Amending the Rules

Many players over the past couple years have asked when USA Racquetball would reinstate the 2-serve rule to coincide with the IRT. Short answer – the rule was amended on September 1, 2013. This begs the question as to how USA Racquetball makes the decision to amend the rules. The answer is found in Section E of the official rules which governs the procedures for rule changes:

  1. Rule change proposals must be submitted in writing to the USAR National Office by June 1st.
  2. The USAR Board of Directors will review all proposals at its Fall board meeting and determine which will be considered.
  3. Selected proposals will appear in RACQUETBALL Magazine — the official USAR publication — as soon as possible after the Fall board meeting for comment by the general membership.
  4. After reviewing membership input and there commendations of the National Rules Committee and National Rules Commissioner, the proposals are discussed and voted upon at the annual Board of Directors meeting in May.
  5. Changes approved in May become effective on September 1st. Exception: changes in racquet specifications become effective 2 years later on September 1st.
  6. Proposed rules that are considered for adoption in one year, but are not approved by the Board of Directors in May of that year, will not be considered for adoption the following year.

The steps outlined above detail the procedure for amending the rules. We encourage all players to take an active voice in proposing and/or commenting on the rules. USA Racquetball identified seven proposals to include on the 2013 ballot – four were adopted, and three were not. Included in the three rejected proposals was a clarification on the required shots for balls rebounding to the center of the court. This has been a long contested issue that begs for clarification and will go without answer for at least one more year. The other rejected proposals include discontinuing stoppage for identified court hinders and clarifying that comments or noises by the defensive player(s) are not permitted.

Effective September 1, 2013, USA Racquetball has amended the following rules:

  1. In USAR-sanctioned events throughout the nation, all divisions (including the “Open” divisions) will play the two-serve game –except for the U.S. National Team Qualifying divisions at the U.S. National Doubles and the U.S. National Singles Championships. See Rules 3.1 and 5.
  2. Players must wear shoes and cannot play in socks only or in bare feet. See Rule 2.5(b).
  3. Electronic audio devices cannot be worn during play unless they are needed to amplify one’s hearing ability. See Rule 2.5(c).
  4. Unintentional “carries” during the rally are allowed and are no longer called. See Rule 3.13(b).

It is unclear as to how many players attempt to play without shoes – I haven’t run across this issue in the 27 years I’ve played. However, when this occurs, it is now clearly disallowed. It is probable that many of our players have questions about the rules that may require an amendment for clarification. The CRA would like to solicit your questions and or suggestions for proposals. Please send your questions or suggestions to Dave@coloradoracquetball.com.

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