Who Serves First in Pickleball Doubles

Pickleball Rules: Who Serves First in Pickleball Doubles

In pickleball, determining which one should serve first can be easy if you follow the service sequence rules. If you start the game properly, it will be easier to keep track of who should serve or receive or know what the score is. So, who serves first in pickleball doubles?

To figure out which team serves first in doubles, any type of fair method is used. It could be a coin flip, rocks/paper/scissors, etc. The winner can decide whether they want to defer to the opponent or will serve first. Whether pickleball is played in singles or doubles, the player who does the first serve should do this from the right-hand side of the court.

If you are a beginner in pickleball, you might find that the rules of pickleball can be a bit complicated. However, keep in mind that these are the fundamentals of the whole game. Keep on reading to know more about the pickleball serving rules.

How Do You Decide Which Team Serves First in Pickleball

To start the game of pickleball, the first thing to do is to serve. But the question is, who serves first in pickleball doubles? This can be decided by any method, such as guessing a number, playing with rocks/papers/scissors, flipping a coin, and others. Whoever wins can choose to serve the ball first or could choose to receive the ball first.  

When playing doubles, typically, you want the stronger player to do the service first. In this way, there are greater chances that you can score points right away. The ball will be served to the opposite end of the court, and take note that it should reach the diagonal service box, which is located between the baseline and the non-volley zone line. Afterward, the ball should be returned over the net.

For the point to continue, the returner or your opponent should return back the ball over the net. The ball can land on any area of the serving team’s side. The player who wins the point will serve the next ball, which will be done on the left-hand side of the court.

In doubles, if the first server’s team wins, it will be the same server that will continue to serve. The succeeding serve will be done on the other side of the court, and it will continue to alternate sides from right to left while winning a point. This will continue as long as they keep on winning each point.

However, if the returning team wins the point from the first server, the ball will be handed over to the other player of the serving team. The other player from the serving team will continue to serve and move from one side to the other as he keeps winning each point. This will continue until such time that the service is lost. The ball will be handed over to the opposing team when this happens.

What is the Serving Order in Pickleball?

In pickleball, the points are only given during the serve. The opposing team or the receiver side will not be able to score a point. When the game starts, the player positioned on the right side, also known as the even court, should serve the ball diagonally toward the opposing team. If the server scores a point, he will switch to the left side of the court, also known as the odd court. Again, he will serve the ball diagonally toward the receiving side.

The players on the serving side will continue to switch sides from left to right or from right to left every time they score a point. In addition, if you are a serving team player, you should not move sides except if a point is scored. On the other hand, the receiving side or the opposing team will not switch sides.

The player who serves first will continue to serve until the serving side loses a rally when a fault is committed. When this occurs, the second player on the serving team will do the servicing. If the second server does not win a point on the serve, the service will be given to the opposing team, and the service will be done by the player on the right-hand side of the court. This pattern will be practiced throughout the game.

If the team’s score is an even number, then the first server for that game should stay on the right side of the court or the even court. Consequently, if the score is odd, then the player should stay on the left side of the court or the odd court. Another way of expressing it is that if the first server of that game is positioned on the right side of the court, then the team’s score should be even. In case, this is not what is happening, then eventually, there must be something wrong. Maybe the score is incorrect, or the players are not positioned on the proper side of the court.

Do Servers Switch Sides in Pickleball?

In pickleball doubles, the two players on the serving team are given a chance to serve and eventually earn some points until the time comes that a fault is committed. The first serve of the game should be done from the right-hand side of the court. Once a point is scored, the server will move sides and continue doing the next service on the other side, which is the left-hand side of the court.

As long as the server earns points, the server will continue to switch sides until there is a fault. During this time, the first server lost the service. Since the first server did not win the serve, it will be his partner’s turn to do the service, and this should be done on the proper side of the court.

The second server will continue to do the succeeding serve until the team commits a fault. This time it will be the opposing team’s turn to do the servicing. When it is time for the opposing team to do the service, the first service should be executed from the right-hand side of the court. The two players on the opposing team are given a chance to serve and earn some points until the time comes that their team commits a fault.

It is more or less the same with pickleball singles. The serve is done on the right-hand side of the court when the score is even, and when the score is odd, it will be on the left-hand side. 

Can You Bounce the Ball Before Serving in Pickleball?

The American pickleball association has a lot of rules that concern the fundamental rules of doing the service and how the service should be done. And one of the major questions is if it is ok to bounce the ball before serving in pickleball.

Absolutely! According to the Two-Bounce Rule, the service return and service should be permitted to bounce before hitting the ball. Certainly, the player can bounce the ball as much as he wants before striking the ball with the paddle for the serve. The rule is that the service should be struck within ten seconds of the score being given.

The pickleball game has its own rules and regulations in different parts of the world, specifically in the United States of America. Although this sport combines tennis, ping pong, and badminton, it has its own set of rules so that the game can be played smoothly and fairly.

Bouncing the ball before the service is somewhat related to the drop serve. There are three criteria in the drop serve:

  • The contact should be on the lower portion of the waistline. 
  • The paddle should be kept below the waistline.
  • Movements of the arm.

Although these criteria don’t need to be followed, the drop serve permits the ball to bounce before striking the serve. This service is allowed, provided that it does not cause the ball to be thrown upward or downward after being dropped. A fault is committed if dropping the ball does not result in the right position. The ball should be struck in an upward direction.

The most important thing to remember is that there is no restriction regarding the number of times the ball is allowed to bounce before hitting the ball. However, you must strike the ball within ten seconds once the score is announced. 


Knowing the rules and regulations of pickleball can help you play the game effectively while having some exercise and fun. For instance, you should know who serves first in pickleball doubles. Pickleball is easy to learn, and as you keep on playing, you will eventually keep learning its rules.

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