SECTION 13 – TOURNAMENT MANAGEMENT AND OFFICIATING

Section 13 – Tournament Management and Officiating

13.A.    New 2021: Tournament Director. A Tournament Director is responsible for the tournament. It is the Tournament Director’s responsibility to designate the officials and their areas of responsibility.

13.A.1.   A player may appeal any officiating decision to the Tournament Director or their designee. The Tournament Director, however, retains the final decision-making authority while following the applicable rule in the Official Rulebook.

Unless otherwise stated in the rules, officiating decisions may be appealed to the Tournament Director. After appeal, decisions of the Tournament Director are final.

Reason: To remove confusion and debate about which officiating decisions a player has the right to appeal. ANY officiating decision or ruling may be appealed to the Tournament Director or their designee. Players should always have a recourse when there is a dispute between a player and referee.

13.A.2.   In all USA PICKLEBALL-/IFP-sanctioned tournaments, the Tournament Director will provide some method of identifying each team’s starting server for each game. This identification must be visible to all on the court during play. Refusal to wear this identification will result in forfeit of the match.

13.A.3.   The Tournament Director should check to ensure that planned support (e.g., first aid, tournament volunteers, etc.) is available.

13.A.4.   The Tournament Director has the authority to expel any player from the tournament for misconduct.

13.B.    New 2021:  Tournament Briefing. Before the tournament, the Tournament Director shall brief players and referees on any unique features, abnormal local conditions, or hazards associated with the courts. The briefings may include but are not limited to court distances that are not uniform (such as the distance from end line to back fence or barrier), low ceilings, existence of overhangs, court repairs, or damage that could affect the play of the ball. If possible, the players should be notified in writing as part of the pre- tournament instructions. The referees shall be briefed upon arrival at the venue by the Tournament Director or their designee.

Rules Briefing. Before the tournament, all officials and players shall be briefed or supplied with the current rules about court hinders. This briefing should be put in writing when possible. The current USA PICKLEBALL/IFP tournament rules will apply and be made available. The Tournament Director may not impose any local rule or use any interpretation of any rule not stated within the current USA PICKLEBALL/IFP rules. Any exception to the rules that is desired because of physical limitations of the court or other local conditions must be approved in advance by the USA PICKLEBALL/IFP.

Reason: To provide better guidance on what players may expect concerning the specifics of a tournament.

13.B.1.  New 2021: The Tournament Director may not implement or impose any rule that is not provided in the USA Pickleball/IFP Rulebook. If the Tournament Director desires an exception to any rule because of physical limitations of the court or local conditions, the USA Pickleball Director of Officiating must grant permission before the tournament.

Reason: To give a clear point of contact within the USA Pickleball in case such exception approvals are needed.

13.C.    New 2021:  Referee’s Duties. The referee is responsible for all decisions related to procedural and judgment calls during the match. Players may appeal any decision of The referee to the Tournament Director or their designee.

The referee is responsible for all decisions related to procedural and judgment calls during the match.

Reason: This change is in conjunction with the clarifying change in rule 13.A.1 that states a player may appeal any referee decision to the TD or their designee. It also ends debate over which referee rulings or decisions may be appealed to the tournament director or the TD’s designee

13.C.1.   The referee calls non-volley-zone infractions, short serves, and service foot faults.

13.C.2.  New 2021: If the players or line judges make the line calls and there is a disputed line call, the players may request that The referee determine the line call. If The referee cannot make the line call, the player’s or line judge’s call will remain. If doubles partners appeal a line call that they disagree on and The referee cannot make the call, the ball will be declared “in.” Note: A player may choose to overrule a line call to their disadvantage. (See Rule 6.D.13)

If the players or line judges make the line calls and there is a disputed line call, the players may request that The referee determine the line call. The referee’s call will stand. If The referee cannot make the line call, the player’s or line judge’s call stands. If doubles partners appeal a line call that they disagree on and The referee cannot make the call, the ball will be declared “in.”

