Pickleball strategies for doubles play

Pickleball strategies for doubles play



Struggling to level up your doubles pickleball game? Doubles play in pickleball can be daunting, with strategies differing substantially from singles. This article will arm you with key tactics for dominating the court as a team, improving your communication and shot selection.

Ready to elevate your doubles performance? Let’s dive right in!

Understanding Doubles Pickleball: Rules and Gameplay

Understanding Doubles Pickleball: Rules and Gameplay

Doubles pickleball is played with specific rules, including scoring, non-volley zones, line calls, and faults.

Doubles pickleball scoring

In doubles pickleball, the serving team holds the exclusive right to score points. Each player on a team is granted one serve turn, with the initial serve always directed towards the right-hand side of the court.

win in a rally earns the serving team a point and induces player rotation within that team – switching over to opposite sides of their court. Conversely, if they lose a rally, they don’t earn any point but essentially pass on serving rights to their opponents.

This nuanced scoring system places apparent emphasis on strong serves and communication between partners for strategic play dominance and effective game control.

Volleys and non-volley zones

In doubles pickleball, mastering volleys and understanding the intricacies of non-volley zones can be game-changing. A volley in pickleball refers to hitting the ball out of the air before it has a chance to bounce.

This strategy can significantly speed up your gameplay and keep opponents on their toes. However, while playing a volley, players must pay serious attention to where they stand due to the unique rules surrounding non-volley zones also known as “The Kitchen”.

Positioned at each end of the court, these are designated areas where volleys are not allowed.

Without setting foot into or lounging over this zone during a hit, executing an effective volley necessitates careful positioning and sound technique – especially in doubles play where communication with your partner becomes crucial for avoiding paddle-clashing.

If you manage to successfully aim shots at your opponent’s feet while maintaining proper standing position outside the kitchen line, you’ll find yourself disrupting their rhythm enormously and earning points frequently.

In conclusion, knowledge about volleys coupled with smart management of non-volley zones enhances overall performance in doubles pickleball matches.

Line calls and faults

Line calls and faults significantly affect your doubles pickleball game strategy. An understanding of these rules helps reduce errors that can sway the outcome of a match. A few critical details include knowing that balls are considered out only if they land outside the court lines.

In doubles play, both players on the serving team get an opportunity to serve and score points until their team commits a fault, leading to loss of service. Common faults in pickleball include hitting the ball out of boundsstepping into the non-volley zone before making contact with a volleyed ball (known as a kitchen line fault), or violating the double bounce rule during returns.

Advanced communication between partners can help prevent such mishaps by ensuring clear decision-making around tricky shots near boundaries or close to the NVZ Line.

Key Strategies for Winning Doubles Pickleball

Key Strategies for Winning Doubles Pickleball

– Communicate effectively with your partner in the middle of the court to ensure smooth returns and avoid confusion.

Communication during middle court returns

Clear and effective communication is essential during middle court returns in doubles pickleball. By constantly communicating with your partner, you can ensure that you both have a clear understanding of who should take the shot and avoid any confusion or paddle-clashing in the middle of the court.

This allows for better coordination and reduces the chances of errors or missed opportunities. So, make it a priority to communicate effectively with your partner during middle court returns to maximize your team’s performance on the pickleball court.

Avoiding the baseline during serve returns

During serve returns, it is crucial to avoid standing at the baseline in doubles pickleball. By positioning yourself a couple of feet back from the baseline, you give yourself more room to make a successful return.

This strategic move allows you to have better control over your shots and helps prevent any potential line faults. It also gives you more time to react and adjust your position on the court, increasing your chances of returning difficult serves.

So remember, stepping away from the baseline during serve returns can greatly improve your doubles pickleball game.

Targeting your opponent’s feet

A key strategy for winning doubles pickleball is targeting your opponent’s feet. By aiming your shots at their feet, you can impede their ability to return the ball effectively. Hitting the ball low forces them to react quickly and often results in weaker returns.

This strategy is particularly effective when your opponents are closer to the net, as it increases the chances of hitting their feet and disrupting their positioning. Targeting their feet not only puts pressure on them but also limits their options for returning a strong shot, giving you an advantage in the rally.

Incorporating drop shots

One effective strategy to employ during doubles pickleball is incorporating drop shots into your gameplay. Drop shots are delicate shots that land just over the net and bounce low, making it difficult for opponents to return.

