New 2022 Rulebook Revision Process

Rule-Revision-header

The improved 2022 Rulebook Revision process has begun.  We do not expect the 2022 Rulebook to have the extent of change seen in 2021.  The window for public input into suggested rulebook revisions is open in accordance with the overall process described below.

 

What follows is significantly different than last year.  Changes were made in response to USA Pickleball member comments and after benchmarking other sport Rulebook processes.  We trust that you will see greater transparency, public input and comment opportunities in what follows below. Ambassadors are welcome to share the process below with fellow USA Pickleball members.

 

Any USA Pickleball member wishing to suggest a modification to the 2022 Rulebook is welcome to submit changes by email to USA Pickleball Rules Submission Coordinator, Bob Swisshelm at bswisshelm@usapickleball.org

 

Submissions should include the following information:

  • Name
  • USA Pickleball membership number
  • How the revised rule should be reworded, in your own words. If you are suggesting a new rule, then write it in your own words.
  • Why you think the rule should be changed. This is perhaps the most important part of the submission.  See the 2021 Change Document for how to write a ‘reason’ statement.

 

Submissions that say, “This rule is terrible” or something similar aren’t particularly helpful to one’s cause and it’s likely they won’t get serious consideration.

 

What follows is the overall process, designed to result in the 2022 Rulebook being effective on January 1, 2022.

 

 

Background and Purpose:  The process outlined below will be used for the 2022 Rulebook revision.  The process addresses the need for improved transparency and greater opportunities for player input and comment.  In addition, it formalizes the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) involvement in rule creation and approval.

 

The steps below are designed to result in an effective date of January 1, 2022 for the new Rulebook and Change Document.

 

  1. Public Input Opportunity. The window for public input for potential Rulebook changes is now open and will end on June 10. Each idea submitted will have a tracking number assigned that will not change throughout the process so interested parties can follow or track a particular idea through the process.

 

  1. Public Comment Opportunity. Rulebook submissions will be listed (without attribution) on the USA Pickleball website for public comment.  If desired, the IFP President may elect to do the same with the IFP website.  The ideas will be posted no later than June 15.  This will open up a two-week public comment period.

 

  1. Public Review Opportunity. On or before June 30, the USA Pickleball Rules Submission Coordinator will transmit the list of ideas and all public comments collected to the IFP Rules Committee Co-Chairmen. The IFP Rules Committee Co-Chairmen will add any comments collected from the IFP website public comment period.  The complete list will be posted on the USA Pickleball website. If desired, the IFP President may elect to do the same with the IFP website.

 

  1. The IFP Rules Committee, under the leadership of the IFP Rules Committee Co-Chairmen, and with the advice and counsel of the USA Pickleball Rules Committee Recording Secretary (if needed), will consider each of the ideas on their merits by voting. Each IFP Committee member will vote independently of one another.  The vote will be on a 1-10 scale with 10 the highest score, meaning the person voting thinks that idea should be adopted without reservation. There is no relative ranking among the ideas.  After voting, the IFP Rules Committee members will have an opportunity to discuss their votes with other members of the IFP Rules Committee in one or more conference calls arranged by the IFP Rules Committee Co-Chairmen.  The need for the conference call(s) is at the discretion of the IFP Rules Committee Co-Chairmen.  All rule ideas with a combined average score of 5 or more is considered IFP Rules Committee-approved.

 

  1. The IFP Rules Committee will complete their deliberations and voting by August 15.

 

  1. Transparency of Results. The results of the IFP Rules Committee voting and the status of all Rule ideas submitted to the IFP Rules Committee is planned to be shared on the USA Pickleball website no later than August 20. If desired, the IFP President may elect to do the same with the IFP website.

 

  1. The Rules Revision Committee begins writing rules for those ideas with an IFP Rules Committee combined average voting score of 5 or more.

 

Note: Some ideas are submitted already written in ‘rules language’.  Those typically don’t require much work.  Most submissions, however, require significant attention to get them in the required format and ‘rules language’.

 

  1. Each rule idea with a combined average voting score of 5 or more will also be entered into the Change Document. The Change Document will include the reason for each rule change idea.

 

Note that at this point every rule idea has been subject to either public input and/or comment.

 

  1. Transparency of Results. The Rules Revision Committee finishes rule writing and the Change Document by September 15. Once finished, all the written IFP Rules Committee-approved rules (with corresponding tracking number), all the rule change ideas with less than a combined score of 5, and the Change Document are forwarded to the USA Pickleball Rules Committee and posted on the USA Pickleball webpage.

 

  1. Transparency of Results. The USA Pickleball Rules Committee meets to vote on each IFP Rules Committee-approved rule. Each rule is voted on separately in the meeting.  A rule is approved by a simple majority of the 5 members.  The vote is recorded.  After the meeting, the voting results will be posted on the USA Pickleball website.

 

  1. Transparency of Results. All the written IFP Rules Committee-approved rules (with corresponding tracking number), the rule change ideas with less than a combined score of 5, the Change Document and the results of the USA Pickleball Rules Committee voting are forwarded to the USA Board of Directors for final approval. The USA Pickleball Board of Director voting results will be posted on the USA Pickleball website.

 

  1. Public Comment Opportunity/Transparency of Results. The Rulebook is proofed and published to the USA Pickleball website by December 1. That action starts a 30-day clock where the public can comment on any obvious errors in the draft.  This public comment period normally ‘finds’ a small number of errors of omission and it allows players time to get familiar with the changes before the official effective date. The USA Pickleball Rules Committee Chairman can approve changes needed to correct errors that don’t change the intent of the rule.  Any changes needed that change the intent of a rule must be approved by the USA Pickleball Rules Committee and Board.  The outcome of any such voting will be posted to the USA Pickleball website.
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