2021 USA Pickleball Rulebooks

Posted: 1/10/2021 | January 10, 2021

Here it is, as promised in my last blog post (Rule Changes), links to the 2021 Pickleball Rulebooks. Originally USA Pickleball was going to post these website links mid January but with so many players requesting the links, information and access, they quickly obliged.

The following information is copied from the USA Pickleball’s website:

2021 USA Pickleball / IFP Rulebook

This 2021 Rulebook is the one that will be used as a reference during tournaments. Remember these rules become effective January 25, 2021.

New: 2021 Alternate Rulebook

“This Alternate Rulebook, however, is an attempt to simplify how the rules are presented. The Alternate Rulebook can be used in any venue other than tournaments, without restriction. The Alternate Rulebook will enjoy the benefit of a one-year public comment period.”

If you are looking for more explanation you can further catch up on your reading (Okay, those are my words, not USA Pickleball, ha!):

2021 Rule Revisions

“To aid in recognizing and understanding the rule changes, we are providing rulebook revision documents. These documents are not intended to cover every wording change but are designed to guide you through the significant rule changes.”

More BREAKING NEWS comes from Pickleball Channel and it’s News Update:


7 comments on “2021 USA Pickleball Rulebooks”

  1. Hi Jennifer and players, For 2022 rules. Last year we were informed that ‘Let Serves’ would be changed and play would continue without calling a let as long as the serve that hits the net falls into the court of play. All of us that follow the APP Tour and PPA tour know that APP has continuous play and PPA has replays on ‘Let Serves’. I could not find a definitive rule in usapa.org. Rule 4.A.2 makes mention that the serve must land in the court of play when hitting the net, but no mention of the ‘Let Serve’ being called. Can local clubs / YMCA Program Directors make this decision for their facility? Thanks for replies.

  2. Hi Jennifer, Great matches at the Atlanta Open this past weekend. Hoping the usapa will consider making replay for Scoring ‘official’ when available. Am referring to the Women’s Dbl’s with Simone-Lucy vs Waters match game 5. Time out called by Simone and Lucy down 4-3. Ref clearly called 4-3-2 as they walked off the court. Verified by video replay.

  3. Sure, the new let ball rule speeds up the game, because most regular folks can’t get to the ball – so rally over before it starts. I tried out some super spin left to right drop serves from the left box this morning and won the point each time because it draws the receiver way out of position for a very difficult backhand return. That speeds up the game too – but not in a good way. Both of these rules were introduced to stop the 0.001% of players who cheat, not to speed up the game. I still say they are lousy rules.

  4. So the 2 big rules “issues” going into 2021 – drop serve and let serve are non issues as I predicted. IMO the let serve keeps games moving faster especially with temporary nets and the drop serve does not ad any level of difficulty in returns. The drop serve is easier to hit into the service return box so for that I like it for beginners. Glad I found this blog.

  5. I think the drop ball service is a terrible idea for us amateurs. Many mid-level players, including myself, are capable of putting so much spin on a drop serve that many opponents will not be able to make a decent return, if at all. So the rally will end before it starts. Since the rules of the game were designed to encourage rallies this rule is counter-productive and should be cancelled.

    Same goes for the no-let rule. Most amateurs will not be able to return a net serve and therefore the rally will end before it starts. Bad rule change.

    Hope this helps.

  6. Jen – Thanks so much for the pdf of the new rulebook. Our club officers are meeting tomorrow to determine which new rules need to be communicated to our club. Very timely.
    Ed Boes

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