Official Rules of Racquetball (effective Sept 1, 2004)
1 -- THE GAME
Rule 1.1 TYPES OF GAMES
Racquetball is played by two or four players. When played by two, it is called singles and when played by four, doubles. A non tournament variation of the game that is played by three players is called cut-throat. Rule 1.2 DESCRIPTION
Racquetball is a competitive game in which each player uses a strung racquet to serve and return the ball. Rule 1.3 OBJECTIVE
The objective is to win each rally by serving or returning the ball so the opponent is unable to keep the ball in play. A rally is over when a player (or team in doubles) is unable to hit the ball before it touches the floor twice, is unable to return the ball in such a manner that it touches the front wall before it touches the floor, or when a hinder is called.
Rule 1.4 POINTS AND OUTS
Points are scored only by the serving side when it serves an irretrievable serve (an ace) or wins a rally. Losing the serve is called a sideout in singles. In doubles, when the first server loses the serve, it is called a handout and when the second server loses the serve, it is a sideout.
Rule 1.5 MATCH, GAME, TIEBREAKER
A match is won by the first side winning two games. The first two games of a match are played to 15 points. If each side wins one game, a tiebreaker game is played to 11 points.
2 -- COURTS AND EQUIPMENT
Rule 2.1 COURT SPECIFICATIONS
The specifications for the standard four wall racquetball court are:
(a) Dimensions. The dimensions shall be 20 feet wide, 40 feet long and 20 feet high, with a back wall at least 12 feet high. All surfaces shall be in play, with the exception of any gallery opening, surfaces designated as out-of-play for a valid reason (such as being of a very different material or not in alignment with the backwall), and designated court hinders.
(b) Markings. Racquetball courts shall be marked with lines 1 1/2 inches wide as follows:
Short Line. The back edge of the short line is midway between, and is parallel with, the front and back walls.
Service Line. The front edge of the service line is parallel with, and five feet in front of, the back edge of the short line.
Service Zone. The service zone is the 5' x 20' area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the outer edges of the short line and the service line.
Service Boxes. The service boxes, used in doubles play, are located at each end of the service zone and are designated by lines parallel with the side walls [see 4.2(b)]. The edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be 18 inches from the nearest side wall.
Drive Serve Lines. The drive serve lines, which form the drive serve zones, are parallel with the side wall and are within the service zone. For each line, the edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be 3 feet from the nearest side wall.
Receiving Line. The receiving line is a broken line parallel to the short line. The back edge of the receiving line is five feet from the back edge of the short line. The receiving line begins with a line 21 inches long that extends from each side wall. These lines are connected by an alternate series of six inch spaces and six inch lines. This will result in a line composed of 17 six inch spaces, 16 six inch lines, and 2 twenty-one inch lines.
Safety Zone. The safety zone is the 5' x 20' area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the back edges of the short line and the receiving line. The zone is observed only during the serve. See Rules 3.10(i) and 3.11(a).
Rule 2.2 BALL SPECIFICATIONS
(a) The standard racquetball shall be 2 1/4 inches in diameter; weigh approximately 1.4 ounces; have a hardness of 55 60 inches durometer; and bounce 68 72 inches from a 100 inch drop at a temperature of 70 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
(b) Only a ball having the approval of the USAR may be used in a USAR sanctioned tournament.
Rule 2.3 BALL SELECTION
(a) A ball shall be selected by the referee for use in each match. During the match the referee may, based on personal discretion or at the request of a player or team, replace the ball. Balls that are not round or which bounce erratically shall not be used.
(b) If possible, the referee and players should agree to an alternate ball, so that in the event of breakage, the second ball can be put into play immediately.
Rule 2.4 RACQUET SPECIFICATIONS
(a) The racquet, including bumper guard and all solid parts of the handle, may not exceed 22 inches in length.
(b) The racquet frame may be any material judged safe.
(c) The racquet frame must include a cord that must be securely attached to the player's wrist. (d) The string of the racquet must be gut, monofilament, nylon, graphite, plastic, metal, or a combination thereof, and must not mark or deface the ball.
(e) Using an illegal racquet will result in forfeiture of the game in progress or, if discovered between games, forfeiture of the preceding game.
