MLP Game Play Updates Ahead of MLP Washington D.C.

Major League Pickleball today shared updates to game play ahead of MLP Washington D.C., with the 2024 MLPlay Rules Guide available here.

Winning on serve: MLP is making a small modification to match scoring, beginning with MLP Washington must now be won on serve. Winning point thresholds will stay the same as they were for MLP Atlanta, with regulation games played to 25 points and DreamBreakers played to 21. Games must be won by at least two points.

Repercussions for late court arrival: MLP is instituting consequences for late court arrivals, which have been updated in section 2 on page 4 of the MLPlay Rules Guide.

Clarifying the service rule: The 2024 MLP service rule debuted at MLP Atlanta and will remain the same for MLP Washington D.C. The MLP service rule allows the server to make contact with the ball at any height on their body, as long as their arm has an upward arc at the time of contact and the paddle head is not above the wrist joint at time of contact.

The league had previously followed USAP rule 4.A.7.c. (Contact with the ball must not be made above the waist) when assessing service faults, but found it to be a very subjective call for the referee to try and determine the precise level of a player’s waist. This change was made in an effort to remove the subjectivity from service faults. 

The 2024 MLP service rule is different from the current PPA service rule, which requires pro players to release the ball below the top of the hip.

The current rule language is noted in the Service Faults section on page 5 of the MLPlay Rules Guide.

*article is courtesy of Major League Pickleball