IFP Rulebook Update: April 2015




Adrienne Barlow, USAPA Para-Pickleball Ambassador – email

For more information about para-pickleball, click the Rock N Roll Pickleball logo:

2016 Valor Games Far West Demo & Clinic:  Click Here to view a video.


What is Para-Pickleball?

Para-Pickleball is pickleball using a classification system versus a skill rating. A classification system is used versus a skill rating to categorize impairment levels specific for those wishing to compete with a variety of physical impairments. Although the sport of pickleball is already accommodating to many, para-pickleball was created to form meaningful-competitive opportunities for a variety of permanent-physical impairments including physical disabilities accommodated with wheelchairs, power chairs and crutches. Ambulatory/standing athletes with a diagnosed physical disability or disabilities may also compete. Para-pickleball uses a classification approach similar to the International Paralympic Committee, thus pairing athletes in competition classes to compete with and against others of similar or like impairment levels. Some restrictions apply.


Volunteers Needed to Form Classification Committee:

If you are an M.D., Physical Therapist or other physical medicine specialist, we are forming a classification committee for para-pickleball. If you are interested in serving on this committee and have experience in any of the above listed specialties, please send your CV and other qualifications to USAPA Para-Pickleball at email.



The USAPA Board collaborated with a committee comprised of selected individuals, both “Standing Players” and “Wheelchair Players” to develop rules specific to wheelchair pickleball. The following rules have been finalized and have been added as “Section 16 – Wheelchair Pickleball” to the IFP Pickleball Rule Book.




  1. A. Basic Play


The wheelchair is considered part of the player’s body and all applicable rules that apply to a player’s body will apply to the wheelchair except in non-volley zone as listed below.

All applicable rules which apply to standing players apply to those in a wheelchair except as listed below.


  1. B. Two Bounce Rule 


The wheelchair pickleball player is allowed two bounces of the ball on his or her side of the net. The

second bounce can be anywhere inside or outside of the court boundaries.


  1. C. Service 


  1. C.1. Server shall be in stationary position, and then allowed one push before striking ball.


  1. C.2. At the time the server strikes the ball, the server shall not touch with any wheel: any baselines,

sidelines, center lines or the extended center or sidelines.


  1. D. Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) (two bounce rule applies)


  1. D.1. When a wheelchair player strikes a ball in the NVZ, on a volley, it is a fault only

if the larger-rear wheels contact NVZ.


  1. D.2. Upon exiting the NVZ, after striking a bounced ball, the player’s larger-rear wheels must return

to outside the NVZ boundaries (so no rear wheel contact is made in the NVZ) before hitting a

volley, or it is a fault.


  1. E. Wheelchair/Standing Pickleball


  1. E.1. When a wheelchair pickleball player is playing with or against a standing person in singles or

doubles, the rules of pickleball for standing players shall apply to all standing players

while the wheelchair pickleball rules shall apply to all wheelchair players.


  1. F. Singles Wheelchair Pickleball


  1. F.1. Singles play with one or both players in a wheelchair shall be played on half court. The server

and the receiver shall serve, receive and play the entire point from their respective service and

receiving court.


Click here to view and download a complete copy of the IFP Rule Book.


In accordance with the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act, the USAPA will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities.

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