SECTION 2 – COURT AND EQUIPMENT

SECTION 2 – COURT AND EQUIPMENT

2.A.     COURT Specifications. The dimensions and measurements for the standard pickleball court are:

2.A.1.    The COURT shall be a rectangle 20 feet (6.10 m) wide and 44 feet (13.41 m) long for both singles and doubles matches. See Figure 2-1.

2.A.2. COURT measurements shall be made to the outside of the lines. All lines should be 2 inches (5.08 cm) wide and the same color, clearly contrasting with the color of the playing surface.

2.A.3.   A minimum playing surface area measuring 30 feet (9.14 m) wide and 60 feet (18.29 m) long is recommended. A 10-foot (3.05-m) surrounding margin with a larger size of 40 feet (12.19 m) by 64 feet (19.51 m) is preferred.

2.A.4  New 2021: (Wheelchair) The recommended playing surface area for Wheelchair play is 44 feet (13.41 m) wide and 74 feet (22.55 m) long. The size for Wheelchair play in a stadium COURT is 50 feet (15.24 m) wide by 80 feet (24.38 m) long.
Reason: This rule is the new guideline for wheelchair play

2.B.     Lines and Areas. The lines and areas of the standard pickleball COURT are explained below. Also, see Figure 2-1.

2.B.1.    Baselines. The lines parallel to the net at each end of the COURT.

2.B.2.    Sidelines. The lines perpendicular to the net on each long side of the COURT.

2.B.3.    Non-Volley Zone (NVZ). The area of COURT bounded by three lines and the net: the parallel line 7 feet (2.13 m) from the net (non-volley- zone line) and the two sidelines, which are perpendicular to the net. All NVZ lines are inside the NVZ.

2.B.4.    Service Court. The area on either side of the centerline, including the centerline, sideline, and baseline, excluding the NVZ.

2.B.5.    Centerline. The line down the center of the COURT extending from the NVZ to the baseline separating the odd and even courts.

2.B.6.    Right/Even Court. The service area on the right side of the COURT when facing the net.

2.B.7.   Left/Odd Court. The service area on the left side of the COURT when facing the net.

2.C.     Net Specifications.

2.C.1.    Material. The net may be made of any mesh fabric material that will not allow a ball to pass through it.

2.C.2.    Posts. Net posts should be 22 feet from the inside of one post to the inside of the other post. The maximum diameter of the net post should be 3 inches.

2.C.3.    Size. The net length should be at least 21 feet 9 inches (6.63 m) extending from one post to the other. The net height should be at least 30 inches (0.76 m) from top to bottom.

2.C.4.    Edge. The top of the net should be edged with a 2-inch (5.08-cm) white binding over a cord or cable running through the binding. This binding must rest upon the cord or cable.

2.C.5.    Height. The net shall be suspended over the center of the COURT and shall be 36 inches (91.44 cm) high at the sidelines and 34 inches (86.36 cm) high at the center of the COURT.

2.C.6.    Center Strap. A center strap is recommended for permanent nets, and should be placed at the center of the net to enable easy adjustment to the 34-inch(86.36-cm)requirement at center.

 2.C.6.    Center Strap. A center strap should be placed at the center of the net to enable easy adjustment to the 34-inch (86.36-cm) requirement at center.~Old 2018 rule.

       2.C.7:    Bottom of the Net. The net may touch the COURT but should not drape onto the COURT such that it could alter the play of the ball. (See Figure 2-2.) ~NEW 2020 Rule

       2.C.8:   Ties or other non-protruding apparatus should be used to prevent the bottom of the net from lying on the COURT. If such a configuration is not corrected by the tournament staff prior to the start of play and the      referee deems a ball is affected by the draping net, it shall result in a replay. ~NEW 2020 Rule

Reason: To provide clear guidelines when the ball goes over the net and hits any part of the net
lying on the ground.

 

Figure 2-2

The ball pictured on the left in Figure 2-2 is customarily used for indoor play, and the ball pictured on the right is customarily used for outdoor play. Colors may vary. However, all approved balls are acceptable for indoor or outdoor play. The complete list of approved balls is on the USAPA and IFP websites.

2.D.     Ball Specifications.

