Hey it’s Rusty from Pickleball Channel with a Pickleball News Update.  Today, if you don’t already know, we want to make you aware, that the way you experience pickleball in 2021 is going to be a little bit different.  Because the rules are changing. 

USA Pickleball recently released the upcoming rule changes for 2021 and there are A LOT!  This year alone there are 125 rule updates.   And the change document that they published is actually 81 pages long.  So stay tuned to Pickleball Channel for future content where we can go into more detail about these changes.

So what are the main changes?  The ones that really affect how people play pickleball on a daily basis? There’s actually quite a few, especially if you’re going to be playing tournaments in 2021.  But the two most notable changes have to do with the serve. 

People have already started talking about this. For example, Jennifer Lucore at AllPickleball.com has written a blog post highlighting one of the key changes. And there are many others creating videos and hosting zoom calls, all talking about the rule changes coming in 2021.  See the links below to resources that can help you research the topic.  

So what are these two changes related to the serve?  First, service lets are removed.  The simplest version of this is that if a let happens on the serve, you keep on playing and actually it’s a fault to stop play. 

This one is a bit controversial and even USA Pickleball acknowledges this in their document.  So if you read it, it’s the very first thing they bring up as they attempt to explain their rationale for changing a long-standing rule. 

The second most notable change is actually provisional only – which means it’s gonna be tested this upcoming year, and it’s allowed, but it’s not entirely official yet. So what is it?  The drop serve. Now, if you’re used to your serve, don’t panic, you’re still allowed and actually the normal serve would be the underhand serve we’re all used to.  But the new rule allows a provision for someone to drop the ball and serve off the bounce. 

Again, USA Pickleball gives their reasoning for the provisional addition of the drop serve as well as providing explanation for what it is and scenarios for its use…even going so far as to include using this drop serve if a player struggles with the “yips.” 

Remember, in no way, shape, or form is this meant to be an exhaustive video, we’re just notifying you that these changes are coming.  There are many, many, many changes as we’ve already said so please check out all the resources, go to USA Pickleball for the official rules and guidance on their site.  Lotta people are going to be talking about this and this is a community.  As we finish out this strange, crazy 2020 year, pickleball started and has always been full of fun-loving, generous people.  So as we head into ‘21 let’s keep that spirit alive.  And as always, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected.

RESOURCES

USA Pickleball Rules Page with links: https://usapickleball.org/what-is-pickleball/ifp-official-rules/

USA Pickleball Main website: https://usapickleball.org/

USA Pickleball rule change announcement page: https://usapickleball.org/member-news/official-2021-pickleball-rulebook-released/

Jennifer Lucore’s website GO TO: www.allpickleball.com

Pickleball Nexus blog: https://pickleballnexus.com/2020/12/five-2021-pickleball-rule-changes-that-will-affect-everyone/

Fountain Valley Pickleball Zoom Call: https://www.facebook.com/fountainvalleypickleball.fvpb.9/videos/844584856300944

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