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can you double hit in pickleball

Can You Double Hit in Pickleball


Pickleball is a fast-paced and exciting racquet sport that’s gaining popularity worldwide. However, like any sport, it comes with its own set of rules and regulations. One common question among beginners and even some intermediate players is, “Can you double hit in pickleball?” 

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about double hits in pickleball. What are pickleball double hits? And, more importantly, we talk about the rules governing them so you can avoid related faults on the court.


What is a Double Hit in Pickleball?

In the early days of pickleball, when the sport was still evolving, the rules regarding double hits were less defined. Double hits were quite common on the court, and players often got away with them. However, as pickleball’s popularity surged, so did the need for clearer and fairer rules.

pickleball double hit


Over time, governing bodies of pickleball, such as the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association), worked to establish stricter and more precise rules regarding double hits. The aim was to ensure fairness and consistency across all levels of play.

So, what exactly is a double hit in pickleball? A double hit in pickleball is defined in the USAPA rulebook as hitting the ball twice before it is returned. Basically, it occurs when a player hits the ball two times during a single stroke or attempts to strike the ball. 

A double hit in pickleball often happens when the ball rebounds off the player’s paddle, and they inadvertently hit it again on their follow-through. Double hits are generally considered infractions unless specific conditions are met.


Is Double Hit Legal in Pickleball?

According to Section 11 A of the 2023 pickleball rulebook by the USAPA: 

“Balls can be hit twice, but this must occur during an unintentional, continuous, single-direction stroke by one player. If the stroke made while performing the serve or during a rally is deliberately not continuous, or not in a single direction, or the ball is struck by a second player, it is a fault.”

double hit legal in pickleball


Let’s break this down into simpler terms so we can clarify when a double hit is allowed and when it’s considered an illegal action. 

  • The Hit Must Be Unintentional

If you accidentally strike the ball twice, it won’t immediately be counted as a double hit. Only intentional double hits are against the rules. If you didn’t mean to hit the ball twice, you’re in the clear.

  • The Hit Must Be Continuous

A double hit must occur during a single, continuous stroke for it to be considered legal. This means that if you let the ball bounce on your paddle or hit it twice in separate motions, you’ll be committing a fault.

  • The Hit Must Be in a Single Direction

Your double hit should propel the ball in the same direction. If it changes course significantly, it’s considered illegal.

  • The Hit Must Be Made by One Player

In doubles play, only one player on a team is allowed to hit the ball at a time. If both players on a team hit the ball consecutively, it’s an illegal double hit.


Consequences of a Double Hit in Pickleball

So, what happens if you commit a double hit fault in pickleball? If a player is found to have intentionally double-hit the ball, their team will lose the rally. The opposing team (if it’s their service) will then be awarded the point.


How to Avoid Double Hits in Pickleball

Avoiding double hits in pickleball is essential to maintain fair play.

avoid double hits in pickleball


Here are some tips to help you prevent double hits:

  • Know the Rules

Familiarize yourself with the rules of pickleball, especially those concerning double hits.

  • Practice Your Technique

Work on your paddle control and aim for clean, controlled hits.

  • Patience is Key

Don’t rush your shots. Take a moment to position yourself correctly before striking the ball.


The Future of Double Hits in Pickleball

As pickleball continues to gain popularity worldwide, it’s likely that the rules concerning double hits will also evolve. The sport’s governing bodies are constantly reviewing and refining the rules to maintain fairness and uphold the spirit of the game.

In the future, we can expect even more clarity in the rules, possibly with advancements in technology aiding officials in making accurate judgments regarding double hits. The goal will always be to provide an enjoyable and equitable playing experience for all pickleball enthusiasts.



In pickleball, a double hit is generally against the rules, but there are exceptions. It’s crucial to understand when a double hit is allowed and when it’s considered an infraction. By following the rules and practicing your technique, you can minimize the chances of committing a double hit and play a more enjoyable and fair game of pickleball. 

So, keep those rules in mind, practice your skills, and get out on the court to enjoy this fantastic sport!