January 1st, 2023: The new USA Pickleball Rules officially went into effect.
SPOILER ALERT: You can wear Lime Green shirts or apparel while playing pickleball. No Rule Against It.
So if you know anything about Pickleball Rocks, you know we sell shirts, and yes we sell lime green shirts. And yes we sell lime green shirts in big numbers. So at first, that first social media post was quite disappointing to us, but at the same time became intriguing to us.
Did USA Pickleball actually single out one color and ban it from being worn in the sport of pickleball? Just didn’t seem to make sense. So we did what any good, common sense practicing pickleball player would do. We decided to actually read the rule book.
The rule that everyone was talking about is rule 2.G.1. Safety and Distraction: A player may be required to change apparel the is inappropriate, including that which approximates the color of the ball.
Rule 2.G.1 is for player’s protection, and rightfully so, but the rule is ONLY for a piece of apparel (could be a shirt or could be shorts, or could be wristbands) that is exactly the same color as the ball being used. In other words, you literally can’t see the ball when it is laid on the apparel. If there is a contrast, a tournament director will not ask for a change. In rec play, we are the referee, and likewise we should only ask someone to change an item if it truly is causing the complete loss of sight of the ball.
Think about it. In rec play and even in tournaments there are many different colored balls being used. White, Red, Lime Green, Yellow and many others.
This picture below from social media, shows well known pro player Dekel Bar in a lime green shirt. If you look at the ball in his hand, it is yellow. So a tournament director would never ask for a shirt change.
So the bottom line is, wear what you want (but not exactly the same color of the ball). Have fun and…