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PIckleball is an increasingly popular game in the United States of America, with a great deal of the older generation enjoying this game. However, within the game there are select rules. 

Every game has rules and one of the things people love about pickleball is that since it is derived from many other popular racket based sports, the rules are pretty easy to understand. 

Merged from tennis, badminton and ping pong (table tennis), this is a game which many can easily understand, and hence why so many older people enjoy it.

It’s easy understanding and its health benefits make it wildly popular. 

However, this does not mean that the rules of this game cannot be misunderstood, as this does happen. 

One of the most common is the rules around how many hits per team are allowed on one side of the net. So, let’s take a look at this, as well as other rules which often get misunderstood.

Pickleball Rule 

It is an easy game to play, and people generally enjoy it thanks to its ease. However, many of the rules of the game can be easily misunderstood. 

If you were to violate these rules you will have made a mistake and lost that rally.  

So, it is very important that you are in understanding of each of the commonly misunderstood rules, such as how many hits per team per side of the net are allowed.

Understanding these rules will prevent you from messing up and accidentally violating these rules. 

Double Hits 

Double hits are a legal move on a pickleball court, however, you can only make a double hit in some situations. 

For a double hit to be legal, the hit must not be intentional, and it also needs to be continuous, in a single-direction stroke and only having happened via a single player. 

However, if the double hit does not occur in accordance with any of these above criteria, then it is a fault. 

This means the double hit needs to be intentional, continuous, in one direction only, or only done by a single player for it to be a legal pickleball hit. 

Double hits are also allowed on a serve, as well.  

Two-Handed Shots/ Switching Hands

Two-Handed Shots/ Switching Hand

While we are talking about hits, in many of the sports of which pickleball has relation to, there are rules about the paddle, how you hold it, in which hand you hold it, and so on. 

When playing pickleball, you can switch up which hand you are holding the paddle in, at any time. You can also hit the pickleball with a two-handed shot as well. 

So, a player could hit a right-handed shot, a left-handed, or with two hands on a pickleball court.  

Missed Hits 

So, on the topic of hits in pickleball, what if you were to miss a shot? Well, if you make a swing and miss, (say if you completely and utterly missed the ball) this does not create a “dead ball” on the court. 

The ball actually remains in play until the ball bounces two times or if another fault should occur. 

Therefore, if you were to swing and totally miss on the court, you should try to keep the rally in motion by taking another swing, or encouraging your partner to (in doubles) before the ball bounces two times.  

However, the rules state that a swing and miss needs to be a total miss. So, if you were to touch or even nick the ball even slightly, and the ball does not travel to the opposite side of the court then this constitutes a fault. 

It would fail immediately when it lands on your side of the court, or when it hits an object.

Shots Around The Net

Pickleball as a sport is well known for having visual similarities to other racket based sports, like tennis, badminton and table tennis.

Many would assume that all of these sports have the same sorts of restrictions when it comes to how you hit the ball. 

We already know that this is not entirely the case. 

What about if you hit the ball around the posts of the net? 

Pickleball is easier for many reasons, one of these being that it is more relaxed.  

As it so happens, the rules of this sport make it very clear that there are certain types of shots around the net posts which are actually totally legal! 

In pickleball, you can return or volley the ball around the outer boundaries of the net as long as it enters the court of the opponent.

In this scenario, the ball needs not travel over the net for it to count, it doesn’t have height requirements either. 

Rule Overview

  • Make drop and volley serves underhanded. 
  • Paddle contact with the ball needs to be made below the waist of the server. 
  • Make the serve diagonally cross court and land in the confines of the opposite court diagonally. 
  • Both players on doubles team serves can serve and score until a fault is made. 
  • Points are scored by the serving team only. 
  • With double bounces the receiving team needs to let it bounce once before returning, then the serving team must also do the same. 
  • Once the ball has bounced once in each court, the teams may volley the ball or play it off of a bounce. 


In pickleball, a team can only hit the ball once per hit, and the ball can only bounce once on each side of the court. However, there are rules around this in specific situations. 

Yet, these exceptions are very specific, and if the play does not meet these specifications then the hit will count as a fault. 

The only time you can really hit the ball more than one time in a turn is when you miss it (completely).