Pickleball Double Bounce Rules

Pickleball Double Bounce rule

The pickleball double bounce rule is one of the most basic rules of pickleball. Without the double bounce rule, pickleball would be an entirely different game. Pickleball was invented in 1965 and spent much of the first forty years of its existence in relative obscurity. However, today pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States and is played by athletes at all levels and ages. As the sport grew, the USA Pickleball Association and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) released a rulebook outlining rules for tournament and organized play.


Double Bounce Rule

The double bounce rule in pickleball states that the ball must bounce once on each side of the court after it has been served before the players can begin volleying. A volley in pickleball is when a player hits the ball in mid-air before it has a chance to hit the ground. If the ball hits the net, this does not count as satisfying the double bounce rule. If the ball bounces twice on your side of the net, it automatically results in the loss of a point. Once the double bounce rule has been satisfied, players can volley the ball or play it off a singular bounce. For wheelchair pickleball, the player is allowed to double bounce the ball anywhere inside or outside the boundaries of the court on their side of the net.

Court Layout

pickleball court rules and dimensions

Pickleball courts are fairly similar to tennis and badminton courts and can be located both indoors and outdoors. Pickleball uses the same court size for both singles and doubles games, and each court is broken down into three main zones. The first two zones are the left and right service areas. This is where the ball is served from and is where players are allowed to volley the ball. The non-volley zone, or ‘kitchen’ as it is often referred to, is an area where players are not allowed to volley the ball. Due to the double bounce rule, a good server aims as close to the baseline as possible, and players on the return often aim as close to the baseline as possible as well.

Result of Breaking the Double Bounce Rules

Pickleball Result of Breaking the Double Bounce Rules

If a player does not adhere to the double bounce rules, this results in a fault. If the receiving team fails to adhere to the double bounce rules, the serving team receives a point. If the serving team fails to adhere to the double bounce rules, they lose their serve. Without the double bounce rule, players on the receiving team could wait for the serve at the non-volley zone line and quickly volley the ball back to the serving team, making it very difficult to return the shot. This would make pickleball a much shorter and more frustrating game to play and likely would have prevented the game’s recent rise in popularity. The best way to remember the rule is to stand as far back as possible while the other team serves so that you are not tempted to volley the ball back.