ruggling to grasp the ins and outs of the pickleball doubles rules? You’re not alone! Doubles pickleball, boasting a unique blend of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong strategies; is easily the most popular form of this rapidly growing sport.

Our comprehensive guide promises to demystify these sometimes complex rules, helping you play smarter and better. Ready for an exhilarating journey in mastering pickleball doubles?

Key Takeaways

  • Pickleball doubles is a mix of tennis, badminton, and ping pong.
  • Playing doubles needs an understanding of key terms like serving team, non-volley zone, and two-bounce rule.
  • Scoring is only possible for the serving team by winning rallies. Losing a rally can make them lose their serve.
  • Court size and equipment are standardized with specific measurements for fair gameplay during matches.
  • The game’s strategies focus more on accurate placement over hitting with power to win points.
  • Singles and doubles have different rule sets that impact the play style in each format.

Understanding the Basics of Doubles Pickleball

To grasp the nuances of doubles pickleball, we need to start with the basics: understanding how to play, and familiarizing ourselves with key terms such as serving team, non-volley zone, and two-bounce rule.

How to play pickleball doubles

Playing pickleball doubles follows a unique and organized structure, ensuring fun and fairness. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Form two teams of two players each.
  2. A coin toss or game of Paper, Rock, Scissors determines who serves first.
  3. The server stands behind the baseline to start the game.
  4. The first serve is always made from the right side court to the diagonally opposite court.
  5. The receiving team as well as the serving team must let the ball bounce once on their side before hitting a volley; this is known as the two-bounce rule.
  6. Teammates alternate sides after scoring points and at each change of service.
  7. Everyone gets an opportunity to serve when their team gains service possession.
  8. Keep in mind that no player should step into or on the non-volley zone line while attempting a volley shot.
  9. Communication between partners is crucial for effective strategy implementation.

Detailed Rules for Playing Doubles

Understanding the rules is crucial for succeeding in doubles pickleball. Beginning with the basics, such as knowing who serves first, can make winning easier later on. Learning when to volley and enter non-volley zones keeps games error-free.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the double-bounce rule, also known as the two-bounce rule—you don’t want a simple mistake costing you a point. Always stay alert for common faults; they’re easy to commit but also easy to avoid if you’re aware of them.

Pickleball serve rules and determining the serving team

Starting each game of pickleball doubles is the role of the server. Determining which team serves first can be as simple as a coin toss or a friendly game of rock, paper, scissors.

The serving player must stand behind the baseline and strike the ball diagonally cross-court to land within the opponent’s service area. A miss on this single serve attempt counts as a fault and results in the other team getting a service attempt without a second serve. Every serve after that gets two attempts before there is a side-out.

One detail specific to doubles is server numbers; during gameplay, scores consist of three numbers representing both teams’ points and the current server number. An example of the score at the start of the game would be called 0-0-2.

Rules for volleys and when to enter the non-volley zone

Knowing the pickleball volleying rules is vital for fun gameplay. A volley is when you hit the ball out of the air before it lands; it’s an exciting part of pickleball that often ramps up the pace.

However, no player can execute this shot while standing within marked 7 feet on either side of the net known as the non-volley zone or kitchen. You have to ensure your feet are completely outside these lines when striking a volley shot.

Stepping into this area while making contact with the ball is deemed as a fault, leading to a loss of the point. So timing and spatial awareness become equally important skills in executing successful volleys! It’s also worth noting that a player may enter or exit the non-volley zone freely when not attempting to volley; so get those sneaky dinks ready!

Understanding the double bounce rule

The double bounce rule is a fundamental aspect of both singles and doubles pickleball games. It’s mandatory for the ball to bounce on the court twice after being served – once on the receiving side, and then again on the server’s side before anyone can make a volley.

Failure to adhere to this rule constitutes a fault, leading either to loss of service or point. This unique stipulation fosters a fair start for every rally and lets players settle into their positions post-serve before volleys begin.

