With the New Rules for 2021, Can I Hit the Ball Up, Then Let It Bounce So I Can Get a Real High Bounce?

So you really want to wack it, eh? NO, the ball cannot be hit in an upward motion and then let it bounce. Nice try Bob!

The new rules state: 26.Rule 4.A.8.b New: Before bouncing on the ground, the ball shall not be propelled (thrown) downward or tossed or hit upward with the paddle. Failure to drop the ball properly will result in a fault. There is no restriction on where the ball can land on the playing surface after it is dropped (providing 4.A.2 is satisfied) nor how many times within the 10 seconds after the score is called the server may drop the ball.

Additionally: 25.Rule 4.A.8.a New: Servers must release the ball from one of the server’s hands or dropped off the server’s paddle face from any natural (un-aided) height and hit the ball after the ball bounces on the playing surface. The server’s release of the ball must be visible to the referee and the receiver. In matches without a referee, the server’s release of the ball must be visible to the receiver. A replay shall be called before the return of serve if the release of the ball is not visible. The rules for feet placement (4.A.2 and 4.L) still apply. Reason: Same as 4.A.8. Note: The only downward acceleration imparted on the ball is that from gravity. Scenario A: In a match with a referee, the server turns their back slightly before performing a “drop serve”. The referee sees the server release the ball, but the receiver cannot see the release. The server serves, but before the return of serve, the receiver claims they could not see the release of the ball. The referee calls for a replay and informs the server that they need to make the release of the ball visible to both the referee and receiver. Scenario B: A server has been using the drop serve since the start of the game. The referee calls the score and the player drops the ball to perform a drop serve. After the ball bounces, the server grabs the ball and then serves the ball in the “normal” fashion and does so within the 10-second count. After the rally has ended, the receiver claims that the server committed a fault by “switching serving styles” after the score had been called. The referee explains that there is no rule restricting the server from “switching serving styles” after the score has been called. The referee explains that as long as the ball is served within the 10-second count, either style, including attempting both styles, is allowed. Scenario C: The server releases the ball and the ball bounces twice on the ground and then the server serves. Since there is no written fault for letting the ball bounce twice (or more) before serving, the referee should NOT call a fault.

27.Rule 4.A.10.c New: If the drop serve is used, the ball may be struck with either a forehand or backhand motion without any other restriction; i.e., the location restrictions of the ball and paddle in Rules 4.A.3, 4.A.4, and 4.A.5 do not apply. Reason: Same as 4.A.8

22.Rule 4.A.5 Existing: Contact with the ball must not be made above the waist level (Waist is defined as the navel level). (See Figures 4-1 and 4-3 above) New: Contact with the ball must not be made above the waist. (See Figures 4-1 and 4- 3 above) Reason: Better clarity for referees on how to determine the applicable fault. It removes the ambiguity over waist vs navel.