Greetings from the Commissioner
Happy New Year and welcome to APPL season 2024! Matches start next week, so this newsletter is focused on preparing you for the season and clarifying some rules. Please note that player refunds have ended, but you can still add players to your roster through January 31. For our new Captains, I recommend you watch the video How to Start a Match , and bring the game day cheat sheet Game Day Best Practices with you for helpful reminders.
It’s also a good idea to print off the contact information for all of the Captains and Co-Captains in your flight (PickleballScores > Team Leagues > More > Captain Contact List) and stick that in your pickleball bag.

If you haven’t heard, we now have a source for team uniforms. You can find more details in this newsletter. We hope everyone’s first match goes off without a hitch! Read on for timely information toward that end. We wish APPL teams a Happy New Year and THE BEST in the season ahead!

Greg Mather

Team Roster Check

Did you validate your age and rating in Pickleballscores? Everyone should know the new rating rules and do a self-check before matches are played. If you are found to be out of compliance, your games will be forfeited. If you have questions about our rating rules for 2024, please refer to the APPL League Rules on the Player Resources page of the APPL website.

Know the Rules

Refresh your APPL and USAP rules knowledge!

Kicking off your Home Matches

How do you start a match?

Did You Know?

Weather related reschedule policy and Team Uniforms update…

Know the Rules

USA Pickleball (USAP) has released their new 2024 USAP Rulebook. For APPL matches, the APPL rules take precedence, but if a topic is not covered in the APPL rules, then the non-refereed USAP rules apply.

Two Rules Often Misunderstood

It may not be in your best interest to question, prior to the end of the rally, that the score or server/receiver are incorrect. You will lose the rally if you are wrong.

Wrong Score Called?

After the return of serve, a player who stops play to identify or ask for a score correction will have committed a fault and shall lose the rally.

A player who stops play at any time (including after the serve, but before the return) to identify or ask for a score correction, when the score was correctly called, will have committed a fault and shall lose the rally. If the wrong score is called, any player may stop play before the return of serve to correct the score. The rally shall be replayed with the correct score called. After the return of serve, play shall continue to the end of the rally and the score correction made before the next serve. (USA Pickleball Official Rulebook, Rule 4.K.)

Wrong Server? Receiver? Position?

A player may ask the opponent who is the correct server or receiver or ask if any player is in an incorrect position and the opponent shall respond with the appropriate information. If a player stops a rally and incorrectly identifies a player/position error, it is a fault on the player who stopped the rally.

If a player stops a rally in progress to correctly identify a player or position error, the rally shall be replayed. If a player/position error is identified after the rally has played out, the rally shall stand. (USA Pickleball Official Rulebook, Rule 4.B.8.11.)

Key Takeaways:

  • A “best practice” is to ask your questions about Player/Position/Score
    before the ball is served.
  • Once the server has served, it is better to play out the rally unless you are sure the Player or Position is incorrect.
  • When questioning the Score, do so before the return of serve OR complete the rally and make Score corrections before the next serve.

Other Faults?

  • Did someone call “ball” and stop the rally, but the ball never entered your court? The rule states that if any player calls “ball,” the ball is immediately dead and the rally is replayed, even if the ball did not come onto your court.
  • Any player in the game can call a foot fault on any other player. If the teams do not agree on the fault, then the point is replayed.

Sorry. Can’t. PICKLEBALL. Bye.

Kicking Off Your Home Matches

  • Captains, please remember to email the Away Captain a couple of days prior to give them information about your venue logistics (parking, water, bathrooms) and to let them know what balls you will be playing with and how warming up will work at your venue.
  • Call everyone over to start the match within the first 5 minutes of the match time. Review the items covered in the Game Day Best PracticesPlayers, you need to know this, too!
  • Show up with a filled-in Scoresheet. Watch the Video on scoring beforehand if you are new to APPL.
  • Pay attention to time between games, between matches and during timeouts. Coaching is only allowed during these times – not while the games are being played.
  • Refer to the APPL League Rules and USA Pickleball Rulebook if any questions come up along the way.

Weather Rescheduling

The Match Rescheduling Policy allows matches to be rescheduled due to rain or 20+mph wind with approval from your League Coordinator. Please see the details in the policy document for how to complete the rescheduling process.

Team Uniforms

We are happy to announce the selection of Boss Teez Florida as our team uniform supplier. If your team is interested in having shirts with your name, team name, team logo, (or APPL Team Up logo) etc., on them, the button on the APPL main website is now active. Boss Teez offers a variety of quality Men’s & Women’s apparel, along with some other items that can incorporate your team name/logo. It may be too late to place an order and receive the shirts before your first match, but the season is long and their turnaround time is pretty quick. 

Please note that your transaction process (questions, logo files, ordering, payment, follow up, etc.) will be entirely with Boss Teez from start to finish, and you should assign a single point of contact who can place the order for all your team sizes and styles. Over the next few months, additional shirt styles and products will be made available, so even if you’re not interested now, you might want to check the site periodically. Have a great season in style!

East vs West Fun Event

To prepare for the upcoming APPL season, two opposite-end-of-the-Valley teams got together recently for a most enjoyable and productive pre-season scrimmage. Captained by Ken Pavesic and Tom McKeever, respectively, the East Valley TVR Alpha9 team (3.0 Men’s 50+) hosted the West Valley Poachers Anonymous team (3.0 Men’s 65+) at Trilogy Verde River.

Even though it was a cold and windy day, Poachers Anonymous and TVR Alpha9 played hard and fans turned out to cheer on their respective team. Both Captains attested to the many benefits of having a practice like this prior to regular-league play. 

In addition to determining skills needing improvement, evaluating player pairings, and creating familiarity for new players with match protocols, new friendships were established and individual team camaraderie was strengthened. Plus, a great time was had by all!

We’ve heard of other APPL teams setting up similar practice sessions with outside players or at different venues to get ready for 2024. No doubt all teams enjoying pre-season practice, like TVR Alpha9 and Poachers Anonymous, will be that much more prepared come January. 

In Closing

We wish all APPL teams a GREAT start to the season and ALL THE BEST in the year ahead!