By incorporating drop shots into your game, you can catch your opponents off-guard and force them to move quickly towards the net. This strategy can help disrupt their positioning and put pressure on them to make challenging returns.

Remember, patience and precision are key when executing drop shots in order to effectively deceive your opponents and gain an advantage in the game (Pro Pickleball Stats).

Maintaining patience and positivity

Maintaining patience and positivity is a crucial strategy for success in doubles pickleball. Remaining calm and composed during intense rallies can help you make better decisions and avoid impulsive errors.

Additionally, having a positive mindset can boost your confidence and motivate your partner, creating a more cohesive team dynamic. Professional pickleball players emphasize the importance of staying patient when facing tough opponents or challenging situations on the court.

By focusing on maintaining composure and staying positive, you can improve your overall performance and increase your chances of winning in doubles play.

Advanced Doubles Pickleball Strategies

Advanced Doubles Pickleball Strategies

Some advanced strategies for doubles pickleball include the “Shake ‘n Bake” technique and utilizing speed ups to catch opponents off guard.

Shake ‘n Bake

The “shake ‘n bake” strategy in pickleball doubles involves a powerful and well-placed serve return that catches the opponents off guard. This tactic requires one player to drive the ball to the opponent who is in motion, while their partner anticipates a pop-up from the opponent’s return.

By executing this strategy successfully, players can put pressure on their opponents and seize control of the rally. It is a high-risk, high-reward approach that can lead to quick points if executed properly.

Speed Ups

Speed ups are a highly effective strategy in doubles pickleball that can give teams a significant advantage. By increasing the pace of the game with faster shots and quick exchanges, players can catch their opponents off guard and force them to make mistakes.

This aggressive approach not only puts pressure on the opposing team but also disrupts their rhythm and prevents them from executing their own strategies effectively. In fact, professional pickleball players who initiate speed ups often have a higher chance of winning matches due to the added intensity and unpredictability it brings to the game.

With paddle technology contributing to faster gameplay at the net, hand battles become even more decisive, making speed ups an essential tactic for success in doubles pickleball.

The Importance of Pickleball Double Strategy

The Importance of Pickleball Double Strategy

Effective pickleball doubles strategy is crucial for success on the court, as it emphasizes placement over power and requires strategic court positioning to handle lobs and middle balls.

Placement over power

One crucial strategy in doubles pickleball is prioritizing placement over power. While hitting the ball hard may seem enticing, strategic shot placement can often be more effective in winning points.

By aiming for specific areas of the court, such as targeting your opponent’s feet or hitting shots that force them to move out of position, you can create opportunities for your team to gain control of the rally.

This strategic approach not only helps minimize errors and faults but also allows you to exploit weaknesses in your opponents’ positioning and movement. Ultimately, focusing on precise shot placement rather than solely relying on power can significantly increase your chances of success in doubles pickleball.

Court positioning

Court positioning is a crucial aspect of pickleball doubles play, as it determines your ability to cover the court effectively and respond to your opponents’ shots. By strategically placing yourself on the court, you can maximize your coverage and reduce gaps for your opponents to exploit.

Proper court positioning involves staying close to the non-volley zone line while also being ready to move quickly towards the backcourt if necessary. It’s important to maintain good spacing with your partner, ensuring that you’re not crowding each other or leaving too much distance between you.

Additionally, being aware of where your opponents are positioned can help you anticipate their shots and react accordingly. With smart court positioning, you’ll have a better chance of reaching difficult shots and maintaining control during rallies in doubles pickleball play.

Handling lobs and middle balls

Handling lobs and middle balls is a crucial aspect of successful doubles pickleball. When faced with a lob from the opponent, it is important to communicate with your partner and decide who will take the shot.

Positioning yourself in a way that allows you to easily track the ball and make an effective overhead smash or deep volley is key. When it comes to middle balls, quick reactions and communication are vital.

Staying alert and ready to switch positions with your partner can help ensure that no shots go untouched in the middle of the court. It’s important to maintain open lines of communication throughout the game so as not to miss any opportunities for decisive shots.


In conclusion, mastering the strategies for doubles pickleball can elevate your game and give you an edge over your opponents. Effective communication, avoiding baseline toeingtargeting opponents’ feet, and incorporating drop shots are key elements to success.

Remember to maintain patience, positivity, and trust in your partner as you work together to outplay the competition. By implementing these strategies and playing as a cohesive team, you’ll enhance your chances of victory on the pickleball court.