Reason: This small change reflects and coincides with the changes to 6.D.13 and 13.F.1 and reinforces that a player may overrule any line call to their own disadvantage. It removes and replaces the word “stand(s)” to negate the concept that a referee’s call is final and cannot be overturned.

13.C.2.a. Spectators should not be consulted on any calls.

13.C.3.   Before each match begins, The referee must:

13.C.3.a. Check on preparation of the court with respect to cleanliness, lighting, height of the net, court markings, and hazards.

13.C.3.b. Check on availability and suitability of necessary materials for the match, such as balls, score sheets, pencils, and the timing device (stopwatch).

13.C.4.   Before each match begins, The referee must meet with players at courtside to:

13.C.4.a. Inspect paddles for irregularities.

13.C.4.b.  New 2021: Before each match begins, The referee must meet with players courtside to point out approved rule modifications, court abnormalities and non-standard court conditions that could be potential safety issues, including but not limited to court repairs or seams, different distances from end lines to back fences, and spectators and their seating.

Before each match begins, The referee must meet with players at courtside to: Point out court hindrances and other approved rule modifications.

Reason: Better clarity for what The referee should notate to players with respect to non-standard court conditions.

13.C.4.c. Instruct players on line-calling duties of The referee, line judges, and players.

13.C.4.d. Use any fair method to determine the initial selection of side, serve, or receive.

13.C.4.e. Ensure the starting servers for each team are wearing the official identification. Refusal to wear the identification will result in forfeit of the match.

13.C.5.   During the match, The referee must:

13.C.5.a. Recheck the net height and position if the net is disturbed.

13.C.5.b. Call the score to start each rally. Calling the score indicates to each side that play is ready to resume.

13.C.5.c. Call “point” after each is awarded.

13.C.5.d. Appropriately annotate the score sheet after each rally is completed or time-out is called.

13.C.5.e. In doubles matches, call “second server” after the first server’s team loses the rally.

13.C.5.f.  Call “side out” when appropriate.

13.C.5.g. Enforce time-out procedures. (See Section 10.)

13.C.5.h. New 2021:  Maintain player conduct. In USA PICKLEBALL/IFP tournaments, The referee is empowered to call technical warnings, technical fouls, and to forfeit a game or match based on a defined combination of technical warnings and/or technical fouls. The referee may also recommend an ejection to the Tournament Director.

Maintain player conduct. In USA PICKLEBALL/IFP-sanctioned tournaments, The referee is empowered to call technical warnings and technical fouls and to forfeit a match based on a defined combination of technical warnings and/or technical fouls.

Reason: To make this rule consistent with the newly added penalty of a game forfeit and explain that The referee may recommend an ejection to the Tournament Director.

13.D.     Player Line and Fault Call Responsibilities.

13.D.1.   Non-Officiated Play.

13.D.1.a. Players call all lines on their side of the court, including NVZ and service foot faults.

13.D.1.b. Players may call NVZ faults and service foot faults on the opponent’s side of the court. If there is any disagreement among players about the called Fault, a replay shall occur.

13.D.1.c.  New 2021: In the spirit of good sportsmanship, players are expected to call faults on themselves as soon as the Fault is committed or detected. The Fault call must happen before the next serve occurs. For non-officiated matches, if a player believes the opponent(s) have committed a Fault, they may mention the specific Fault to the player(s) but have no authority to enforce them. The final decision on Fault resolution belongs to the player that allegedly committed the Fault. The exception to which player has enforcement authority is provided in Rule 13.D.1.b.

Reason: This addition puts in writing the answer to the question of what faults a player can claim the opponent(s) committed. It gives clear guidance as to the options available and the associated resolutions as well. The player who allegedly committed the Fault shall have the final decision to either let the rally stand or call the Fault on their team. These types of calls are very similar to line calls where players make calls on their side of the net and replays are not used to resolve differences. It also clarifies that it is a player’s responsibility to call (actual committed) faults on themselves either during or after a rally.

