Your Game, Their Words: Pickleball Content Written By Pros.

Two women playing tennis on a pink and green canvas.

Score Big with These Essential Pickleball Doubles Rules


Have a partner and want to learn how to play pickleball doubles?

Doubles pickleball involves two players playing together as a team against another team of two players. The game’s objective is to score points by hitting the ball over the net, into the opponent’s court.

In this article, we will go over the basic rules for doubles pickleball. To help ensure that your game is safe, fair, and enjoyable.

Pickleball Doubles Rules You Need to Know

Doubles pickleball is a great way to enjoy the sport with a partner. Or even with a group of four friends. The rules for pickleball doubles and singles are different, so reading up about their differences will help you distinguish between them.

double rules you need to know

This includes the proper serving techniques, the non-volley zone rules, the scoring system, the rotations, the let serves, the substitutions, the timeouts, and the faults. By understanding these rules, players can ensure that their game is played to the highest standards. That everyone has a fun and enjoyable experience.

Pickleball Service

The game starts with a serve. The first serve is decided by a coin toss or spinning the paddle. In doubles pickleball, players must serve diagonally, alternating serves between their partner and the opponents.

A successful serve must land within the opponent’s court, and it cannot touch the net or the non-volley zone.


A volley is a shot that is hit before the ball bounces on the court. The non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is an area 7 feet from the net on both sides of the court. It is illegal to make a volley in this zone, and if a player does, they will lose the point.


The game is played to 11 points, and the team that wins two out of three games wins the match. The scoring system is called rally scoring. This means that a team scores a point every time they win a rally, regardless of who served the ball.

To score a point, the ball must land within the opponent’s court and not touch any of the lines or the net. The ball should also not be a volley into the kitchen.


In doubles pickleball, players must rotate positions after each rally. The rotation order is left back, right back, left front, and right front. Keeping track of rotations is important to ensure players are in the correct positions during the game.

Let Serves

A let-serve occurs when the ball touches the net on the server but still lands in the correct serving area. In this case, the serve is replayed without penalty.


Substitutions are allowed in doubles pickleball, but the players must follow specific restrictions. The rule can only occur between games and during timeouts. The player being substituted cannot return to the game.



Each team is allowed two timeouts per game, and each timeout lasts for one minute. To call a timeout, a player must stop play and clearly indicate to the opposing team and the official that they are taking a timeout.


Faults in doubles pickleball include hitting the ball out of bounds, touching the net, making a volley in the non-volley zone, and serving the ball out of bounds. If a player makes a fault, the opponent scores a point.

To avoid faults, players should focus on making good shots, playing within the boundaries of the court, and following the rules.

Advanced Doubles Rules & Techniques

The more complex aspects of the game require more advanced skills and knowledge of the rules.

This includes things like the two-bounce rule, dink shots, and lob shots. Players who are interested in taking their doubles game to the next level should familiarize themselves with these advanced rules and techniques to improve their performance and strategy on the court. 


It is also important to continue practicing and refining these skills to achieve a higher level of mastery in doubles pickleball. 

Two-Bounce Rule

The two-bounce rule in pickleball is a fundamental rule that applies to both singles and doubles play. It dictates that the ball must bounce twice on the opponent’s side of the court before it can be played on the volley. This rule helps to create a more strategic and challenging game. As players must think carefully about their shots and positioning on the court. 

The rule also helps to slow down the pace of play and increase the likelihood of longer rallies. Which can be more exciting for both players and spectators. By following this rule and others like it, players can ensure that their pickleball games are played fairly, competitively, and with a high level of strategy and skill.

Dink Shots

A dink shot is a soft, low-arcing shot that puts the ball near the net side of the opponent’s court. In tennis terms, it’s like a drop shot.

In the context of pickleball rules doubles, the dink shot is an important aspect to consider. According to the rules, dink shots can only be played from the non-volley zone, which is located near the net. Players who make a dink shot while in the volley zone will commit a fault and lose the point. 

dink shot

Additionally, the dink shot must also be played so that it lands within the opponent’s court, otherwise it will also be considered a fault.

Lob Shots

Lob shots are played when a player hits the ball high into the air, over the opponent’s head, in an effort to gain a strategic advantage. 

In doubles play, lob shots can be especially effective when combined with other shots, such as dinks or angled shots. However, it is important for players to understand the restrictions surrounding lob shots, as well. For example, lob shots cannot be played from the non-volley zone.

Failure to adhere to these rules may result in a fault, and loss of the point.

Common Pickleball Mistakes in Doubles

  • Not communicating with your partner
  • Not covering the kitchen
  • Poor shot selection
  • Not following the rules of the non-volley zone (NVZ)
  • Not being prepared for the return shot
  • Not playing at your partner’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Failing to rotate positions
  • Not properly utilizing the third shot drop
  • Poor footwork
  • Not switching sides of the court when necessary.

common mistakes in double

These mistakes can cause a breakdown in teamwork and hinder your chances of winning. Avoiding these common errors and focusing on good communication, shot selection, and teamwork will improve your doubles pickleball game.

Benefits of Playing Pickleball Doubles

benefits of doubles

  • Improved teamwork and communication: Doubles play requires players to work together, communicate effectively, and coordinate their movements, which can enhance these skills in real-life situations.
  • Developed skills: Doubles play allows players to work on their shot placement, footwork, and overall strategy, which can improve their individual skills and competitiveness.
  • Increased physical activity: Pickleball doubles involves constant movement and engagement of multiple muscle groups, providing a full-body workout.
  • Variety of play: Doubles play introduces new challenges and strategies. Such as covering the court and executing teamwork-based shots, providing a dynamic and constantly evolving experience.
  • Enhanced mental agility: Pickleball doubles requires quick thinking and strategy, helping players to improve their problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
  • Social interaction: Playing pickleball doubles provides an opportunity to interact with other players, form new relationships, and participate in a fun and supportive community.


Doubles pickleball is a fast-paced and exciting sport that requires players to follow a set of rules. These rules ensure that the game is played fairly, safely, and to the highest standards.

From serving techniques to the non-volley zone rules to the scoring system to the rotations, let serves, substitutions, timeouts, and faults, players must have a good understanding of the rules in order to maximize their enjoyment of the sport. Whether you are a seasoned player or just starting out. It is important to familiarize yourself with the rules of doubles pickleball and to play by them.