Welcome to the world of Pickleball doubles!
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the basic rules of pickleball doubles will help you get the most out of your game.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the specific rules and regulations that govern teams playing pickleball doubles. We’ll also provide helpful tips on how to best enjoy your game while adhering to pickleball doubles rules. The rules are simple, but mastering them can take your game to a whole new level!
Read on for all you need to know about playing pickleball doubles.
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7 Pickleball Doubles Rules to Play Smart
The rules for doubles pickleball are slightly different from singles play. Plus, it can be complex, so understanding them before the game begins will ensure you have an enjoyable and successful experience.
Here are seven important rules to know when playing pickleball doubles:
1. Non-Volleying Zone
A non-volley zone (NVZ) extends 7 feet from either side of the net on each side of the court (14 feet total). You cannot volley any shots within this area as it results in an automatic fault/point for your opponents. The ball must bounce first before it can be legally volleyed from anywhere else on the court, including across the NVZ line itself. If both teams agree, they may decide to eliminate or reduce this rule prior to beginning play, if desired.
Hence, pickleball nvz rules for doubles is a bit different, follow them for better result.
2. Volleying Zone
Within 7 feet from either side of the net, you’re allowed to volley any shots as long as they don’t land inside your opponent’s NVZ line first! This area is known as the volleying zone. Note that both teams can volley in this area, so it’s important to be aware of who is hitting the ball and not get confused by your opponent’s shots.
3. Double Hits
If two players on a team hit the ball simultaneously with their paddles, then it counts as a double hit and is considered an automatic fault/point for your opponents. The key here is to make sure you don’t accidentally hit the ball twice with one paddle, which will also result in an automatic point for your opponents.
Pickleball doubles games are typically played for up to 11 points (or 15 if agreed upon beforehand). All serving teams must switch sides after each game and at every 5-point increment during extended games (i.e., 10-12). The winning team must score two more points than their opponents in order to win a game.
5. Carry Rule
This rule states that all serves must be delivered without any spin or slicing motion. Otherwise, it’ll count as an illegal serve and result in an automatic fault/point for your opponents! It also applies when returning shots from across the non-volley line—no carrying or cupping allowed!
6. Serving Must Be Underhand
All pickleball doubles serving rules must be executed underhand. Unless both teams agree prior to beginning play, that some or all of them can be done overhand instead (which isn’t very common). Serves are typically executed from either side of the court, but can also be done diagonally across if desired by both teams before starting each game/set!
7. Only Serving Team Switch the Sides
After each point is scored, only the serving team has to switch sides, while volleys stay on the same side of the court they started on until another point is scored again. Then they too have to change positions, while still maintaining original orientation relative to other teammates present on the court at the time the shot was taken/returned back!
What Is the Serving Zone for Doubles?
The Serving Zone is an important concept for doubles play. It is the area of the court that each player is responsible for when serving.
The basic rule of thumb for pickleball doubles serving rules is that the server must aim their serve to land within their opponent’s serving one. This zone extends from 3 feet behind each service line and runs parallel with it, extending out 9 feet away from the center line, and ending 6 feet past each sideline.
Both players on a team are responsible for covering their own zone as well as a portion of their partner’s zone while they serve. This ensures that both players have an active role in defending against opponents’ serves and returning shots during a match.
Tips to Successfully Play Double Pickleball
Playing doubles pickleball is a fun and energetic game that requires strategy, agility, and communication. Here are some tips to help you succeed in this sport:
- Utilize the Court: By utilizing the full court, you can open up more space for yourself to hit the ball. This helps create more angles and options when playing with a partner.
- Communication: When playing doubles, communication is key! Make sure to talk with your partner. So, each of you knows who should move in order to set up a better shot or defend against an incoming ball from your opponents.
- Hit smart shots: In the double play, it’s important not only to hit good shots, but also smart shots. This means hitting shots where it may be difficult for your opponents to return them back over the net. Or aiming for gaps between players on the other side of the court. As opposed to just trying to overpower them with speed or power alone.
- Serve strategically: Serving strategically allows you and your partner to make sure that both of you are ready for any return from your opponents. This means having one player ready near the net, while another stays back and ready at midcourt level if necessary. This can help make it easier for both players to quickly switch positions, in order to defend against, any potential attack from their opponents during rallies, which will ultimately give them an advantage during matches.
- Stay focused: Staying focused throughout each point is very important. Especially, when playing doubles pickleball, as there are so many factors happening at once. Such as switching positions on defense. Plus, sharing information about what kind of shot should be attempted next, which can easily distract players if they don’t stay concentrated on their tasks during points.
Playing pickleball doubles has many benefits. It is a great way to improve your pickleball skills and strategy, as you have to work together with your partner to score points. It also allows you to practice different shots, such as volleys, dinks and lobs. Additionally, playing doubles is more social than singles play, and can provide an opportunity for players of all ages and abilities to get together and have fun.
In pickleball doubles, the team that is serving changes after each game. The team that serves first in the first game is determined by a coin toss or others mutually agreed upon method. After each game, the receiving team from the previous game will become the serving team for the next one.
The Pickleball doubles court size is 20 ft. x 44 ft. The non-volley zone (NVZ) in the front of the court is 7 feet wide and extends from the net to the baseline on either side of the center line. The lines that mark the NVZ are typically 2 inches wide and are part of the court size. The court size for Pickleball doubles is measured from the outside of the lines.
In a game of doubles, the serve order is decided by each team spinning the racquet. The team that wins the spin will start serving, and their opponents will receive it. The server’s partner will then stand in the opposite service box, and vice versa for their opponents. After each point, teams should switch sides and service boxes so that each player serves an equal amount of times throughout the match.
A let-serve in doubles is a serve that touches the top of the net before falling into the opposite court. A let-serve is considered a legal pickleball serve and valid serve, and does not count against either player. The point continues as normal with players having to hit the ball back over the net, as if it never touched any part of the net. In some cases, if both players agree, they can choose to replay the point instead of continuing with a let-serve.
Well, It’s a Wrap!
Pickleball doubles are a great way to have fun with your friends, family, and even strangers.
With these easy-to-follow pickleball rules doubles, you’re sure to be playing like a pro in no time! Just remember the basics—serve diagonally, keep the ball low over the net, and stay aware of your surroundings on the court.
In addition, work together with your teammate to outplay your opponents, and use strategic volleys—and you’ll be enjoying pickleball doubles in no time.
With practice and dedication, you can become a pickleball doubles champion in no time!
I am the founder of BallSportsPro, a popular pickleball resource for players of all levels. I am a former professional tennis player, started playing pickleball in 2009 and quickly fell in love with the game. I launched BallSportsPro in 2018 to share my passion for the sport and to provide pickleball players with the latest news, tips, and gear reviews. Today, BallSportsPro is one of the most popular pickleball resources on the web, reaching hundreds of thousands of players each month. In addition to running the website, I also a regular contributor to Pickleball Magazine and a member of the USAPA Pickleball Ambassadors program.