Scenario A: Team A serves at 4-6-1 wins the rally. The referee calls the score (5-6-1) to start the next rally. Before the serve occurs, the server’s partner tells The referee that the ball hit his arm during the last rally. The referee removes the last point scored, applies the Fault, and calls the score “4-6-2”.

Scenario B: In the tie-breaker game to 15 of a gold medal match, the winning bracket team is serving at 14-13-2. The incorrect receiver returns the serve, and The referee calls “Point, game, match”. The winning team says they “don’t want to win that way” and asks for a replay. The referee informs them that he cannot grant a replay under these conditions. The serving team then claims that they committed a service foot Fault before the incorrect receiver returned the ball and says their basis for doing so is rule 13.D.1.c. The referee says they did not commit a service foot Fault and furthermore reminds them that they can only call faults on themselves when an actual Fault had been committed; not because “they don’t want to win that way.” The referee confirms that the match has concluded with a score of 15-13.

13.D.2.     Officiated Play.

13.D.2.a. Players call baseline, sideline, and center service line on their side of the court.

13.D.3.     Officiated Play with line judges.

13.D.3.a. Players call center service line on their side of the court.

13.D.3.b. New 2021:  Except for center service line calls, player’s line calls are not valid in matches with line judges, except to overrule a call to disadvantage their own team (see Rule 6.D.13). Players may appeal a line call made by the line judge to The referee. (See Rule 13.F.)

Player line calls are not valid in matches with line judges, except to overrule a line judge call to disadvantage their own team (see Rule 6.D.13). Players may appeal a line call made by the line judge to The referee. (See Rule 13.F.)

Reason: To remove the conflict between rules 13.D.3.a and the first sentence in 13.D.3.b. It also removed the wording relating to overruling a “line judge’s call” to better reflect the expanded change to 6.D.13 which now allows a player to overrule a referee’s call if it is to their own team’s disadvantage. Referees shall accept dissenting calls from players to their own detriment.

13.D.3.c. New 2021:  If the line judge(s) and referee cannot make a line call, the rally shall be replayed.

If the line judge(s) and referee cannot make a line call, the rally shall be replayed unless all players agree that the ball was “out”.

Reason: This change removed the option for all players to agree that the ball was “out”. The 2 reasons for the removal are 1) Agreeing that the ball was “out” shows a bias against the hitting team, and 2) Having the option for all players to agree to a replay opens the door for “bullying” from the team that lost the rally. If the officiating team “did not do their job”, the only fair option is for a replay.

13.E.      line judges.

13.E.1.  New 2021: The Tournament Director shall determine which medal matches will use line judges. line judges are recommended, but not required.

It is recommended that line judges be assigned to medal matches. The Tournament Director or designated representative will select line judges.

Reason: To provide clarity that line judges are the sole discretion of the Tournament Director and to reinforce that they are recommended, but not a requirement.

13.E.2.  New 2021: line judges will make the assigned line and foot Fault calls within their jurisdiction and will signify by loudly calling “out” (or “service foot Fault”) and showing the “out” signal (outstretched arm pointing in the out-of-bounds direction).

line judges will make all line Fault calls within their jurisdiction and will signify Fault by loudly calling “out” and giving an accepted hand signal. Accepted hand signals are:

Reason: To extend and clarify the line calling duties of line judges. This expansion puts in writing that line judges shall call service foot faults as well as line calls.

13.E.3. New 2021: If a line judge shows the “blocked/blinded” signal, (both hands covering the eyes) The referee can make the call immediately if they clearly saw the ball land. If The referee cannot make the call, The referee shall canvass the remaining officiating team to assist in making the call.

