Pickleball Double Hit Rules: What’s the Verdict?

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Pickleball Double Hit Rules: What’s the Verdict?

Beyond the double bounce rule, non volley zone protocol, and some funky scoring, pickleball rules for the most part are quite straightforward and logical.

The double hit rule goes along with the common sense nature of the game. No need to get into slow motion replay to dissect how a ball gets over the net to determine if it is a fault or not. That all being said, there are a couple points to understand about the infamous double hit.

What is a double hit in pickleball?

According to the official USA rulebook 3.A.8 a double hit is defined as: “Hitting the ball twice before it is returned.” Well, that seems easy enough, but digging in a bit further, there are instances of legal and illegal double hits.

Section 11.A of the official rule book states: “Balls can be hit twice, but this must occur during an unintentional, continuous, single-direction stroke, by one player.”

This rule applies to all volleys, drives, drops, serves, and returns. Additionally, since the hand/wrist area are fair game in pickleball, this rule includes instances where a ball strikes the hand area, hits the same paddle, and goes forward in a fluid motion.

Illegal Double Hits

Section 11.A goes on to state: “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.

A fault will be given to the offending player or players if a double hit in pickleball is found to violate any of these requirements, including being purposeful, not continuous, multidirectional, hit by two players, or all of the above. If the serving team is found guilty of the double hit, the penalty is a loss of serve.  The serving team wins the rally and the point if it is committed by the opposing team.

Conclusion

Unless a double hit is deliberate, disjointed, or involves more than one player, it is a-okay. So get out there, and pickle on.

Written by:

Daniel Hawk

Daniel Hawk is a Northern California transplant from the Washington D.C. area. He grew up playing as much basketball as he possibly could while mixing in tennis, ping pong, and whatever other sports he could find that would get his heart rate going, test his reflexes, and fuel his competitive drive. He picked up pickleball in 2021 and has never looked back. Daniel is a 4.5 player who is constantly studying the game and working to improve. Daniel has been writing his whole life. His father is a professional editor who helped imprint the beauty and necessity of clear writing in Daniel at an early age. He studied English at the University of Colorado on Boulder and has written countless works of fiction and nonfiction since.

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