Common faults in pickleball doubles

Pickleball doubles, like any competitive sport, has a set of rules and it’s easy to commit faults if you’re not fully aware of them. Here is a list of some common faults that you should watch out for:

  1. A player fails to clear the Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen when serving.
  2. Players hit the ball out of bounds – It’s crucial to keep your shots within the court, as anything outside is considered a fault.
  3. The ball goes into the net – shots need to go over the net within marked boundaries.
  4. Improper serves are made – there are specific serving rules which, if violated, would result in a fault. Some examples include stepping on or over the baseline during serve or serving when it’s not their turn.
  5. Players volley before the double bounce rule has occurred – Remember, each team must let the all bounce once before volleying it directly from air.

Scoring in Doubles Pickleball

Discover the complexities of scoring in doubles pickleball, from side-out scoring to rally scoring, plus how this impacts your game strategy. Ready for some action? Dive in and get all your doubts clarified!

Explanation of side-out scoring and rally scoring

Side-out scoring and rally scoring are two different scoring systems in pickleball.

Side-out scoring is when the serving team is the only team with the opportunity to score points. This is the default scoring system used in most pickleball matches.

On the other hand, rally scoring allows points for both the serving and receiving team by winning the rally.

Equipment and Court Size for Doubles Matches

Pickleball doubles matches require specific equipment and court size to ensure conistent game play.

Regulation-size pickleball courts are 44 feet long and 20 feet wide, inclusive of service boxes, sidelines, baselines, and “non-volley” or the kitchen zone.

The net placed at the center stands firm with a height of 34 inches splitting the court evenly.

The paddles used in these contests need to pass certain prerequisites before they are accepted on the court. Made from composite materials like polymer or graphite, they must be solid but lightweight not surpassing a length of 17 inches when measured including the handle.

Effective Strategies for Pickleball Doubles

Discover how mastering the art of placement over power can dominate a pickleball doubles match. Be prepared to uncover strategies you hadn’t considered before!

Importance of placement over power in doubles

Mastering placement in doubles pickleball yields significant benefits. Very often, it’s not the power behind your shot but where you place it that makes a difference. Strategic placement can force opponents to make tough shots or take them out of their comfortable playing positions.

A well-placed ball often leads to weak returns providing an opening for you and your partner to capitalize on. Therefore, controlling the court with precise placement over brute power becomes a key insight in high-level play.


Mastering the intricacies of pickleball doubles can truly enhance your playing experience. This guide is key to understanding the rules and developing effective strategies for scoring.

Enjoy the fun-filled gameplay and strategic depth that defines pickleball doubles! Now get on the court, apply what you learned, and make every game count.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Play Doubles In Pickleball?

Doubles pickleball involves two teams of two players each. The game begins with one team serving diagonally from the right-hand side of their court. Players should switch places with their partner after scoring a point. If they did not score a point, the serve goes to their partner. Teamwork and strategic positioning play key roles in doubles pickleball.

How Do You Keep Score In Doubles In Pickleball?

The pickleball rules for doubles state that the score must be kept in the format of three numbers: the serving team’s score, the receiving team’s score, and the server number (1 or 2). Only the serving team can score points. Players on the serving team take turns to serve, with each player keeping their serve until a point is lost.

Can You Hit The Ball Twice In Doubles Pickleball?

No, you cannot hit the ball twice in doubles pickleball. Hitting the ball twice either by one player or by both players on a team constitutes a double hit, which is a fault.

What Is The Order Of Playing Doubles?

In doubles pickleball, the serving team begins with one player serving from the right-hand side of the court. Once a point is scored, the players switch sides and continue to serve. If they fail to score, the serve switches to the other team. Players must hit the ball alternately, and no player can hit the ball twice in succession. The order of service and returning alternates throughout the game.

Can You Enter The Kitchen Before The Ball Bounces?

Yes, you can enter the kitchen before the ball bounces. However, you cannot volley (hit the ball without it bouncing) the ball while standing in the kitchen. If you do, it’s a fault.