Reason: After a rally has completed, if a line judge shows the blocked signal, this allows The referee to either make a clear call, or immediately canvas the remaining members of the officiating team to assist with making the call. This removes the need for a player to first make an appeal to The referee before The referee seeks the assistance of the remaining line judges. The referee does not need an appeal from a player in order for the officiating team to perform their job of making a line call.

13.E.4. New 2021: Upon appeal, if a referee overrules a line judge’s “out” call as “in”, a replay will occur.

Reason: This was moved from The referee handbook and converted to a written rule. If the officiating team has made an error, the rally will be replayed. When a line judge makes an “out” call, players naturally “stop play”. If a player was set to return the ball, but “stopped” when they heard the “out” call, then there is the possibility that the player might have returned the ball successfully. When a referee (eventually) overrules the call to “in”, this unfairly penalizes the receiving team player who might have returned the ball if the “out” call had not been made. The fair option is call for a replay since the officiating team made conflicting calls.

Scenario: In a match with line judges, a ball is hit close to the sideline where Player B2 is standing. Player B2 readies his return, but after the ball bounces, the line judge immediately says “out”. Team A appeals the call and The referee, and The referee says that the ball was in fact “in”. The referee calls for a replay because B2 was ready to return the ball but stopped when he heard the “out” call.

13.E.5. New 2021: If a player disagrees with a line judge’s “out” call that benefited their team, the player may overrule the “out” call as “in” per rule 6.D.13. A replay will occur.

Reason: This rule is similar to rule 13.E.4 and follows the same replay guidelines if a benefitting team overrules a line judge’s out call as in.

13.F.      Appeals. Appeals to The referee regarding judgment calls (line calls, double bounce, etc.) shall be decided by The referee. The referee may consult players or line judges to decide the outcome of the appeal.

13.F.1.  New 2021: In a match without line judges, if a player appeals a line call to The referee, The referee shall make a call if they clearly saw the ball land “in” or “out”. If The referee is unable to make the call, the original call will remain. If no call was made, the ball will be considered “in”.

If a player appeals a line call to The referee, the referee’s call shall stand if The referee clearly saw the ball land “in” or “out”. If The referee is unable to make the call, the original call will stand. If no call was made, the ball will be considered “in”, unless one player requests and all players agree to a replay.

Reason: To remove the debate or confusion between the two appeal rules 13.F.1 and 13.D.3.b. Specifically, 13.F.1 covers matches without line judges and 13.D.3.b covers matches that use line judges. Furthermore, the rule was changed slightly to coincide with the changes to 6.D.13 and 13.C.2 to reflect that a player may overrule the call made by a referee if it is to their own disadvantage. Also, the phrase “, , unless one player requests and all players agree to a replay.” has been removed. Deleting this phrase removes the opportunity for a “bullying” player to pressure other players into agreeing to a replay.

13.F.2.   A referee’s decision will result in a point awarded, a service loss, or a replay.

13.G.     Verbal Warnings, Technical Warnings and Technical Fouls.

13.G.1.  New 2021: Verbal Warning and Technical Warnings. The referee is empowered to issue a single Verbal Warning for profanity or call technical warnings. A Verbal Warning may be issued for a potential profanity violation. Actions or behavior that shall result in a technical warning:

Technical Warnings. The referee is empowered to call technical warnings. Actions or behavior that shall result in a technical warning:

Reason: This addition of a Verbal Warning is to give referees some flexibility in issuing a warning for profanity. Each referee has a different threshold for profanity and because of this wide range of thresholds, which players do not and cannot know, the addition of a Verbal Warning (issued to all players) is instituted when a potential technical warning violation has been reached.

Scenario: The referee notices that the players are starting to use profanity. Since each referee’s threshold for profanity is different, The referee says, “Verbal Warning to all players for profanity.” This puts the players on notice that a penalty for profanity is about to be breached. During the next rally, Team A utters a profanity. The referee issues a technical warning for profanity to Team A.

13.G.1.a. New 2021:Objectionable language directed at another person.

