IFP Official Rules


USAPA/IFP Pickleball Rules

The original USAPA organization published the first pickleball rulebook in March, 1984.  When the USAPA re-established and re-incorporated in 2005, the book was reviewed and amended to resemble the rules used today.  Shortly after its formation in 2010, the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) adopted the USAPA rulebook, with permission from USAPA.

This was an important step for international growth as the adoption of a singular rulebook ensures consistency in game play and regulations wherever pickleball is played.  The full IFP member and affiliate member organizations representing their respective countries have all agreed to observe the “USAPA/IFP Official Tournament Rulebook” within their respective countries.



USAPA/IFP Rulebook

As with all IFP member countries, USAPA follows the rules adopted by the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP). As of Feb. 1, 2019 the 209 Edition is now available for download Click Here or on the 2019 cover below. The 2019 rulebook will go into effect on Feb. 15, 2019.  The purpose for the delay is to give tournament directors, referees and players an opportunity to review and familiarize themselves with the updates.  In addition the NCREC (USAPA Referee Committee) is currently updating five online resources for referees to reflect the changes. These include:

  • Casebook for Referees
  • Referee Handbook
  • Referee Trainer Guide
  • Referee Training PowerPoint
  • Line Judge Guide

On Feb. 15, the 2018 rulebook will be removed from this page. To ensure consistency, 2019 tournaments that begin play before Feb. 15 should play the entirety of their tournament using the 2018 rulebook.  If the tournament begins on Feb. 15 or thereafter, the 2019 rulebook must be used. For a copy of the 2018 Rulebook Click Here (or on the book cover below).


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2019 Rule Revisions

To aid in recognizing and understanding the rule changes, we are providing the 2019 Rulebook Revisions document. This document is not intended to cover every wording change, but is designed to guide you through the significant rule changes. Click here to view.


Purchase a Hard Copy

A durable spiral-bound copy of the 2018 USAPA/IFP Rulebook is now available for purchase at the USAPA Retail Store! (Click here).  The 2019 Rulebook is currently being printed and will be available in the USAPA Retail Store very soon.

Pickleball Rules Summary

Looking for a basic overview of the rules?  Click Here to see our page of abbreviated rules.  You can watch a  short ‘pickleball rules’ video on this page as well.

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