Rule 2.5 APPAREL
(a) All players must wear lensed eyewear that has been warranted by its manufacturer or distributor as designed for use in racquetball and
meeting or exceeding either the full ASTM F803 standard or Canadian (CSA) impact standard. This rule applies to all persons, including those who wear corrective lenses. The eyewear must be unaltered and worn as designed at all times. A player who fails to wear proper eyewear will be assessed a technical foul and a timeout to obtain proper eyewear [see rule 3.17(a)(9)]. A second infraction in the same match will result in immediate forfeiture of the match.
Certifications & Compliance. The USAR maintains a reference list of eyewear so warranted by their manufacturers, and provides that list to each sanctioned event (an eyewear list dated more than 90 days prior to the first day of the tournament will be deemed invalid for the purpose of determining compliance with this eyewear rule). In addition, the list is available online at the USAR.org website (indexed under “eyeguards”), and individual copies may be requested by calling the USAR National Office at (719) 635-
To be used in sanctioned competition, protective eyewear must:
; bear a permanent, physical stamp of the appropriate “ASTM-F803” citation on the frame itself,
; appear on the ASTM reference listing, OR
; bear the “Protective Eyewear Certification Council” [PECC] seal of approval for the ASTM
; be certified in writing by the maker that it complies with the required ASTM standard (in this
instance, the player must be able to provide written, adequate proof - on demand - at any
sanctioned event, before such eyewear may be used).
(b) Clothing and Shoes. The clothing may be of any color; however, a player may be required to change wet, extremely loose fitting, or otherwise distracting garments. Insignias and writing on the clothing must be considered to be in good taste by the tournament director. Shoes must have soles, which do not mark or damage the floor.
(c) Equipment Requirements During Warm up. Proper eyeguards [see 2.5(a)] must be worn and wrist cords must be used during any on court warm up period. The referee should give a technical warning to any person who fails to comply and assess a technical foul if that player continues to not comply after receiving such a warning.
3 -- PLAY REGULATIONS
Rule 3.1 SERVE
In Open Division competition, the server will have one opportunity to put the ball into play [see section 5.0, for complete, one-serve modifications]. In all other divisions, the server will have two opportunities to put the ball into play.
The player or team winning the coin toss has the option to either serve or receive at the start of the first game. The second game will begin in reverse order of the first game. The player or team scoring the highest total of points in games 1 and 2 will have the option to serve or receive first at the start of the tiebreaker. If both players or teams score an equal number of points in the first two games, another coin toss will take place and the winner of the toss will have the option to serve or receive.
Rule 3.2 START
The server may not start the service motion until the referee has called the score or "second serve." The referee shall call the score as both server and receiver prepare to return to their respective positions, shortly
after the previous rally has ended--even if the players are not ready. The serve is started from any place within the service zone. (Certain drive serves are an exception. See Rule 3.6.) Neither the ball nor any part of either foot may extend beyond either line of the service zone when initiating the service motion. Stepping on, but not beyond, the lines is permitted. However, when completing the service motion, the server may step beyond the service (front) line provided that some part of both feet remain on or inside the line until the served ball passes the short line. The server may not step beyond the short line until the ball passes the short line. See Rule 3.9(a) and 3.10(i) for penalties for violations.
Rule 3.3 MANNER
After taking a set position inside the service zone, a player may begin the service motion--any continuous movement that results in the ball being served. Once the service motion begins, when the ball leaves the hand, it must next bounce on the floor in the zone and then, without touching anything else, be struck by the racquet before it bounces on the floor a second time. After being struck, the ball must hit the front wall first and on the rebound hit the floor beyond the back edge of the short line, either with or without touching one of the side walls.
Rule 3.4 READINESS
The service motion shall not begin until the referee has called the score or “second serve” and the server has visually checked the receiver’s readiness.
