No More Spin Serve
The PPA Tour has no problem playing by their own rules. When a new let serve rule was introduced by USA Pickleball this year, the PPA Tour decided to maintain the status quo and continue to replay let serves.
Now that new serve rules have been introduced outlawing the chainsaw serve, the PPA decided to go their own way again. Instead of adopting the one-handed spin toss rules, they have decided to eliminate any pre-serve manipulation of the ball. Below is the official language released by the PPA.
The server shall not impart manipulation or spin on the release of the ball immediately prior to the serve. The release of the ball to perform the serve shall be visible to the referee. If the referee determines that manipulation or spin has been imparted, or the release of the ball is not visible, the referee shall call for a reserve.
This means the pros playing in a PPA event next year won’t have to worry about getting aced on center court. It also means all that one-handed spin toss practice might be going to waste. For professional pickleball, it changes the game in a couple of ways.
First, the serve will go back to being a more neutral start to each point. Servers won’t have as much opportunity to gain an advantage on their serve. This gives the advantage back to the returning player or team, who have the 2-bounce rule working in their favor. It will likely lead to longer points and longer matches by reducing the number of aces and third-shot winners.
Second, players will have another differentiation between the PPA Tour and other professional events. If they prefer to play without the spin serve, then the PPA will be an even more attractive option. A couple of pros like Tyson McGuffin and Dekel Bar never adopted the spin serve and have to be happy to see it removed from play.
The Freestyle Boys, Ben Johns and Rob Nunnery, have hinted that a change in this direction would ultimately be how the pickleball serve is regulated. While we don’t know if they had any influence on the decision, we know a couple of other podcasts hosts that will be pretty pumped if they never have to face a spin serve again.
This serve rule only applies at the pro level in PPA events. The amateur levels will still be able to use the one-handed spin serve.
Outside the PPA Tour
Outside of the PPA, the new USA Pickleball one-handed toss rules are in effect as of January 1, 2022. Players may impart spin on their toss but only using the non-paddle hand. If you need help mastering this serve, check out Shea Underwood’s explanation here.
Don’t worry about trying to explain all of this to your pickleball friends and the know-it-all at your courts. Just tell them to follow the dink and subscribe to the newsletter for all the latest pickleball news and events.
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