Have you ever noticed that the pickleball is cracked or broken during a rally? If this has happened to you, Rule 11.E of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball provides that the players on the pickleball court should continue play until the end of the rally. After the rally has ended, and before the next serve, any player on the pickleball court may appeal the rally to the referee (or the opposing player(s)) to determine if the pickleball is in fact broken or cracked. Upon appeal:
- If the pickleball is broken or cracked and there is a referee, then the referee will determine whether the broken or cracked pickleball affected the outcome of the rally. If so, then the rally will be replayed with a new pickleball. If not, then the rally will stand, and the referee will give the players a new pickleball.
- If the pickleball is broken or cracked and there is no referee, then the players on both sides of the pickleball net must agree to replay the rally; if there is a disagreement, then the rally will stand.
- If the pickleball is not broken or cracked, then the rally will stand and the players will continue play.
One key takeaway based on this Rule 11.E is that, if you suspect a broken or cracked pickleball, focus on your play and finish the rally to the best of your ability. Then, consider whether to appeal to the referee or opposing pickleball player(s).
Do you follow Rule 11.E when you suspect a broken or cracked pickleball during play? Share with us in the comments below!