Rule 3.5 DELAYS
Except as noted in Rule 3.5 (b), the referee may call a technical foul for delays exceeding 10 seconds. (a) The 10-second rule applies to the server and receiver simultaneously. Concurrently, they are allowed up to 10 seconds after the score is called to serve or be ready to receive. It is the server's responsibility to look and be certain the receiver is ready. If a receiver is not ready, they must signal by raising the racquet above the head or completely turning the back to the server. (These are the only two acceptable signals.) (b) Serving while the receiving player/team is signaling “not ready” is a fault serve.
(c) After the score is called, if the server looks at the receiver and the receiver is not signaling “not ready”, the server may then serve. If the receiver attempts to signal “not ready” after that point, the signal shall not
be acknowledged and the serve becomes legal.
Rule 3.6 DRIVE SERVICE ZONES
There is a drive serve line 3 feet from each side wall in the service zone. Viewed one at a time, each drive serve line divides the service zone into a 3 foot and a 17 foot section. The player may drive serve between the body and the side wall nearest to where the service motion began only if the player (as well as the racquet and the ball) starts and remains outside of that 3 foot drive service zone throughout. If the service motion begins in one 3 foot drive service zone and continues into the other 3 foot drive serve zone, the player may not hit a drive serve at all.
(a) The drive serve zones are not observed for cross-court drive serves, the hard Z, soft Z, lob or half lob serves.
(b) The 3-foot line is part of the 3-foot zone and defines a plane that, if broken, is an infraction. (see Rule 3.9g)
Rule 3.7 DEFECTIVE SERVES
Defective serves are of three types resulting in penalties as follows:
(a) Dead Ball Serve. A dead ball serve results in no penalty and the server is given another serve (without canceling a prior fault serve).
(b) Fault Serve. Two fault serves result in an out (either a sideout or a handout).
(c) Out Serve. An out serve results in an out (either a sideout or a handout).
Rule 3.8 DEAD BALL SERVES
Dead ball serves do not cancel any previous fault serve. The following are dead-ball serves: (a) Court Hinders. A serve that takes an irregular bounce because it hit a wet spot or an irregular surface on the court is a dead ball serve. In addition, any serve that hits any surface designated by local rules as an obstruction rather than being out-of-play.
(b) Broken Ball. If the ball is determined to have broken on the serve, a new ball shall be substituted and the serve shall be replayed, not canceling any prior fault serve.
Rule 3.9 FAULT SERVES
The following serves are faults and any two in succession result in an out:
(a) Foot Faults. A foot fault results when:
1. At the start of or during the service motion, any part of the server (or doubles partner), including the racquet, touches the floor outside of the service zone.
2. At the end of the serve, the server steps with either foot on the floor beyond the service line (with no part of the foot on the line or inside the service zone) before the served ball crosses the short line. (b) Short Service. A short serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and, on the rebound, hits the floor on or in front of the short line either with or without touching a side wall.
(c) Three-Wall Serve. A three wall serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and, on the rebound, strikes both side walls before touching the floor.
(d) Ceiling Serve. A ceiling serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and then touches the ceiling (with or without touching a side wall).
(e) Long Serve. A long serve is a served ball that first hits the front wall and rebounds to the back wall before touching the floor (with or without touching a side wall).
(f) Bouncing Ball Outside Service Zone. Bouncing the ball outside the service zone, including the ball touching a side wall, as a part of the service motion is a fault serve.
(g) Illegal Drive Serve. A drive serve in which the player fails to observe the 17 foot drive service zone outlined in Rule 3.6.
(h) Screen Serve. A served ball that first hits the front wall and on the rebound passes so closely to the server, or server's partner in doubles, that it prevents the receiver from having a clear view of the ball. (The receiver is obligated to take up good court position, near center court, to obtain that view.) (i) In one serve play, if a serve is called a screen, the server will be allowed one more opportunity to hit a legal serve. Two consecutive screen serves results in an out.
(j) Serving before the Receiver is Ready. A serve is made while the receiver is not ready as described in Rule 3.5(b).
Rule 3.10 OUT SERVES
Any of the following results in an out:
(a) Two Consecutive Fault Serves [see Rule 3.9], or a single fault serve in one serve play [see exceptions: 5.0].
(b) Missed Serve Attempt. Any attempt to strike the ball that results in a total miss or in the ball touching any part of the server's body, including the foot. Also, allowing the ball to bounce more than once during the service motion.
