in , , ,

What Is The Two Bounce Rule In Pickleball?

Pickleball, a sport that blends elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has unique rules that set it apart. One such rule is the two-bounce rule, a fundamental aspect of the game that significantly influences its dynamics and strategy. This article delves into the intricacies of the two-bounce rule, explaining its purpose, implementation, and impact on gameplay.

The Two-Bounce Rule Explained


The two-bounce rule in pickleball mandates that the ball must bounce once on each side of the net before players can volley it (hit it out of the air). Specifically, after the serve, the ball must bounce once on the receiving side and then once again on the serving side before any player can hit it without letting it bounce. This rule applies to both the serve and the return of serve.


The two-bounce rule serves several important purposes:

  • Promotes Fairness: By requiring the ball to bounce on each side before volleys are allowed, the rule minimizes the advantage that could be gained from powerful serves and aggressive net play.
  • Encourages Strategy: Players must think strategically about their positioning and shot selection, especially during the initial exchanges of the rally.
  • Levels the Playing Field: This rule helps bridge the gap between players of varying skill levels, making the game more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

How to Implement the Two-Bounce Rule


The server must hit the ball so that it lands in the correct service area on the opposite side of the net. The ball must bounce once in this designated area before the receiving team can return it.

Return of Serve

The receiving team must then return the serve in such a way that the ball bounces once on the serving team’s side. This ensures that both teams have an equal opportunity to respond to the serve and return.

Continuation of Play

After these initial two bounces, play continues with players allowed to either volley the ball (hit it out of the air before it bounces) or play it off a bounce until the point is won or lost. This phase of the game emphasizes skill, precision, and strategic thinking.

Impact on Gameplay

The two-bounce rule significantly influences how pickleball is played:

  • Prevents Rushing the Net: By requiring the ball to bounce on each side, the rule prevents players from rushing to the net immediately after serving or returning the serve. This fosters a game that is less about sheer power and more about precision, strategy, and skill.
  • Encourages Longer Rallies: The rule promotes longer rallies by ensuring that both teams have an opportunity to return the ball before volleys are allowed. This makes the game more engaging and enjoyable for players and spectators alike.
  • Enhances Accessibility: By leveling the playing field, the two-bounce rule ensures that pickleball remains accessible to players of all ages and abilities. It emphasizes the importance of strategy over speed and strength, making the game more inclusive.

Common Misconceptions

Is the Two-Bounce Rule the Same as the Double Bounce Rule?

No, they are not the same. The two-bounce rule is a specific regulation that requires the ball to bounce once on each side of the court at the beginning of each point. This rule is designed to prevent players from volleying the ball immediately after the serve and return, promoting fair play and strategic rallies.

In contrast, the double bounce refers to a situation where the ball bounces twice on the same side of the court during a rally. According to Rule 7.E. in the official USA Pickleball rulebook, this results in a fault, indicating a failure to return the ball properly and leading to the end of the point.

Can the Second Bounce in Pickleball Land in the Kitchen?

Yes, the second bounce in pickleball can land in the kitchen (also known as the non-volley zone). The two-bounce rule requires that the ball must bounce once on each side of the net at the start of the play: first in the receiver’s court after the serve, and then in the server’s court after the return. There is no restriction on where the ball must bounce on either side, so it can legally bounce in the kitchen.


The two-bounce rule is a fundamental aspect of pickleball that enhances the game’s fairness, strategy, and accessibility. By requiring the ball to bounce once on each side of the net before volleys are allowed, the rule ensures that players of all skill levels can enjoy engaging and strategic gameplay. Understanding and implementing this rule is essential for anyone looking to play pickleball, whether for fun or competitively.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

The Latest Innovations in Pickleballs Design

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Pickleball Equipment