2.D.1.    Construction. The ball shall be made of a durable material molded with a smooth surface and free of texturing. The ball will be one uniform color, except for identification markings. The ball may have a slight ridge at the seam, as long as it does not significantly impact the ball’s flight characteristics.

2.D.2.   Size. The ball shall be 2.87 inches (7.3 cm) to 2.97 inches (7.55 cm) in diameter. The maximum out-of-round diameter variance shall not be greater than +/-0.020 inch (0.50 mm).

2.D.3.    Weight. The ball shall weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces (22.1 and 26.5 grams).

2.D.4.   Bounce. The ball shall have a bounce of 30 to 34 inches (76.2 to 86.4 cm) to the top of the ball when dropped from a height of 78 inches (198.1 cm) onto a granite surface plate that is aluinimum of 12 inches by 12 inches (30.5 cm) by 4 inches (10.2 cm). The test is to be performed at an ambient temperature of 75 to 80 degrees F (24 to 27 degrees C).

2.D.5.    Hardness. The ball shall have a hardness of 40 to 50 on a Durometer D scale at an ambient temperature of 75 to 80 degrees F (24 to 27 degrees C).

2.D.6.    Design. The ball shall have a minimum of 26 to a maximum of 40 circular holes, with spacing of the holes and overall design of the ball conforming to flight characteristics. The ball must have a manufacturer’s or supplier’s name or logo printed or embossed on it.

2.D.7.    Approval. The tournament director will choose the tournament ball. The ball selected for play in any USAPA- or IFP-sanctioned tournament must be named on the official list of approved balls posted on the USAPA and IFP websites: www.usapa.org and ipickleball.org.

2.E.      Paddle Specifications.

2.E.1.    Material. The paddle may be made of any material deemed safe and not prohibited by these rules. The paddle shall be made of rigid, non-compressible material meeting the criteria located on the USAPA and IFP websites.

2.E.2.    New 2021: Surface. The paddle’s hitting surface shall not contain delamination, holes, cracks or indentations that break the paddle skin or surface.

Surface. The paddle hitting surface shall not contain holes, indentations, rough texturing, tape, or any objects or features that allow a player to impart additional spin on the ball.

Reason: To remove difficult to discern language about “additional spin” and make the rule more specific to the surface characteristics of the paddle. The restrictions associated with ‘spin’ will be covered in the new Equipment Standards Manual.

Paddle roughness is determined using a Starrett SR160 Surface Roughness Tester (or equivalent). The allowable limits for roughness shall be no greater than 30 micrometers (µm)

on the Rz reading (average maximum height, peak to valley), and no greater than 40 micrometers on the Rt reading (average maximum height, peak to valley). All readings will be taken in six different directions.

2.E.2.a. Paint. The surface may be painted but must otherwise adhere to the general surface requirements.

2.E.2.b. Reflection. The paddle hitting surface shall not be adversely reflective, such that it has the potential to obscure the vision of opposing player(s). Paddles shall not have any measurement exceeding 80 GU. Measurement is to be taken at the universal measurement angle of 60 degrees with ETB-0833 Self-Calibration 20° 60° 85° Surface Glossmeter Tester 0-200 GU or equivalent.

2.E 2.c. Depictions. Any writing or pictures on the paddle must be in good taste.

2.E.3.    Size. The combined length and width, including any edge guard and butt cap, shall not exceed 24 inches (60.96 cm). The paddle length cannot exceed 17 inches (43.18 cm). There is no restriction on paddle thickness.

2.E.4.    Weight. There is no restriction on paddle weight.

2.E.5. Alterations. Altered paddles must meet all specifications.

2.E.5.a. The only alterations or additions that can be made to a commercially made paddle are edge guard tape, lead tape,changes to the grip size or grip wrap,and adding name decals and/or other identification markings on the paddle face.

2.E.5.b. Decals and tape can extend no farther than 1.0 inch (2.54 cm) above the top of the grip nor more than 0.5 inch (1.27cm) inside the outer edge of a paddle or, ifan edge guard is in place, 0.5 inch inside the edge guard.

2.E.5.c. New 2021: Hand-drawn or handwritten markings are allowed on the paddle’s playing surface as long as they do not impact the surface roughness and are in good taste. no aftermarket graphics are allowed on a commercially made paddle other than “hand-drawn” or “handwritten” pen markings. Any hand-drawn or handwritten Depictions must be in good taste.