(c) Touched Serve. Any served ball that on the rebound from the front wall touches the server or server's racquet before touching the floor, or any ball intentionally stopped or caught by the server or server's partner.
(d) Fake or Balk Serve. Any movement of the racquet toward the ball during the serve that is non-continuous and done for the purpose of deceiving the receiver. If a balk serve occurs, but the referee believes that no deceit was involved, the option of declaring "no serve" and having the serve replayed without penalty can be exercised.
(e) Illegal Hit. An illegal hit includes contacting the ball twice, carrying the ball, or hitting the ball with the handle of the racquet or part of the body or uniform.
(f) Non Front Wall Serve. Any served ball that does not strike the front wall first.
(g) Crotch Serve. Any served ball that hits the crotch of the front wall and floor, front wall and side wall, or front wall and ceiling is an out serve (because it did not hit the front wall first). A serve into the crotch of the back wall and floor is a good serve and in play. A served ball that hits the crotch of the side wall and floor beyond the short line is in play.
(h) Out of Court Serve. An out of court serve is any served ball that first hits the front wall and, before striking the floor, either goes out of the court or hits a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared as out-of-play for a valid reason [See Rule 2.1(a)].
(i) Safety Zone Violation. An immediate loss of serve shall result if, after the serve has been struck, the server or doubles partner steps into the safety zone before the served ball passes the short line. Rule 3.11 RETURN OF SERVE
(a) Receiving Position
1. The receiver may not break the plane of the receiving line with the racquet or body until the ball either bounces in the safety zone or else crosses the receiving line.
2. The follow through may carry the receiver or the racquet past the receiving line, but neither may break the plane of the short line unless the ball is struck after rebounding off the back wall. 3. Any violation by the receiver results in a point for the server.
(b) Defective Serve. A player on the receiving side may not intentionally catch or touch a served ball (such as an apparently long or short serve) until the referee has made a call or the ball has touched the floor for a second time. Violation results in a point.
(c) Legal Return. After a legal serve, a player receiving the serve must strike the ball on the fly or after the first bounce, and before the ball touches the floor the second time; and return the ball to the front wall, either directly or after touching one or both side walls, the back wall or the ceiling, or any combination of those surfaces. A returned ball must touch the front wall before touching the floor.
(d) Failure to Return. The failure to return a serve results in a point for the server. (e) Other Provisions. Except as noted in this rule (3.11), the return of serve is subject to all provisions of Rules 3.13 through 3.15.
Rule 3.12 CHANGES OF SERVE
(a) Outs. A server is entitled to continue serving until one of the following occurs:
1. Out Serve. See Rule 3.10.
2. Two Consecutive Fault Serves [see Rule 3.9], or a single fault serve in one serve play [see exceptions: 5.0].
3. Failure to Return Ball. Player or team fails to keep the ball in play as required by Rule 3.11 (c). 4. Penalty Hinder. Player or team commits a penalty hinder which results in an out. See Rule 3.15. (b) Sideout. Retiring the server in singles is called a sideout.
(c) Effect of Sideout. When the server (or serving team) receives a sideout, the server becomes the receiver and the receiver becomes the server.
Rule 3.13 RALLIES
All of the play that occurs after the successful return of serve is called the rally. Play shall be conducted according to the following rules:
(a) Legal Hits. Only the head of the racquet may be used at any time to return the ball. The racquet may be held in one or both hands. Switching hands to hit a ball, touching the ball with any part of the body or uniform, or removing the wrist safety cord during a rally results in a loss of the rally. (b) One Touch. The player or team trying to return the ball may touch or strike the ball only once or else the rally is lost. The ball may not be carried. (A carried ball is one that rests on the racquet long enough that the effect is more of a sling or throw than a hit.)
(c) Failure to Return. Any of the following constitutes a failure to make a legal return during a rally: 1. The ball bounces on the floor more than once before being hit.
2. The ball does not reach the front wall on the fly.
3. The ball is hit such that it goes into the gallery or wall opening or else hits a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared as out-of-play [See Rule 2.1(a)].
