At its May 2013 meeting, the USAR’s Board of Directors approved four rule changes that went into effect on September 1, 2013.
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.
- Rule 3.1 – Serve
In all USAR sanctioned competition (except as noted in Rule 5), 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 5 – One Serve (U.S. Team Divisions at National Singles and Doubles Only)
The USAR’s standard rules will be followed for all play except for the U.S. National Team Qualifying divisions played at U.S. National Singles and Doubles where only one serve is allowed. Therefore, any fault serve is an out serve, with a few exceptions (Screen, Serving before the Receiver is Ready, hitting partner in doubles (once))
2. Players must wear shoes and cannot play in socks only or in bare feet.
- Rule 2.5(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 be worn as designed and have soles, which do not mark or damage the floor. Players may not play in socks only or in bare feet.
3. Electronic audio devices cannot be worn during play unless they are needed to amplify one’s hearing ability.
- Rule 2.5(c) – Audio Devices. Players may not wear audio devices during play unless they are needed to amplify one’s hearing.
4. Unintentional “carries” during the rally are allowed and are no longer called.
- Rule 3.13 (Rallies)
(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 intentionally carried. (A carried ball — one that rests on the racquet slightly longer than a true “hit” — is allowed if not done intentionally.)