Home > IFA/USAPA Paddle Specs
The IFA/USAPA has a section in their Tournament Rulebook that specifies the requirement of a Pickleball paddle in order to be eligible for use in a IFA/USAPA sanctioned tournament. Here are the rules that the IFA/USAPA have established:

2.E. Paddle Specifications.

2.E.1. Material. The paddle may be made of any material judged safe and not prohibited in these rules. The paddle shall be made of relatively rigid, non-compressible material meeting the specifications of the “Paddle Material Specifications” document on the IFP website.

2.E.2. Surface.

The paddle hitting surface shall not contain holes, indentations, rough texturing, tape, features that are reflective, or any objects or features that allow a player to impart additional or increased spin on the ball. (revised April 1, 2011)

2.E.2.a. Paint.

The surface may be painted but must otherwise adhere to the general surface requirements.

2.E.2.b. Depictions.

Any writing or pictures on the paddle must be in good taste and non-reflective.

IFP Comment: A paddle surface is too reflective, if in the judgment of the tournament director or designee, it reflects sunlight or court lights in a way that is distracting to the players. (added April 1, 2011)

2.E.3. Size.

The combined length and width including any edge guard and butt cap shall not exceed 24 inches (60.96 cm). The most common paddle measurement is approximately 8 inches
(20.32 cm) wide by 15¾ inches (40 cm) long. There is no restriction on paddle thickness.

2.E.4. Weight.

There is no restriction on paddle weight.

2.E.5. Alterations.

The only alterations that can be made to a commercial paddle are changes to the grip, adding an edge guard, and adding name decals and/or other identification markings on the paddle face. These decals/markings can extend no farther than 1" (25.4 mm) above the top of the handle nor more than 1/2" (12.7 mm) from the outer edge of a paddle, or paddle edge guard if in place. Altered paddles must meet all specifications. Homemade paddles are not permitted. (Effective January 1, 2014)

2.E.6. Prohibited Surface Features and Mechanical Features.

2.E.6.a. Anti-skid paint or any paint textured with sand, rubber particles, or any material that causes additional spin.

2.E.6.b. Rubber and synthetic rubber.

2.E.6.c. Sandpaper.

2.E.6.d. Moving parts that can increase head momentum.

2.E.6.e. Springs or spring-like material.

2.E.6.f. Flexible membranes or any compressible material that creates a trampoline effect.

2.E.6.g. Electrical, electronic, or mechanical assistance of any sort.

2.E.7. Violation.

If a paddle violates the above rules, the Tournament Director has the authority to enforce a paddle change. If the player in violation refuses to change the paddle, the Director may declare a forfeiture of the match.

2.E.8. Model Designation.

The manufacturer must have a clearly marked brand and model name or model number on the paddle. Paddles with different core material, surface material, or other significant differences must have a unique name or number. Each unique model must have been offered for sale to the general public and samples of each unique model must have been submitted to the USAPA and passed USAPA tests. Paddles used in USAPA/IFP sanctioned tournaments after January 1, 2014 must conform to this rule. (Added June 23, 2012)