4. A ball that obviously does not have the velocity or direction to hit the front wall strikes another player. 5. A ball struck by a player hits that player or that player's partner.
6. Committing a penalty hinder. See Rule 3.15.
7. Switching hands during a rally.
8. Failure to use a racquet wrist safety cord.
9. Touching the ball with the body or uniform.
10. Carrying or slinging the ball with the racquet.
(d) Effect of Failure to Return. Violations of Rules 3.13 (a) through (c) result in a loss of rally. If the serving player or team loses the rally, it is an out. If the receiver loses the rally, it results in a point for the server.
(e) Return Attempts. The ball remains in play until it touches the floor a second time, regardless of how many walls it makes contact with -- including the front wall. If a player swings at the ball and misses it, the player may continue to attempt to return the ball until it touches the floor for the second time. (f) Broken Ball. If there is any suspicion that a ball has broken during a rally, play shall continue until the end of the rally. The referee or any player may request the ball be examined. If the referee decides the ball is broken, the ball will be replaced and the rally replayed. The server resumes play at first serve. The only proper way to check for a broken ball is to squeeze it by hand. (Checking the ball by striking it with a racquet will not be considered a valid check and shall work to the disadvantage of the player or team that struck the ball after the rally.)
(g) Play Stoppage 1. If a foreign object enters the court, or any other outside interference occurs, the referee shall stop the play immediately and declare a replay hinder. 2. If a player loses any apparel, equipment, or
other article, the referee shall stop play immediately and declare a penalty hinder or replay hinder as described in Rule 3.15 (i).
(h) Replays. Whenever a rally is replayed for any reason, the server resumes play at first serve. A previous fault serve is not considered.
Rule 3.14 REPLAY HINDERS
A rally is replayed without penalty and the server resumes play at first serve whenever a replay hinder occurs. Also, see Rule 3.15 which describes conditions under which a penalty hinder might be declared and result in loss of the rally.
1. Court Hinders. The referee should stop play immediately whenever the ball hits any part of the court that was designated prior to the match as a court hinder (such as a vent grate). The referee should also stop play (i) when the ball takes an irregular bounce as a result of contacting an irregular surface (such as court light or vent) or after striking a wet spot on the floor or wall and (ii) when, in the referee's opinion, the irregular bounce affected the rally.
2. Ball Hits Opponent. When an opponent is hit by a return shot in flight, it is a replay hinder. If the opponent is struck by a ball that obviously did not have the velocity or direction to reach the front wall, it is not a hinder, and the player who hit the ball will lose the rally. A player who has been hit by the ball can stop play and make the call though the call must be made immediately and acknowledged by the referee. Note this interference may, under certain conditions, be declared a penalty hinder. See Rule 3.15. 3. Body Contact. If body contact occurs which the referee believes was sufficient to stop the rally, either for the purpose of preventing injury by further contact or because the contact prevented a player from being able to make a reasonable return, the referee shall call a hinder. Incidental body contact in which the offensive player clearly will have the advantage should not be called a hinder, unless the offensive player obviously stops play. Contact with the racquet on the follow through normally is not considered a hinder for either player.
4. Screen Ball. Any ball rebounding from the front wall so close to the body of the defensive player that it prevents the offensive player from having a clear view of the ball. (The referee should be careful not to make the screen call so quickly that it takes away a good offensive opportunity.) A ball that passes between the legs of a player who has just returned the ball is not automatically a screen. It depends on whether the other player is impaired as a result. Generally, the call should work to the advantage of the offensive player. 5. Backswing Hinder. Any body or racquet contact, on the backswing or on the way to or just prior to returning the ball, which impairs the hitter's ability to take a reasonable swing. This call can be made by the player attempting the return, though the call must be made immediately and is subject to the referee's approval. Note the interference may be considered a penalty hinder. See Rule 3.15.
6. Safety Holdup. Any player about to execute a return, who believes that striking the opponent with the ball or racquet is likely, may immediately stop play and request a replay hinder. This call must be made immediately and is subject to acceptance and approval of the referee. (The referee will grant a replay hinder if it is believed the holdup was reasonable and the player would have been able to return the shot. The referee may also call a penalty hinder if warranted.)
