Rules of the Game

Rules of the Game

The game begins with one player serving to another. The server must keep at least one foot behind the base line, and may not move until after they have struck the ball. The ball is serve to the diagonally opposing section of the court, and must land in the court, or else it is classify as out.

The server must hit the ball from below the waist, using an underarm movement, and only has one attempt per serve, unlike in tennis. In the case of a ‘let serve’, however, this is different.

The receiving player must allow the ball to bounce once before returning the serve and the server must also allow the ball to bounce once before they hit the ball. After this initial exchange, it is permitted to return the ball by a volley (hitting it directly without allowing the ball to bounce) or by a ground stroke (allowing the ball to bounce once before hitting it back.)

Only the serving team can score points. Each game is usually a contest to reach 11 points, with a 2-point lead. However, tournament matches may be played to 15 or even 21 points, again with a 2-point lead.

This is only a brief overview of the main rules. For a more in-depth explanation of the terminology, the rules and regulations please refer to IFP rulebook.

IFP Rulebook

The IFP published the first rulebook in 2010. The 2010 version of the rules was adapted with permission from the rulebook of the USAPA that was first published in March 1984 and included revisions through March 28, 2010. The latest version is available for download now.


click on the book to download pdf

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