SECTION 5 – SELECTION OF END, SERVE, RECEIVE, OR DEFER RULES.

5.A. Selection of End, Serve, Receive, or Defer.

5.A.1. New 2021:  Any fair method shall be used to determine which player or team has first choice of end, Serve, receive, or defer (i.e., a 1 or 2 written on the back of the score sheet). If the winner chooses to Serve or receive first, the loser chooses the starting end. If the winner chooses the starting end, the loser chooses to Serve or receive. Once a selection has been made, it cannot be changed.

Reason: This change combines the two 2020 rules (5.A.1 and 5.A.2) for simplicity and clarity.

Any fair method shall be used to determine which player or team has first choice of end, Serve, or receive, (i.e., a 1 or 2 written on the back of the score sheet). If the winner chooses to Serve or receive first, the loser chooses the starting end. If the winner chooses the starting end, the loser chooses to Serve or receive. The winner can defer first choice to the opponent(s).

5.A.2.    In doubles, teams may change the starting server between games and should notify the referee. In non-officiated matches, the team should notify the opponents if there was a starting server change. There is no fault or penalty for failure to make the notifications. Once a game has started and, if any points have been scored, when the referee notices a starting server has changed, the referee will stop play and annotate the scoresheet accordingly and resume play.

Reason: This change, in conjunction with other rule changes, is for the elimination of possible “gotcha” fault that can occur before the first Serve happens. The Intent: Changing starting servers is an error of omission rather than commission. It is a clerical issue pertaining to the scoresheet and should not impact the game. To help avoid confusion or issues that may arise during the game, the referee should verify the starting servers before each game. Note: While this change does shift more of the responsibility to the referee, the “changing” team still bears some responsibility as noted in Scenario B below.

Scenario A: At the beginning of game 2, the serving team changes their starting server player along with the starting server band. They do NOT notify the referee or opponents. Before starting game 2, the referee notices the change in starting servers and confirms the same with the serving team and then notifies the opponents. After confirmation, the referee makes the corrections to the scoresheet and proceeds as normal. The changing team is not faulted simply because they did not give notification.

Scenario B: After game 1 has ended, Team A notifies the referee and opponents that they are changing the starting server (along with the starting server band). the referee makes the changes to the scoresheet accordingly. When game 2 begins with Team A serving, Team A “forgets” they had changed their starting server and the “no Band” player (the starting server in game 1) serves from the right-hand court after the referee starts the game and calls the score. the referee calls an incorrect server fault on Team A. All parties were made aware of the starting server change and the referee had adjusted accordingly on the score sheet. Although the referee should verify the starting server, it is not the referee’s responsibility to ensure the starting server is the player who serves: Team A simply “made a mistake” and should be faulted accordingly.

In doubles, teams may change the starting server between games by notifying the referee. In non-officiated matches, the team should notify the opponents. Failure to give notification will result in a fault when the offending server serves, or the offending receiver returns the Serve. After the fault has been applied, the offending team shall notify the referee which player will wear the starting server identification. In a non-officiated match, the opponents shall be notified of the starting server decision.

5.A.3.    In doubles, the starting servers must visibly wear the form of identification determined by the Tournament Director.

5.B.   Change of Ends.

5.B.1.    Sides and initial service will be switched upon the completion of each game.

5.B.2.    The maximum of 2 minutes is allowed between games. the referee will announce a 15-second warning and then call the score after the full 2 minutes has elapsed and apply the 10-Second Rule even if all players are not on the court and/or not ready to play. See Rule 4.E.

5.B.3.    In a match with two out of three games to 11 points, in game three, sides will be switched when the first team reaches a score of 6. Serve remains with the player holding Serve.

5.B.4.    In a game to 15 points, sides will be switched when the first team reaches a score of 8. Serve remains with the player holding Serve.

5.B.5.    In a game to 21 points, sides will be switched when the first team reaches a score of 11. Serve remains with the player holding Serve.

5.B.6.  New 2021: End Change Time-Out. A maximum of one minute is allowed to switch ends during a game. Rule 10.A.5 procedures will be followed to continue play.

Reason: Third-party coaching is now allowed during end changes because it was difficult to detect and enforce. The revised rule also treats the return to play similar to other time-outs with respect to the 15 second warning and potential for returning to play early.

A maximum of 1 minute is allowed to switch ends during a game. During this time, players may communicate with each other, but no third-party coaching is allowed. When time has expired, the referee will announce “Resume play”, call the score and start the 10 second count. the referee will call the score even if all players are not on the court and/or not ready to play. (See Rule 4.E.) If both teams agree, play may resume early.

5.B.7.   New 2021:  After the end change has occurred, a technical foul resulting in the loss of a point for the serving team shall have no impact on the completed end change.

Reason: To clarify that a point reduction assessed to a team as a result of a technical foul shall have no impact once the teams have performed the necessary end change.

Scenario A: 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.

Scenario B: In a game to 15, Player A (the starting server for Team A) is serving at 7-7-2 and Team A wins the rally. The score is now 8-7-2 and the referee calls for the end switch and the teams change ends. Player A is now set to Serve from the right-hand court at 8-7-2, but the partner commits a technical foul. the referee calls the technical foul and removes one point from Team A’s score. the referee informs both teams that they will continue to play on their current ends. the referee calls the score at 7-7-2 and Player A (the starting server) serves from the right-hand court. the referee calls an incorrect server position fault on Team A for serving from the wrong position and a side out occurs.

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