7. Other Interference. Any other unintentional interference that prevents an opponent from having a fair chance to see or return the ball. Example: When a ball from another court enters the court during a rally or when a referee's call on an adjacent court obviously distracts a player.
(b) Effect of Hinders. The referee's call of hinder stops play and voids any situation that follows, such as the ball hitting the player. The only hinders that may be called by a player are described in rules (2), (5), and (6) above, and all of these are subject to the approval of the referee. A replay hinder stops play and the rally is replayed. The server resumes play at first serve.
(c) Responsibility. While making an attempt to return the ball, a player is entitled to a fair chance to see and return the ball. It is the responsibility of the side that has just hit the ball to move so the receiving side may go straight to the ball and have an unobstructed view of and swing at the ball. However, the receiver is responsible for making a reasonable effort to move towards the ball and must have a reasonable chance to return the ball for any type of hinder to be called.
Rule 3.15 PENALTY HINDERS
A penalty hinder results in the loss of the rally. A penalty hinder does not necessarily have to be an intentional act. Replay hinders are described in Rule 3.14. Any of the following results in a penalty hinder: (a) Failure to Move. A player does not move sufficiently to allow an opponent a shot straight to the front wall as well as a cross court shot which is a shot directly to the front wall at an angle that would cause the
ball to rebound directly to the rear corner farthest from the player hitting the ball. In addition, when a player moves in such a direction that it prevents an opponent from taking either of these shots. (b) Stroke Interference. This occurs when a player moves, or fails to move, so that the opponent returning the ball does not have a free, unimpeded swing. This includes unintentionally moving in a direction that prevents the opponent from making a shot.
(c) Blocking. Moves into a position which blocks the opponent from getting to, or returning, the ball; or in doubles, the offensive player who is not returning the ball hinders or impedes either defensive players’ ability to move into a position to cover the pending shot.
(d) Moving into the Ball. Moves in the way and is struck by the ball just played by the opponent. (e) Pushing. Deliberately pushes or shoves opponent during a rally.
(f) Intentional Distractions. Deliberate shouting, stamping of feet, waving of racquet, or any other manner of disrupting one's opponent.
(g) View Obstruction. A player moves across an opponent's line of vision just before the opponent strikes the ball.
(h) Wetting the Ball. The players, particularly the server, should ensure that the ball is dry prior to the serve. Any wet ball that is not corrected prior to the serve shall result in a penalty hinder against the server. (i) Apparel or Equipment Loss. If a player loses any apparel, equipment, or other article, play shall be immediately stopped and that player shall be called for a penalty hinder, unless the player has just hit a shot that could not be retrieved. If the loss of equipment is caused by a player's opponent, then a replay hinder should be called. If the opponent's action is judged to have been avoidable, then the opponent should be called for a penalty hinder.
Rule 3.16 TIMEOUTS
(a) Rest Periods. Each player or team is entitled to three 30 second timeouts in games to 15 and two 30 second timeouts in games to 11. Timeouts may not be called by either side once the service motion has begun. Calling for a timeout when none remain or after the service motion has begun will result in the assessment of a technical foul for delay of game. If a player takes more than 30 seconds for a single timeout, the referee may automatically charge any remaining timeouts, as needed, for any extra time taken. Once all time allowed has expired, a delay of game technical foul can be assessed. A player who leaves the court should call a timeout or else advise the referee of the reason for leaving the court. If a player leaves the court without advising the referee, a timeout may be charged to that player. If none remain, the referee may assess a technical foul for delay of game; however, the referee may excuse a delay if the player’s reason for leaving was to correct a problem affecting the playability of the court, such as obtaining a towel to dry the court or disposing of some foreign material from the court.