Objectionable or demeaning language directed at another person

Reason: Removal of the word demeaning because any demeaning word(s) would also be objectionable. This wording also correlates to the same phrasing used for the Technical Foul section.

13.G.1.b. New 2021: profanity (audible or visible) used for any reason. The referee will determine the severity of any violation.

Excessive profanity used for any reason. The referee will determine the severity of any violation.

Reason: To add that visible gestures can also be applied when it comes to profanity.

13.G.1.c. New 2021: Arguing aggressively with the officiating team, other players or spectators in a way that disrupts the flow of play.

Excessive arguing.

Reason: To expand the description of the original excessive arguing rule. This can include excessive questioning The referee on the rules.

13.G.1.d. New 2021: Ball abuse (aggressively or purposely breaking or stepping on the ball) or striking the ball between rallies.

Purposely breaking the ball or striking the ball between rallies.

Reason: To expand the description of the original “ball abuse” rule.

13.G.1.e. New 2021: Taking time between rallies in a way that unnecessarily disrupts the flow of play.

Delay of game, either in the form of taking too much time during time-outs or between rallies or games.

Reason: Taking too much time during time-outs should be remedied by The referee merely calling the score, so a delay of game technical warning for that reason is not valid. In between rallies however is different. If the receiver has the ball and is taking too much time retrieving it and/or returning it to the server, The referee cannot call the score and, obviously, the server cannot serve. A delay of game technical warning may be appropriate in those cases and should be strongly considered if a player or team is repeatedly taking time between rallies that disrupts the flow of play.

13.G.1.f. New 2021: Repeatedly appealing line calls such that the flow of play is disrupted.

Excessive or unnecessary appeals.

Reason: Wording was added to reflect the “disrupts the flow of play” concept.

13.G.1.g. Challenging the referee’s interpretation of a rule and losing the challenge (e.g., referee’s ruling was correct) and a time- out is assessed.

13.G.1.h. Requesting a medical time-out without a valid medical condition (time-out assessed) as determined by medical personnel or the tournament director if no medical staff if present.

13.G.1.i. New 2021: Actions that are considered minor unsportsmanlike behavior, including but not limited to making repeated questionable ‘out’ calls that, upon appeal, are reversed (overruled) by The referee.

Reason: This addition offers The referee some flexibility on player actions that involve several different factors on which to consider applying the technical warning. Note: It allows for “minor” paddle toss/throw actions to be penalized as Technical Warnings when, in the judgment of The referee, the player’s actions do not warrant the higher Technical Foul penalty.

Scenario: After a player loses game 1 by hitting the ball into the net on an overhead smash, the player “tosses/throws/flips/flicks” his paddle that lands on the ground at the base of the spectator fence. The referee sees the action happen and takes into account many factors (no spectators near the fence, the distance the paddle traveled, the direction angle of the throw, the player being aware of where they were throwing the paddle, etc) The referee issues a technical warning for minor unsportsmanlike behavior and notes the score sheet accordingly.

13.G.1.j. New 2021: Except during time-outs and in-between games, receiving coaching from anyone other than a partner.

Reason: This change moved the rule in Section 11 into the proper technical warning section as it pertains to coaching. It was the only rule in Section 11 that had a penalty of a technical warning and is now in the proper section. The definition of coaching is found in rule 3.A.2.

13.G.2.  New 2021: Technical FoulsThe referee is empowered to call technical fouls. When a Technical Foul is called, one point shall be removed from the score of the offending team unless their score is zero, in which case, a point shall be added to the score of the opposing side. Actions or behavior that shall result in a Technical Foul (without a technical warning being issued beforehand):

The referee is empowered to call technical fouls. When a Technical Foul is called, one point shall be added to the score of the opposing side. Actions or behavior that will result in a Technical Foul (without a technical warning being issued beforehand):

Reason: In most cases, this will prevent the loss of a game or match on the final point due to a Technical Foul.

