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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Rule Changes - More Player/Referee Interactions

Rules were made to be broken, no, what???

The USAPA recently announced the availability of the 2018 USAPA\IFP Official Tournament Rulebook. The rulebook contains some significant changes that we have been and will discuss over the next several weeks. We will continue today with rules regarding interaction with a referee. This is the part on this topic. The first was Rule Changes - Player/Referee Interactions.

Line Appeals

Previously, players could not appeal to the referee to make a call for a ball they did not see. A player had to first make a call, then any player could appeal to the referee. The old rulebook stated:
6.D.5. No player should question an opponent’s call unless asked (except that any player may appeal a call to the referee in an officiated match).6.D.10. In doubles play, if one player calls the ball “out” and the partner calls it “in,” then doubt exists, and the ball must be declared “in” (except that any player may appeal a call to the referee in an officiated match).

The new rulebook allows a player to appeal to the referee before making a call:
6.D.3. The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made. Any ball that cannot be called “out” will be considered “in.” A player cannot claim a “let” because the ball was not seen or there is uncertainty. A player may appeal to the referee to make the call if he or she did not clearly see the ball land. If the referee is unable to make the call, the ball is “in.”
The result of the appeal of an uncalled is either the referee's call or "in" if the referee cannot make a call. The player cannot make a call after an appeal.

Mid-Rally Appeals

The rules no longer allows the appeal (at the completion of a rally) of a call or non-call during a rally. The old rulebook included:
14.I.3. A player wishing to signify an appeal during a rally may do so by raising his/her non-paddle hand to inform the referee that an appeal is being made.
This was removed from the new rulebook. Players may stop the rally to appeal, but at their own risk. If the referee did not see or disagrees with the player, the call made by a player or linesperson (if present) stands.

Rules Interpretations

Players were able to challenge a referee's rule enforcement by asking to see the applicable rule in a rulebook. This challenge was allowed without penalty. The old rulebook stated:
14.J. Rules Interpretations. If a player feels that the referee has interpreted the rules incorrectly, that player may request that the referee or the tournament director show the applicable rule in the rulebook.
The new rules still allow a challenge but it is not without risk:
13.I. Rules Interpretations. If a player thinks the referee has interpreted a rule incorrectly, that player may request that the referee, the head referee, or the tournament director show the applicable rule in the rulebook. If the referee’s ruling is correct, the player or team will lose a time-out and be given a technical warning. If no time-outs are available and the referee’s ruling is correct, the player or team will be given a technical foul. 
A referee's rule interpretation may be challenged but the penalty for the player being wrong is a time-out and a technical warning...or worse.

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