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Pickleball is an incredibly fun sport that combines many of the elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton.

You can play indoors or outdoors and as singles or doubles. Pickleball is becoming increasingly popular every day, and is the fastest growing sport in the US!

With over 2.8 million pickleball players around the world- and this number is set to grow, you may be wondering how you can play doubles pickleball correctly.

In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know including the equipment required to play, the rules for double pickleball, scoring, and useful doubles pickleball strategies you can try out. Read on to find out!

Equipment For Doubles Pickleball

Let’s start with the equipment, as let’s face it, you won’t get far without it! You’ll need a few things to get you started. Of course, you have to have the right pickleball court- it should be played on a 20’ x 44’ court.

You will also need:

Rules For Doubles Pickleball

When it comes to playing doubles Pickleball, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For instance:

  1. Only one bounce is allowed on the same side of the court. When there are two bounces, the team that volleys the shot wins the point.
  2. All games must be played to 11 points, and you have to win by 2.
  3. Games are played best of three.
  4. Only the serving team can score.
  5. There are no players permitted in the Non-Volley Zone or in The Kitchen unless the ball has bounced on their side of the court first.
  6. All serves have to be done underhand, and the contact with the ball is made below the waist.
  7. Players are only permitted one serve attempt.
  8. Every serve must be made into the opposite diagonal corner service area. If not, then this is considered a fault.
  9. The player serving will have to do so on alternate sides of the court from which they serve until a point is lost.
  10. The receiving doubles must never switch sides in the game.
  11. Both teams of doubles must adhere to the double bounce rule. This means the first shot of the rally is off the bounce. Once this is done, volleys are no longer off limits.
  12. Keeping score is as follows: Serving Team’s Score- Receiving Team’s Score- Serving Turn.

Pickleball Faults

A fault is called in Pickleball when one of the following happens:

  • The ball is out of bounds
  • The ball does not clear the net
  • The ball hits a player
  • The player hits in the non volley zone (see also ‘What Is The Non Volley Zone In Pickleball?‘)
  • A player touches the net or posts
  • A player hits the ball before it has bounced on both sides
  • The serve does not land in the receiving court
  • The ball bounces two times on your side
  • The ball hits anywhere in the non volley zone

Scoring For Doubles Pickleball

Scoring For Doubles Pickleball

In traditional Pickleball, the serving side needs to score a point after winning the rally.

Then each side will carry on doing so until there is a fault. In doubles games, each player on the team serving will have to keep serving until there is a fault, then the serve passes to the team mate.

When another fault occurs, the other team may now serve.

Before serving, you need to call out the score, and the serving team’s score is said first, followed by the receiving team’s score.

Useful Doubles Pickleball Tips

You may be an excellent Pickleball player, but playing as doubles is (ahem)…a whole other ball game.

You have to work as a team, and as a united front in order to win the game.

You’ll also have to ensure you adhere to all of the rules above, to ensure you do not gain any faults and lose the points, or subsequently the game.

Pickleball is a learning curve, and you will have to practice often as doubles in order to nail your technique and strategy down.

That being said, we do have some useful tips for you to try out.

For example, we recommend standing behind the baseline when you are receiving a serve, and return that serve deeply.

The same goes for when you are serving yourself, always serve deep. 

You should also work on your drop shot skills (see also ‘What Is A Drop Shot In Pickleball?‘). A drop shot is a soft hit that is off a bounce, which aims to land in the opponent’s non volley zone very close to the net.

The purpose is to get the team to follow the shot into the non volley zone, so that you can win the point. Practice this shot, as it can be so beneficial to your game.

You will also want to try to get to the kitchen as soon as possible but stay as far away from No Man’s Land if you can. Another tip we can give you is to aim for the opponent’s feet when hitting shots.

As cheesy as it sounds, one of the most important things you need to remember when playing doubles Pickleball is to work as a team (see also our article on stacking).

You need to move in sync with your teammate, and you have to communicate when a ball is coming down the middle so that you’re both not getting in each other’s way.

This is where practice becomes so important. You have to play together rather than by yourselves, before the match.

Pickleball doubles need you to be in rhythm with your partner, as you will need to communicate verbally and non verbally.

This is where your practice comes into play, you kind of need to have an unspoken bond with your teammate because you will need to be synchronized if you want to beat your opponents.

This can help you hone in your skills, and find out what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are, so you can play to your advantage.

Conclusion

To conclude, playing Pickleball can be incredibly fun as a singles game or as doubles. However, you could be an excellent singles player, but unsure of how to win when playing doubles.

If you follow our tips and reacquaint yourself with the rules with our guide, you can start winning Pickleball games left, right, and center.

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