Official Rules of Spec Tennis
1) Play is on a 44 x 20 foot asphalt court (commonly known as a pickleball court).
2) The net is 34 inches high at center and 36 inches high at sidelines.
3) The four serving boxes are 10 x 15 feet and begin at the baselines and end 7 feet from the net.
4)The same court is used for singles and doubles.
1) Play is with an approved Spec Tennis paddle.
(There is an 18-month transition period in effect for players who have been using platform tennis paddles. They must switch to an approved paddle by June 1st, 2021.)
2) For a paddle to be approved, it must have 1/2 inch holes, can be up to 18 inches long, up to 10.5 inches wide, and up to 0.75 inches thick. (SpadeSports.com makes approved paddles.)
3) The official ball for tournament play is the Wilson US Open orange dot tennis ball.
1) Games are played to 4 points. At 3 points-all, the next point wins.
2) Sets are played to 4 games. At 3 games-all, the next game wins.
3) Tournament singles and doubles matches are 3 out of 5 sets.
4) Recommended recreational play for singles and doubles is 2 out of 3 sets.
5) Points are won and lost as in tennis, with the exception of the serve where a single fault results in loss of point.
1) Players get one serve.
2) Server must contact the ball at belt height or below (an underhand serve). Server can strike the ball with or without bouncing it first.
3) In tournament play, server must have both feet behind the baseline and one foot on a designated mark 4 feet behind the intersection of the baseline and sideline while contacting the ball.
4) In recreational play, server must have both feet behind the baseline and one foot in line with the sideline while contacting the ball.
5) Serve must land in the opposite diagonal box. Lines are in play. Serves that hit the net (lets) are in play.
1) To begin a singles or doubles match, players spin the racquet. Winner(s) can either choose to serve first or choose to let the opponent(s) serve first. The non-server(s) chooses which side of the court to begin on.
2) The serving procedure is similar to tennis. In singles, the server begins in the deuce court and serves the entire game, alternating between the deuce and the ad court. The opponent serves the next game. In doubles, players alternate in order: Team A, player 1; Team B, player 1; Team A, player 2; Team B, player 2.
3) The service returner must let the serve bounce before hitting it.
4) Players change sides after each set only.
5) When a new set begins, the existing order of service continues unchanged.
OTHER RULES OF PLAY
1) Players can serve-and-volley in both singles and doubles. The server (or serving team) is not obligated to let the service return bounce on his (their) side of the court.
2) The pickleball restraint line, 7 feet from the net, does not apply to Spec Tennis. Players in both singles and doubles can volley the ball (out of the air) from any position on the court.
3) Players are allowed a 30-second standing water break after each game, and a 3-minute seated break after each set.
4) Players cannot play rebounds off the back or side fences. If a ball hits a fence or other perimeter barrier, the point is over.
5) If during play an errant ball from another court comes onto the court, the point stops and is replayed as a Let.
6) If during play a player is impeded or potentially impeded by a player on an adjacent court, the point stops and is replayed as a Let.
7) No Lets are awarded based on a player being impeded by a fence or other perimeter barrier. Players are responsible for being cognizant of out-of-bounds distances, which can vary by court.
8) A player touching the net, or the opponent's court, during play, including with his paddle, results in the loss of point.
9) Players may follow through over the net, but may not contact the ball on the opponent's side of the net. The one exception is: If the wind or spin brings the opponent's shot back over the net, the player can strike the ball on the opponent's side of the net if it hasn't bounced twice.
10) The USSPTA code of conduct is in effect during match play. Match officials and/or tournament directors have the authority to warn, penalize and default offending players.