Scenario: In the third game of a match, Team A scores their 6th point and the end change procedures begin. Team A then commits a Technical Foul. The referee charges Team A with a Technical Foul and informs everyone that Team A now has 5 points. The referee continues on with the end change as normal. Team A realizes that with having a score of 5, they will need to serve from the proper position. Note: Since Team A scored their 6th point BEFORE they committed the Technical Foul, the end change should happen as normal and not be “reversed” because Team A, now, only has 5 points.

13.G.2.a. New 2021: Aggressively or recklessly throwing a paddle in frustration or anger, with negligent disregard of the consequences and does not strike a person or damage property.

Intentionally throwing a paddle.

Reason: This added description designates the level of penalty for throwing a paddle. There are more levels associated with this action as listed later. It also includes more descriptive wording to better help referees determine if a Technical Foul should be called.

13.G.2.b. New 2021: A player using extremely objectionable language, or profanity, regardless of to whom or what it is directed.

A player using extremely objectionable or demeaning language directed at another person or extremely excessive profanity.

Reason: This change is to convey the notion that behavior which is deliberate and/or directed at someone is separate from and treated differently than spontaneous and/or undirected behavior.

13.G.2.c. New 2021: Making a threat or challenges of any nature toward or against any person.

Reason: This rule better defines what type behavior will result in a Technical Foul.

13.G.2.d. Challenging the referee’s interpretation of a rule and losing the challenge (e.g., referee’s ruling was correct) and no time- out is available.

13.G.2.e. Any other actions that are considered extreme unsportsmanlike behavior.

13.G.2.f.  Requesting a medical time-out without a valid medical condition, and the team (or player in a singles match) has no time- outs remaining.

13.G.2.g. New 2021: Deliberately throwing or hitting a ball that is not in play with negligent disregard of the consequences which inadvertently hits a person.

Reason: This rule provides visibility to the penalty associated with hitting a ball that inadvertently hits a person.

13.G.3.   Effect of Technical Fouls and Technical Warnings The assessment of a technical warning or Technical Foul shall be accompanied by a brief explanation of the reason.

13.G.3.a. A technical warning shall not result in a loss of rally or point awarded.

13.G.3.b. Once a technical warning has been issued, a second technical warning for any reason, given to the same player or team during the match, will result in a Technical Foul being issued to the player or team.

13.G.3.c. New 2021: If a referee issues a Technical Foul, one point shall be removed from the score of the offending team unless their score is zero, in which case a point shall be added to the score of the opposing side. After the point is removed or awarded, the player or team losing or awarded the point must move on their own to the correct position(s) that reflects their score.

If a referee issues a Technical Foul, one point shall be added to the non-offending player’s or team’s score. After the point is awarded, the player or team awarded the point must move on their own to the correct position(s) that reflects their score.

Reason: This change was made to minimize the chance a team would win a match on a point awarded for a Technical Foul.

13.G.3.d. A called technical warning or Technical Foul shall have no effect on server change or side out.

13.G.3.e. After assessing a technical warning or a Technical Foul, The referee will call a 15- second warning for the players to become ready. At the end of 15 seconds, The referee will announce the score to begin the 10-second count even if the server and receiver are not on the court or not ready to play. (See Rule 4.E.)

13.G.3.f.  Technical warnings and technical fouls may be assessed any time during a match while the players are at the court.

13.H.     Game Forfeit.

13.H.1.  New 2021: The referee will impose a game forfeit when either of the following occurs:

Reason: This new addition of a Game Forfeit precluding a Match Forfeit is part of the progressive penalty revision for 2021. The new rule references existing Rules (13.H.1.a and 13.H.1.b) which are guidelines on how to apply technical warnings and technical fouls. The Intent: “3 Strikes” is a Game Forfeit. “4 Strikes” is a Match Forfeit.

