The spin serve is here to stay. What????
Seems like everyone is buzzing about the possibility of USA Pickleball banning the spin serve starting in 2023. And people are worrying about how we are going to be able to call it against our opponent if a referee is not there to do it for us.
What that statement told me was that USA Pickleball is doing a great job of keeping the intent of the original rules makers intact. The most basic rules of pickleball included the fact that there would be no decisive advantage gained through the serve. That is why it has always been an underhanded serve.
So USA Pickleball is not trying to eliminate spin completely. They are eliminating what we would call gimmicky spin.
There will be no spinning the ball off our paddle.
There will be no holding the ball with your thumb and index finger and squeezing the ball hard to make it spin fast.
There will be no twisting of the wrist to make the ball spin different directions.
All of these things are very easy to see, and all cause excessive spin which can in turn make the ball do some crazy things when it hits the court on the opposite side of the net.
If this rule change passes the final board of directors vote, this type of spin will be against the rules. Is that a bad thing? NO!
My personal opinion, and it doesn’t have to be yours, is that I love keeping the opposing teams, offensive and defensive, as equal as possible. That makes for great battles, great rallies, great games and great matches at every level.
So some are worrying about how to tell if their opponent is putting too much spin on the ball.
The simple answer is: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Spin has been on everybody’s serve since the first rally was played in 1965. The pure fact is that a little natural spin causes NO advantage for the server. The kind of spin that makes the ball jump and do crazy things can only be accomplished by an exaggerated motion like the ones mentioned above. You have to put some serious spin on a pickleball to make it move or jump, and those exaggerated motions are very easy to spot.
If your opponent is tossing the ball and it has a little spin on it, he or she is not breaking the rule. And the only spin they will be able to generate will come from their paddle making contact when striking the ball. Now that spin is a topic for another time.
In the meantime, have fun and spin away with your hand all you want……until January 2023.
See you on the courts,