(b) Injury. If a player is injured during the course of a match because of contact, such as with the ball, racquet, wall, floor, or another player, an injury timeout will be awarded. While a player may call more than one timeout for the same injury or for additional injuries that occur during the match, a player is not allowed more than a total of 15 minutes of rest for injury during the entire match. If the injured player is not able to resume play after total rest of 15 minutes, the match shall be awarded to the opponent. 1. Should any external bleeding occur, the referee must halt play as soon as the rally is over, charge an injury timeout to the person who is bleeding, and not allow the match to continue until the bleeding has stopped. 2. Muscle cramps and pulls, fatigue, and other ailments that are not caused by direct contact on the court will not be considered an injury. Injury time is also not allowed for pre-existing conditions. (c) Equipment Timeouts. Players are expected to keep all clothing and equipment in good, playable condition and are expected to use regular timeouts and time between games for adjustment and replacement of equipment. If a player or team is out of timeouts and the referee determines that an equipment change or adjustment is necessary for fair and safe continuation of the match, the referee may grant an equipment timeout not to exceed 2 minutes. The referee may allow additional time under unusual circumstances. (d) Between Games. The rest period between the first two games of a match is 2 minutes. If a tiebreaker is necessary, the rest period between the second and third game is 5 minutes. (e) Postponed Games. Any games postponed by referees shall be resumed with the same score as when postponed.
Rule 3.17 TECHNICAL FOULS AND WARNINGS
(a) Technical Fouls. The referee is empowered to deduct one point from a player's or team's score when, in the referee's sole judgment; the player is being overtly and deliberately abusive. If the player or team against whom the technical foul was assessed does not resume play immediately, the referee is empowered to forfeit the match in favor of the opponent. Some examples of actions that can result in technical fouls are: 1. Profanity.
2. Excessive arguing.
3. Threat of any nature to opponent or referee.
4. Excessive or hard striking of the ball between rallies.
5. Slamming of the racquet against walls or floor, slamming the door, or any action that might result in damage to the court or injury to other players.
6. Delay of game. Examples include
(i) taking too much time to dry the court,
(ii) excessive questioning of the referee about the rules,
(iii) exceeding the time allotted for timeouts or between games,
(iv) calling a timeout when none remain, or after the service motion begins, or
(v) taking more than ten seconds to serve or be ready to receive serve.
7. Intentional front line foot fault to negate a bad lob serve.
8. Anything the referee considers unsportsmanlike behavior.
9. Failure to wear lensed eyewear designed for racquet sports [See Rule 2.5(a)] is an automatic technical foul on the first infraction, plus a mandatory timeout (to acquire the proper eyewear) will be charged against the offending player. A second infraction by that player during the match will result in automatic forfeiture of the match.
(b) Technical Warnings. If a player's behavior is not so severe as to warrant a technical foul, a technical warning may be issued without the deduction of a point.
(c) Effect of Technical Foul or Warning. If a referee issues a technical foul, one point shall be removed from the offender's score. No point will be deducted if a referee issues a technical warning. In either case, a technical foul or warning should be accompanied by a brief explanation. Issuing a technical foul or warning has no effect on who will be serving when play resumes. If a technical foul occurs when the offender has no points or between games, the result will be that the offender's score becomes minus one ( 1). RULE MODIFICATIONS The following sections (4.0 through 11.0) detail the additional or modified rules that apply to variations of the singles game described in Sections 1 through 3.
4.0 -- DOUBLES
The USAR's rules for singles also apply in doubles with the following additions and modifications: Rule 4.1 DOUBLES TEAM
(a) A doubles team shall consist of two players who meet either the age requirements or player classification requirements to participate in a particular division of play. A team with different skill levels must play in the division of the player with the higher level of ability. When playing in an adult age division, the team must play in the division of the younger player. When playing in a junior age division, the team must play in the division of the older player.
(b) A change in playing partners may be made so long as the first match of the posted team has not begun. For this purpose only, the match will be considered started once the teams have been called to the court. The team must notify the tournament director of the change prior to the beginning of the match. Rule 4.2 SERVE IN DOUBLES
(a) Order of Serve. Before the match begins, each team shall inform the referee of their team’s order of
service, which shall be followed throughout the match. The order of serve may be changed between games, provided that the referee has been verbally notified before the first serve of the new game. At the beginning of each game, when the first server of the first team to serve is out, the team is out. Thereafter, both players on each team shall serve until the team receives a handout and a sideout.