Scenario A: In game 2 of a match, Team A is penalized a technical warning for profanity. Later in the same game, Team A is penalized a Technical Foul for aggressively and recklessly throwing a paddle. The referee declares that Team A has now forfeited game 2 based on Rule 13.H.1.a.

Scenario B: Team A loses game 1 with a score of 11-5. During game 2 with Team A leading 8-5, Team A commits a technical warning and later an additional (full) Technical Foul (same as in Scenario A). (“3 strikes and the game is over”) The referee declares that Team A has now forfeited game 2. Coupled with losing game 1 as well, The referee declares, “Point, game, match”. Note: Team A lost the match based on the fact that they lost game 1 and lost game 2 due to a forfeit. This is NOT the same as losing the match based solely on a forfeiture. The scoring guidelines of “11-0, 11-0” are assessed on a match forfeit. In this scenario, the final game scores would be reported at “11-5, 11-0”.

13.H.1.a. After one technical warning has been assessed and the subsequent issuance of a Technical Foul listed in Rule 13.G.2.

13.H.1.b. After one Technical Foul has been assessed in accordance with Rule 13.G.3.c. or Rule 13.G.2. and the subsequent issuance of another technical warning for any reason.

13.H.1.c. New 2021: For match formats either 1 to 15 or 1 to 21, a game forfeit is equivalent to a match forfeit.

Reason: This rule puts in writing that losing a single game to 15 or 21 is considered the same as losing a 2-out-of 3 match with respect to game forfeits vs. match forfeits.

13.H.2.  New 2021: If the match is a two-out-of-three game format, a referee may impose a game forfeit when a player fails to report to play 10 minutes after the match has been called to play. A match forfeit will be imposed when a player fails to report to play 15 minutes after the match has been called to play. If the match is a 1 to 15 or 1 to 21 format game, the match forfeit occurs when the player fails to report to play 10 minutes after the match has been called to play. The Tournament Director may permit a longer delay if circumstances warrant such a decision.

A referee may impose a match forfeit when a player fails to report to play 10 minutes after the match has been called to play. The Tournament Director may permit a longer delay if circumstances warrant such a decision.

Reason: This is consistent with the progressive penalty system; a game forfeit before match forfeit. Note: If game 1 is a forfeit, when/if all players arrive for game 2, the “1/2” choice shall occur as normal.

13.I.       Match Forfeit.

13.I.1.     The referee will impose a match forfeit based on a combination of Technical Warnings or Technical Fouls when either of the following occurs:

13.I.1.a. New 2021: The combined issuance of two technical warnings and a Technical Foul listed in Rule 13.G.2

Reason: This stipulates that at any point in the match when 2 technical warnings and a Technical Foul have been assessed, the match will be declared a forfeit.

Scenario: Team A is penalized a technical warning in game 1 for profanity. During game 2, Team A is penalized a 2nd technical warning for profanity and a point is deducted from their score. Team A is now receiving and does not adjust their receiving player according to their new score, consequently the incorrect receiver returns the serve and The referee calls a Fault for illegal receiver. The Team A illegal receiver then throws their paddle aggressively into the net. The referee calls a match forfeit for the combined 2 Technical Warnings plus the “full blown” Technical Foul. (“4 strikes and the match is over”)

13.I.1.b. New 2021: After one Technical Foul has been assessed in accordance with Rule 13.G.3.c or Rule 13.G.2 and the subsequent issuance of a second Technical Foul for any reason.

Reason: This stipulates that at any point in the match when 2 technical fouls have been assessed, the match will be declared a forfeit.

13.I.2. New 2021: Behavior that shall result in a match forfeit that is not due to a combination of Technical Warnings or Technical Fouls.

Reason: Better clarity of what behaviors shall result in a match forfeit.

13.I.2.a. New 2021: Making deliberately aggressive physical contact with an opponent, official or spectator.

Reason: Better clarity of what behaviors shall result in a match forfeit.

