Pickleball Double Bounce Rule – A Comprehensive Guide

Want to know more about the Pickleball double bounce rule?

The Pickleball double bounce rule, now known as the two-bounce rule (wording changed in 2018), is an important rule to master.  Pickleball might seem like an easy sport however, there is a list of unique rules and regulations that can make this game quite a confusing one for beginners.

This article will discuss the basics of the two bounce rule in Pickleball, its impacts, its significance and how you can master it.

pickleball double bounce rule

What is the Double Bounce or Two Bounce Rule?

The two-bounce rule is where the first two shots in the game, the serve and the return serve, have to first bounce on the court before they can be hit back.  Once the first two shots have bounced and then hit, the players then are free to hit the ball on the fly in the next turns.

What is the two-bounce rule for?

From the outside, looking at the two-bounce rule can seem complicated and futile.  You need to remember that this game started in a backyard and was designed for families to play.  Making the ball bounce on either side of the net from a service gives both players a fair chance of return.  This rule basically stops one player standing at the net and smashing the ball back from mid air or dropping (dink) the ball just over the net and making the server run to the net.

Some of the most important objectives of the two-bounce rule include:

  • It requires the serve to bounce on the court
  • The return of the serve must also bounce on the court
  • This extends the game’s time to ensure better rallies and longer play
  • It improves the competitiveness of the game
  • It reduces the chances of unfair advantages that another player could have

If you are not well-versed with pickleball, the two-bounce rule is the one that everyone messes up with.

What are the objectives behind the two-bounce rule?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the two-bounce rule and what it entails, you need to understand the basics of the rule.

We’ll elaborate further on the rule and what it entails.

This rule makes sure players of all ages and levels can have a shot for each point.

Without the two-bounce rule, it becomes easier for stronger players to score an easy point.  This leads to a shorter game with no fun and thrill along the way. That is not what pickleball is about.

Since pickleball is a racquet sport, it isn’t surprising that players like to have longer rallies, which makes the game more competitive and engaging. The primary objective of the two-bounce rule is to create more interesting rallies in the game.

How can you Benefit from the Pickleball Two-bounce Rule?

You may be sitting here thinking what are the benefits of the two-bounce rule?

As we said before, the two-bounce rule ensures that both players get at least one shot per point/rally. The rule ensures that players have to hustle around the kitchen line before it is considered okay to hit the ball in the air.

This one rule can effectively change the way people approach Pickleball and play it at the professional level. Instead of powering through the first round and bringing down the opponent, the game starts with a slow pace and then builds up the intensity gradually.

The combination of the two-bounce rule with the underhand serve ensures that the serving team isn’t at an advantage.

It just makes it a fairer game.

Are the Double bounce and Two bounce rules the same?

Yes, the double and two bounce rules are the same thing in Pickleball. The rule was previously known as the double-bounce rule and was later changed to a two-bounce rule.

The official Pickleball rules and regulations were tweaked and changed in 2018. It was then that the name of the double bounce rule was changed to the two-bounce rule.

So, technically, both of them are the same thing.

Can the Ball Bounce twice under the Two-bounce rule?

Ideally, the pickleball can bounce only once on the court. The two-bounce rule is indeed applicable for the serve and return of serve. So, the ball does bounce twice but once on either side of the net.

The ball can’t bounce twice on the same side of the court, on the same serve, as that is considered a foul.

Committing a foul in pickleball transfers the service to your team member (in doubles) or your opponent (in singles). So, if you don’t want the points to go to your opponent, avoid bouncing the pickleball twice on your side of the court.


That is all there is to the two-bounce or double-bounce rule in pickleball.  Let the ball bounce when it is served, then let it bounce on the return of service and then let the competition begin!!