Ready to dive into the 2023 rulebook for the fastest-growing sport in America, or just looking for the rules in pdf format?
This helpful guide will cover everything you need to know about the Official 2023 Pickleball Rules adopted by USA Pickleball.
Specifically, we’ll give you:
- The official pickleball rules in 2023 in pdf format
- How pickleball rules are created
- The new rules implemented in 2023
Ready? Let’s pickleball!
Official Pickleball Rules Pdf
If you want to cut straight to the rules, the official 2023 Pickleball Rules PDF can be found HERE.
What are the Official Rules for Pickleball?
The official rules for pickleball are governed by USA Pickleball and explain how pickleball is properly played. The official rules cover all aspects of the game, including:
- court and equipment specifications
- serves and scoring
- line calls and faults, and
- rules covering how tournaments differ from rec play
The official rules are a must-know for any player as the rules make the game enjoyable and fair for everyone.
Aptly named the Official Rulebook, it is your one-stop shop for all pickleball rules and regulations.
It is also the only rulebook set by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), which was founded in 1984 for the sole purpose of promoting pickleball and the rules that govern it.
How are Pickleball Rules Made?
Pickleball rules are made and updated by a governing body in USA Pickleball (USAPA) each year. The basic process for rules is that players can submit suggestions for rules changes each year, and USAPA reviews suggestions through a lengthy review and voting process. If approved, new rules are ratified and placed in the Official Rulebook that governs the sport of pickleball.
What are the New 2023 Pickleball Rules?
For 2023, there were several new pickleball rules adopted by USAPA. Here’s a quick summary:
- Say goodbye to the spin serve! Spinning the ball as it’s released from your hand is now an automatic replay/re-serve.
- Clothing must be a different color than the ball due to certain color clothing making the ball harder to see.
An illegal service motion can mean a replay or a fault (based on referee discretion). Referees may now call for a replay if they believe a player is making an illegal service motion, but clear illegal serves will still be considered faults.
- Players can ask a referee before serving "Am I Good" to confirm they are in the correct spot or are the correct server.
- Wrong score rule reversed. Players will now, once again, be allowed to stop play after a serve if the wrong score was called.
- Equipment Time-Outs have changed. In tournament play, you are no longer limited to 2 minutes or required to use team time-outs on issues regarding equipment.
For a more detailed explanation on 2023 rule changes, take a peek at our 6 Pickleball Rules Changes for 2023 rundown.
When do the new pickleball rules come out each year?
For continuity, the new pickleball rules come into effect every year on January 1st – a belated Christmas gift for every pickler!
How can I submit a proposed rule change?
Have an idea to make the game better? You can submit a proposed rule change by filling out a rule change form on the official USA Pickleball website. The deadline for submissions falls around May/June each year.
What is Rule 9 in Pickleball?
Section 9 of the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook covers rules for the Non Volley Zone (aka the “kitchen”). The main rule in this section is that players can not volley the ball in the air while standing in or touching any part of the kitchen. Other rules covered include when it is legal to go into the kitchen (anytime) and when it is ok to hit the ball while touching the kitchen (only if the ball bounces first).
What is Rule 4 a 5 in pickleball?
Rule 4.A.5 governs serves and specifically spin serves. The rule states that players must release the ball using only 1 hand and may not manipulate or spin the ball during this motion.
Is the Kitchen Line In or Out on a Serve in 2023?
If a served ball hits the kitchen line on the opponent’s side of the court, the serve is considered a fault. The serve must land in the correct (diagonal) service box and beyond the kitchen and kitchen line to be a valid serve. The sideline, center line, and service line, however, are considered in if the serve hits those lines.
Have more questions about whether any ball hitting the line should be called in or out? We cover every scenario and line in this guide to what happens if the ball hits the line in pickleball.
What is Rule 7H in pickleball?
Rule 7.H governs what happens if a ball touches a player during the point. Specifically, it is considered a fault if the ball touches any body part or clothing of a player, with the exception being the ball can touch the player’s hand holding the paddle as long as the touching occurs below the wrist.
Put another way, the only legal touching of the ball by a body part occurs if the ball touches the hand or fingers holding the paddle. If this occurs and the ball lands in bounds on the other side of the court, the rally should continue.