13.I.2.b. New 2021: Aggressively or recklessly striking or throwing a ball or paddle out of frustration or anger that puts an individual or facility property at risk or in danger.

Reason: Better clarity of what behaviors shall result in a match forfeit.

13.I.3.   The Tournament Director may impose a match forfeit for failure to comply with the tournament or host facility’s rules while on the premises, or for improper conduct on the premises between matches, or for abuse of hospitality, locker room, or other rules and procedures.

13.J.    New 2021:   Rules Interpretations. If a player disagrees with a referee’s ruling or decision, that player may challenge the referee’s decision by asking for the Head Referee, Tournament Director, or the Tournament Director’s designee. If the referee’s ruling is determined to be correct, the player or team will lose a time-out and be given a technical warning. If no time-outs are available and the referee’s ruling is correct, the player or team will be given a Technical Foul. (See 13.G.2.d) When the referee’s ruling is incorrect, the ruling will be reversed and, if applicable, the rally will be replayed.

Rules Interpretations. If a player thinks The referee has interpreted a rule incorrectly, that player may challenge the referee’s ruling. If the referee’s ruling is correct, the player or team will lose a time-out and be given a technical warning. If no time-outs are available and the referee’s ruling is correct, the player or team will be given a Technical Foul. (See 13.G.2.d)

Reason: This change puts in writing what The referee should do if the Tournament Director overrules the ruling of The referee.

13.K.    New 2021:  Removal of a Line Judge. The referee may remove a line judge for any reasonable cause, based on either the referee’s own observation or that of the players. If The referee decides to replace a line judge based on their own observation, the referee’s decision is final. The players may also petition The referee to remove a line judge, providing all players agree. If The referee does not agree, The referee must consult with the Tournament Director for a final decision. If a line judge is removed, the Tournament Director will appoint a replacement.

Removal of a Referee or Line Judge. If all players agree, they may petition the Tournament Director for a referee or line judge removal. The Tournament Director retains the final discretionary authority on the removal of an official. If a member of the officiating team is removed, the Tournament Director will appoint a replacement

Reason: This change grants The referee of the match the authority to replace a line judge on their own accord. It also provides a level of protection from players who may want a line judge removed with a weak or no foundational reason.

13.K.1.   Removal of a Referee. If all players agree, they may petition the Tournament Director for a referee removal. The Tournament Director retains the final discretionary authority on the removal of a Referee. If a Referee is removed, the Tournament Director will appoint a replacement.

13.L.      Non-Officiated Play. Any player may request a referee or Tournament Director if:

13.L.1.    The player reasonably believes that a rule is being consistently and deliberately violated by their opponent.

13.L.2.    A situation arises where players are not able to quickly and easily resolve a dispute.

13.M.   The Tournament Director may eject a player from the tournament for flagrant and particularly injurious behavior that, in the opinion of the Tournament Director, impacts the success of the tournament. An ejection can occur due to actions any time the player is at the tournament venue and may include, but is not limited to: Note: In addition to an ejection, the Tournament Director also has the option to expel the player from the tournament venue.

13.M.1.  New 2021: Using ethnic, religious, racial, sexist, or homophobic slurs.

Reason: To provide Tournament Directors (not referees) with a remedy for behaviors detrimental to the success of the tournament.

13.M.2.  New 2021: Injury to a player, official, or spectator through an act of paddle or ball abuse.

Reason: To provide Tournament Directors (not referees) with a remedy for behaviors detrimental to the success of the tournament.

13.M.3.  New 2021: Spitting or coughing on a person.

Reason: To provide Tournament Directors (not referees) with a remedy for behaviors detrimental to the success of the tournament.

13.M.4. New 2021:  Not exhibiting ‘best effort’. This includes but is not limited to, defaulting, forfeiting, or not giving best efforts in matches, whether for their own benefit or otherwise.

Reason: To provide Tournament Directors (not referees) with a remedy for behaviors
detrimental to the success of the tournament.

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