What Is The Double Bounce Rule In Pickleball?

Pickleball has been around for decades and is quickly gaining in popularity. It can be played by anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability. One way the game remarkably differs from other sports like tennis and ping pong is in its rules: The double bounce rule!

If you are a beginner, you will absolutely wonder what is the double bounce rule in pickleball. Let’s read on this blog to discover all the relevant knowledge about this rule for the best gameplay!

What Is The Double Bounce Rule In Pickleball?


Please be mindful that the ball is not allowed to bounce twice on either side of the court in this rule. The player must follow this rule when serving or returning the ball. They are required to make one groundstroke before volleying, which indicates that they should let it bounce and then hit the ball with their racquet accordingly.

Based on the IFP, the rule of double bounce in pickleball is: The serve’s return and the serve should be bounced before you strike the ball. Specifically, each team is obligated to play groundstroke for their first shot before they serve. Once the first groundstrokes are made, the game can then include volleys. 

When you’re playing tennis, it’s important to know the definition of “volley.” A volley occurs when your opponent strikes the ball with no bounce. In other words: hit in mid-air before time has had an opportunity to fall on the ground. 

Double bounce


First of all, this rule is in relation to the following two shots after you serve the ball for one point. This requires all the team in the game to play the first shot to bounce off the ground. Receiving team should allow their ball to hit on the ground, and the serving side should also allow the serve return bounce before they can hit it. 

When the ball hits either side of a net, it can bounce twice more and then be played off. If you are still feeling confused with the rule, here are some useful steps to make it clearer for you to understand: 

  • A player serves his/her ball to the other side
  • Receiving team should let the ball bounce before returning.
  • The serving team should let the ball bounce once again before returning. 
  • Once the ball has bounced on two sides, all the players can groundstroke or volley until they score.

Pickleball Gameplay

The Rule’s Purpose

Obviously, a lot of newbies have the same question about the birth of this rule. If you have the same question, here is a thorough explanation:

  1. The rule is designed so that the game progresses naturally without giving any undue and side advantage. 
  2. Pickleball is a game of skill and strategy with an emphasis on doubles. This rule makes it possible for everyone to enjoy the experience, not just those who master fast basepoint drives or overhead smashes!
  3. The best players can take any serve return or weak shot at the line and make it look easy. The point would end in two shots if serves were played on the fly (in the case without bouncing).
  4. It will become a tedious game if the point only includes 2 to 3 shots.
  5. Soft serve and high servers will be difficult to deal with due to the fact that they bounce before returning. 

A dinked ball over the net could also cause issues for the opponent side, as they will have to sprint from baseline while trying not to miss an easy volley return! Therefore, the pickleball must be bounced before returning.

  1. While this rule seems like an unfair way to eliminate a serve and volley advantage, it actually facilitates longer rallies. The game will transition smoothly because of this new regulation. It gives each team more time for strategy without being able to take over right away in points, as well as space on their opponent’s court-facing side with shorter shots than crosscourt ones.

What is the purpose of the rule

What To Remember About The Rule As a Beginner? 

It’s a shame that beginners often ignore the Double Bounce Rule, as it doesn’t seem like an intuitive way to play. So, how can you manage the early days and avoid those awkward moments of laughter?

  1. With this rule, you need a little more patience. 
  2. It is essential to stand far back when returning a serve and use the baseline as your guide. Let the ball bounce before making contact with it so that you have time for an easy return swing!
  3. The key to winning is patience. Allow yourself time for the third shot, and don’t approach the table hastily, as it can force you into making an error by putting too much power behind your stroke before waiting for the returning ball to bounce!
  4. Pickleball is a fun and easy sport, but some rules make the game enjoyable like other sports! One key element you must understand is ‘The Double Bounce Rule.’ 

Although it can be difficult early on because it requires practice with this rule in mind until your skills improve enough, the game will be much more fun and exciting once you are more experienced!

Serving ball


Are The “Two Bounce Rule” And The “Double Bounce Rule” The Same?

The answer is Yes. The double bounce rule was introduced in 2018 and is now officially called it. Yet, what does this mean? It’s still enforced that you hit your ball twice before launching into play (volley). If a competitor hits their shot only once with no bounces, they will be disqualified from competing. Here is detailed information on each version: 

New version: Based on the 2018 IFP & USAPA about the double bounce rule, each team needs to make a groundstroke first to volley their ball once serving the ball.

Old version: In fact, the only change is the alternative in the name of the rule – The two-bounce rule.

Joyful pickleball game

Can The Ball Bounce Twice In A Pickleball Game?

The answer is No. The ball only can bounce within the bounds once, which means you’ll need some quick reflexes if your goal is winning!

In racquet and paddle sports, there are many rules regarding how to score. In case your ball bounces two times, one team will get rewarded with a point for hitting that shot. For example, if we have a pickleball game with a good rally going to the no volleying zone, you will win a score if you get a good drink to my court in the condition the ball does bounce twice!

Although most racquet sports have the same rule, do not confuse it with this rule in the pickleball game, as they are all different!

Is Pickleball The Only Sport With A Double Bounce Rule?

In fact, this same requirement can also be found in many other sports and games such as badminton (or doubles), soccer/football, etc.

Based on the rule in Pop Tennis, before either team approaches the net, the return and serve of the classic pop tennis game must bounce. Similarly, with pickleball, this means that both players are required to be more active at their own service box when they receive a ball from an opponent’s player who has neither approached nor started off on the offensive side.


So, what is the double bounce rule in Pickleball? This rule is a very important aspect of Pickleball. The rule stipulates that a player must bounce the ball twice before returning it to their opponent, which prevents players from just hitting the ball back and forth without any movement or strategy. 

Although you might struggle to follow this rule at first, the game will be much more joyful once you get used to it!

Further reading:

Question regarding Double Bounce Rule: Pickleball – Reddit

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