(b) Partner's Position. On each serve, the server's partner shall stand erect with back to the side wall and with both feet on the floor within the service box from the moment the server begins the service motion until the served ball passes the short line. Violations are called foot faults. However, if the server's partner enters the safety zone before the ball passes the short line, the server loses service. (c) Changes of Serve. In doubles, the side is retired when both partners have lost service, except that the team that serves first at the beginning of each game loses the serve when the first server is retired. Rule 4.3 FAULT SERVE IN DOUBLES
(a) The server's partner is not in the service box with both feet on the floor and back to (but not necessarily against) the side wall from the time the server begins the service motion until the ball passes the short line. (b) A served ball that hits the doubles partner while in the doubles box results in a fault serve. (c) In one serve play, if a serve hits the non-serving partner while standing in the box, the server will be allowed one more opportunity to hit a legal serve. Hitting the non-serving partner twice results in an out.
(d) In one serve play, consecutive faults -- either (i) a screen serve followed by hitting the non-serving partner or (ii) hitting the non-serving partner followed by a screen serve -- results in an out. Rule 4.4 OUT SERVE IN DOUBLES
(a) Out of Order Serve. In doubles, when either partner serves out of order, the points scored by that server will be subtracted and an out serve will be called: if the second server serves out of order, the out serve will be applied to the first server and the second server will resume serving. If the player designated as the first server serves out of order, a sideout will be called. The referee should call "no serve" as soon as an out of order serve occurs. If no points are scored while the team is out of order, only the out penalty will have to assessed. However, if points are scored before the out of order condition is noticed and the referee cannot recall the number, the referee may enlist the aid of the line judges (but not the crowd) to recall the number of points to be deducted. (
b) Ball Hits Partner. A served ball that hits the doubles partner while outside the doubles box results in loss of serve.
Rule 4.5 RETURN IN DOUBLES
(a) The rally is lost if one player hits that same player's partner with an attempted return. (b) If one player swings at the ball and misses it, both partners may make further attempts to return the ball until it touches the floor the second time. Both partners on a side are entitled to return the ball.
5.0 -- ONE SERVE
The USAR's standard rules governing racquetball play will be followed, but only one serve is allowed. Therefore, any fault serve is an out serve, with a few exceptions [noted separately below, and within the text rules cited].
See Rule 3.9 FAULT SERVES
(i) In one serve play, if a serve is called a screen, the server will be allowed one more opportunity to hit a legal serve, except if the serve is also defective for some other reason, such as being long or short. Two consecutive screen serves results in an out.
See Rule 4.3 FAULT SERVES IN DOUBLES
[Serve hits partner]
(c) In one serve play, if a serve hits the non-serving partner while standing in the box, the server will be allowed one more opportunity to hit a legal serve. Hitting the non-serving partner twice, results in an out. [Consecutive faults]
(d) In one serve play, consecutive faults -- either (i) a screen serve followed by hitting the non-serving partner or (ii) hitting the non-serving partner followed by a screen serve -- results in an out.
6.0 -- MULTI-BOUNCE
In general, the USAR's standard rules governing racquetball play will be followed except for the modifications that follow.
Rule 6.1 BASIC RETURN RULE
In general, the ball remains in play as long as it is bouncing. However, the player may swing only once at the ball and the ball is considered dead at the point it stops bouncing and begins to roll. Also, anytime the ball rebounds off the back wall, it must be struck before it crosses the short line on the way to the front wall, except as explained in Rule 6.2.
Rule 6.2 BLAST RULE
If the ball caroms from the front wall to the back wall on the fly, the player may hit the ball from any place on the court--including past the short line--so long as the ball is still bouncing.
Rule 6.3 FRONT WALL LINES
Two parallel lines (tape may be used) should be placed across the front wall such that the bottom edge of one line is 3 feet above the floor and the bottom edge of the other line is 1 foot above the floor. During the rally, any ball that hits the front wall (i) below the 3 foot line and (ii) either on or above the 1 foot line must be returned before it bounces a third time. However, if the ball hits below the 1 foot line, it must be returned before it bounces twice. If the ball hits on or above the 3 foot line, the ball must be returned as described in the basic return rule.
Rule 6.4 GAMES AND MATCHES
All games are played to 11 points and the first side to win two games wins the match.