume play.

One thought on “SECTION 10 – TIME-OUT RULES”

  • I was playing with a guy who said that in doubles when the other team loses the serve you can pick who serves first. I said no, whoever was in the right court when you gain the serve serves first. Correct? He then said that after a TO you can pick who serves first after the TO (if you just gained serve). Again, I said that you start after the TO just like no TO had been called. Who is right?

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