Pickleball Equipment Rules
When preparing to play a game of pickleball, one must make sure that all their equipment is up to the regulations made by the International Federation of Pickleball and USA Pickleball. Although it may seem simple, the rules are very specific, from the dimensions of the paddle to if there is a crack in the ball. So what are the equipment rules for pickleball?
The material of a paddle has to be rigid enough to be approved by both USA Pickleball and the International Federation of Pickleball. Currently, most paddles today are made up of aluminum and graphite. Both of these materials allow for the paddle to be light enough for players to use easily. In terms of rules on how heavy the paddle is, there is no restriction, so players can have as light or as heavy a paddle as they want as long as the material follows the rules. The paddle itself must have a designated model where the brand is clearly seen via decal.
In regard to the size of a paddle, the whole size of the paddle must not go beyond 24 inches. This includes if the player has any edge guards or butt caps on their paddles. The length for the paddle specifically must not go beyond 17 inches. It is up to a player’s discretion how thick their paddle is. If you want to make alterations to your paddle, there are even more rules to ensure players do not try to get a leg up on the competition.
Paddle Alterations and Features
If a player wants to make alterations to a paddle, the only alterations a player can make are adding guard tape, lead tape, decals, or identification markings. Also, players can change their grip size or grip wrap. To specify even further, a player can’t have decals or tape that go farther than one inch above the grip, 0.5 inches inside the outer edge of the paddle, or 0.5 inches inside if the player has an edge guard on their paddle. Any markings that are done by hand cannot impact the surface's roughness and must not contain anything inappropriate.
Players are prohibited from adding any paint that is textured. This is because it could cause additional spin to the ball when hit. You cannot add anything containing rubber. It cannot have any sandpaper-like characteristics. It cannot have any moving or removing parts that can change how the ball is hit. The player is also prohibited from using more than one paddle at once while playing since it would lead to them having a severe advantage over their opponent.
The rules are most simple when it comes to the ball. For the ball, The size must be between a diameter of 2.87 and 2.97 inches and weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces. The material of the ball must be durable and smooth. The color must be uniform, with the exception of an identification marking.
If a ball is broken or cracked, it is up to the referee, or if there is no referee, then the players to decide whether to replace it or to keep it in play. If the ball is cracked during play, this can also decide whether the point awarded during that play is awarded or replayed because the crack impacted the outcome of the play.