Can You Hit the Ball Twice in Pickleball?

Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport that combines elements from table tennis, badminton, and tennis. It is played using a paddle and a lightweight plastic ball with holes. Due to the unique nature of pickleball rules, a common question that arises is whether it's allowed to strike the ball twice within a single point. In this article, we will explore the rules of pickleball to determine if a double strike is permissible.

An Overview of Pickleball

Before delving into the question of striking the ball twice, it's important to understand the basics of pickleball:

1. Net and Court

Pickleball is typically played on a court that is similar in size to a badminton court, with a net set at a lower height than a tennis net.

2. Scoring

In pickleball, only the serving team has the opportunity to score points. The standard game is played up to eleven points, with a minimum winning margin of two points.

3. Doubles and Singles

Pickleball can be played as singles (one player per side) or doubles (two players per side), with doubles being the more common format.

4. Serving

The serving team is required to serve the ball diagonally. If they win the point, they retain the serve; if they lose the point, the opposing team takes over the serving.

Now, let's address the central question.

Can You Strike the Ball Twice?

The rule regarding striking the ball twice in pickleball is straightforward:

The Ball May Not Be Struck Twice

Yes, you read that correctly. Unlike tennis, where players are occasionally allowed to strike the ball twice (as in the serve), pickleball rules do not permit this. The ball must clear the net and bounce in the opponent's court, and each player is limited to one strike per rally.

Why the Rule?

The rule prohibiting consecutive hits on the ball in pickleball serves several purposes:

  • Equity: It ensures fairness and maintains a level playing field.
  • Challenge: It keeps the game challenging and prevents a serve that is too powerful.

How the Rule is Enforced

Generally, a double hit (when the ball accidentally hits a player's paddle twice) is considered a fault, resulting in the opposing team earning a point. However, there can be exceptions. If a double hit occurs due to an unintentional deflection or interference from another player, it may not be considered a fault. The rules can be nuanced, so players need to be aware of them.


In conclusion, it is not permissible to strike the ball twice within a point in pickleball. The rules are in place to ensure that all players enjoy the game and to maintain a fair and challenging playing environment. A double strike results in the loss of a point for the opposing team.

For newcomers to pickleball, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the rules to have an enjoyable and equitable experience on the court.

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