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The double bounce rule is otherwise known as the two-bounce rule. This occurs after that ball has been served and when each side is required to make a single groundstroke prior to volleying the ball back.

Most beginners will want to know what the double bounce rule is in pickleball and this is one of the most commonly asked questions and basic rules to grasp when starting to play the sport.

In order to explain this rule in more detail, you need to understand that for every point player, each team needs to play the first shot from a bounce). Thus, on the serve, the team that is receiving needs to allow the ball to hit the ground prior to returning it.

Once they have returned the bounced shot, the serving team must also allow the ball to bounce prior to hitting it.

After two bounces have occurred on either side of the net, the pickleball can begin to be volleyed as well as being played off the bounce.

A basic outline of these rules is as follows:

  1. The first ball is served.
  2. The receiving team allows the ball to bounce prior to returning it.
  3. The serving team also allows the ball to bounce prior to returning it.
  4. Once the ball has bounced on either side of the net, the players are free to groundstroke or volley the ball accordingly until a point has been won.

What Is The Double Bounce Rule In Pickleball

Double Bounce Rule Vs. Two-Bounce Rule

You may be wondering why some people refer to this rule as the double-bounce rule while others refer to it as the two-bounce rule?

This is because the wording in the latest version of the official rule book has changed to refer to this rule as the “two-bounce rule”.

Thus, those who played the sport previously may still refer to this rule as the “double bounce rule” which can cause confusion.

The definition itself has not changed its wording, it is only the name that has changed from the “double bounce rule” to the “two-bounce rule”.

This may be to avoid confusion for new players who falsely believe that the ball needs to bounce twice on their own side prior to returning it.

The wording for this rule is and has been as follows:

“Two-Bounce Rule: After the ball is served, each side must make one groundstroke prior to volleying the ball. 

Double Bounce Rule: Following serve, each side must make at least one groundstroke prior to volleying the ball.

4. H Double Bounce Rule: The sere and the service return must be allowed to bounce before striking the ball.

That is, each side must play a groundstroke on the first shot following the serve. After the initial groundstrokes have been made, play may include volleys”

Why Did They Change The Term?

Why Did They Change The Term

The wording for this rule was probably changed to avoid any confusion for new players. This is especially true because of the 3.A.6.

Double Bounce stated in the rulebook refers to when a ball bounces more than once on a single side prior to being returned.

Why Does The Two-Bounce Rule Exist In Pickleball?

Pickleball points would be incredibly short and it would not be an enjoyable game to play if this rule did not exist.

If you imagine that this rule has been removed, the reaching side would wait for the serve at the kitchen line and the high serve can be smashed easily at the spring team.

A soft serve would easily be thrown over the net, forcing the team that is serving to spring to the net by making it increasingly difficult to return the serve shot.

Thus, eliminating the two-bounce rule removes the volley and serve advantages, facilitating longer rallies between players.

If you remain unconvinced about the purpose of this rule, then you should attempt to play a number of points without the two-bounce rule.

Pretty soon you will see that without the rule, the style of the game changes entirely, and thus, it becomes far less fun to play.

Part of the joy of playing pickleball comes from the flow of the game and the rallies between opposing teams, culminating in a winning point.

If the game were to stop and start, it would be far less enjoyable to play and watch. Thus, implementing the double-bounce or two-bounce rule is imperative for the overall enjoyment of the game.


To conclude, the two-bounce or double-bounce rule in pickleball refers to the way in which a served ball must bounce once on each side of the court prior to players being allowed to volley the ball.

This ensures that the game runs as smoothly as possible and that rallies between players can be initiated.

The receding team needs to allow the ball to bounce once after the serving team has served the ball, and the serving team must allow the ball to bounce once after it has been returned. Hence the name of this rule.

The terminology defining this rule has stayed the same over the years, but the name of it has altered from the “double bounce rule” to the “two-bounce rule” in order to avoid confusing beginning players.

Pickleball has become incredibly popular over the last few years for a very good reason. It is a highly enjoyable and energizing sport that can be played at any age.

Thus, you should definitely consider joining your local pickleball team and playing this sport on a regular basis.

You are guaranteed to have an abundance of fun while playing Pickleball and with big names in the sports world investing money into the sport, it is certain that its popularity will only increase.

I hope that you have found this article to be insightful and informative.

Thank you for reading.

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