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