Handwritten markings are allowed on the paddle’s playing surface as long as they do not impact the surface roughness and are in good taste. no aftermarket graphics are allowed on a commercially made paddle other than “Handwritten” pen markings. 

Reason: To clarify that a hand drawn marking such as a logo, symbol or picture is no different than a hand-written signature as long as it does not impact the surface texture of the paddle face.

2.E.6.    Prohibited Surface Features and Mechanical Features.

2.E.6.a. Anti-skid paint or any paint textured with sand, rubber particles, or any material that causes additional spin.

2.E.6.b. Rubber and synthetic rubber.

2.E.6.c. Sandpaper characteristics.

2.E.6.d. Moving parts that can increase head momentum.

2.E.6.e. Removable parts. no removable parts except for paddle grip adjustments and/or grip wraps and lead tape on the paddle edge.

2.E.6.f. Springs or spring-like material.

2.E.6.g. Flexible membranes or any compressible material that creates a trampoline effect.

2.E.6.h. Electrical, electronic, or mechanical assistance of any sort.

2.E.7.    Model Designation. The manufacturer must have a clearly marked brand and model name or model number on the paddle. Paddles with different core material, surface material, or other significant differences must have a unique name or number.

2.E.8.    Homemade Paddles. Paddles that are not commercially made are not permitted (e.g., homemade paddles).

2.F.      Equipment Approval and Authorization. The approval of equipment authorized for sanctioned tournament play shall be made by the USAPA Board of Directors acting on a recommendation of the Equipment Evaluation Committee (EEC).

2.F.1.    Approval and authorization of a specified piece, model, brand, version, design, or type of equipment may be revoked by the Board of Directors upon 18 months’ notice on the USAPA and IFP website home pages, official national newsletter publications, or other acceptable means of communication, if the specified equipment is found to have been materially changed by the manufacturer or if the equipment materially degrades or changes under ordinary use so as to significantly alter the nature of the sport.

2.F.2.    Manufacturers are subject to annual and/or blind testing to ensure that products as produced and sold are compliant with all requirements. The lists of approved equipment may be posted on the USAPA and IFP websites: usapa.org and ipickleball.com

2.F.3.    USAPA/IFP Approved Paddle List – Players are responsible for confirming that the paddle they are using for match play is listed as Pass on the USAPA/IFP Approved Paddle List. The lists of approved equipment may be posted on the USAPA and IFP websites: usapa.org and ipickleball.com.

2.F.3.a. Violation.-If the violation is identified after the match has started, the player or team forfeits only the match being played.-If the violation is discovered after the match has concluded, the match results stand

2.F.3.a.1 If the violation is identified prior to the match starting, the player may switch to a paddle listed as Pass on the USAPA/IFP Approved  Paddle List without penalty.

2.F.3.a.2 If the violation is identified after the match has started, the player or team forfeits only the match being played.

2.F.3.a.3 If the violation is discovered after the match has concluded, the match results stand.

2.F.3.a.   Violation. If at any point during the tournament it is determined that a player is using a paddle that violates any of the paddle specifications or is not listed on the USAPA/IFP Approved Paddle List as Pass, the following penalties apply: ~Old 2018 rule.

▪    If the violation is identified prior to the match starting, the player may switch to ~Old 2018 rule.

Note: The USAPA reviews equipment testing standards periodically and, with proper notification to manufacturers, reserves the right to modify equipment specifications as needed to maintain the integrity of the game.

2.G.     Apparel. a paddle listed as Pass on the USAPA/IFP Approved Paddle List without penalty.

▪    If the violation is identified after the match has started, the player or team forfeits the match.

2.G.1.    Safety and Distraction. A player may be required to change garments that are inappropriate.

2.G.2.    Depictions. Graphics, insignias, pictures, and writing on Apparel must be in good taste.

2.G.3.    Footwear. Must have soles that do not mark or damage the court’s playing surface.

2.G.4.    Violation. The tournament director has the authority to enforce Apparel changes. If the player refuses to comply with the Apparel rules, the tournament director may declare a forfeiture of the match.

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