Where to Stand in Pickleball Doubles: A Helpful Guide

Where to Stand in Pickleball Doubles: A Helpful Guide

Welcome to the exciting world of pickleball doubles!  If you’re new to this fun and fast-paced sport, you may be wondering where you should stand on the court to maximize your performance. Well, you’re in the right place! In this guide, we’ll help you understand where to stand in for pickleball doubles.

Pickleball doubles is played with two players on each team, and positioning is crucial to succeed. To start, let’s divide the court into three sections: the left side, the right side, and the middle. As a general rule, each team member should cover one side of the court, with one player taking the left and the other player taking the right.

When your team serves, it’s essential for the server to stand on the right side of the court. The partner should position themselves at the non-volley zone line, also known as the kitchen, near the middle of the court. This arrangement allows for better coverage and teamwork.

During the game, you and your partner need to communicate and move together to cover the court effectively. As the game progresses, you can adjust your positioning based on the opponent’s shots and strategies.

Pickleball is a game of teamwork and strategy, and knowing where to stand in pickleball doubles can give you a competitive edge. So grab your paddle, find your spot on the court, and get ready to have a blast playing pickleball doubles!

Where to Stand in Pickleball Doubles?

In pickleball doubles, positioning is crucial for success. As the server, stand diagonally opposite your partner. Maintain a strategic formation, commonly known as the “stack” or “I-formation,” with one player at the kitchen line and the other slightly behind. Adapt to the game flow, communicate, and coordinate to maximize your team’s effectiveness.

What Are the Rules for Pickleball Doubles?

where to stand in pickleball doubles

To enjoy a game of pickleball doubles to its fullest, it’s important to understand the rules that govern this exciting sport. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to brush up on the basics, let’s dive into the simple yet essential rules for pickleball doubles.

Team Composition:

Pickleball doubles is played with two teams, each consisting of two players.

Players on the same team stand on opposite sides of the court.


The serve must be made diagonally, starting from the right-hand side of the court.

The serve should clear the non-volley zone (kitchen) and land in the diagonal service court of the opposing team.

Each team takes turns serving, and the serving team continues to serve until a fault occurs.

Double Bounce Rule:

After the serve, both teams must let the ball bounce once on each side before volleys are allowed.

This means that the serving team must let the return of serve bounce, and the receiving team must let their first shot bounce before volleying.

Non-Volley Zone (Kitchen):

The non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is a designated area close to the net.

Players are not allowed to hit a volley (hitting the ball in mid-air without letting it bounce) while standing inside the kitchen.

However, they can step into the kitchen to play a ball that has bounced or to retrieve a ball.

Faults and Scoring:

A fault occurs if the ball fails to clear the net, lands out of bounds, or is volleyed from within the kitchen.

Points are scored only by the serving team.

Normally, games are decided by a two-point margin, and they are played to 11 points.

These rules provide the foundation for pickleball doubles, but there may be additional rules specific to certain tournaments or venues. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with any variations or modifications before you step onto the court.

Where to Stand in Pickleball Doubles as a Server Team?

where to stand in pickleball doubles

When it’s your turn to serve in pickleball doubles, your position on the court plays a crucial role in setting the stage for a successful play. Let’s explore where you should stand as the server in simple terms to help you understand and excel in your game.

The Right Side:

As the server, your starting position should be on the right side of the court. By standing on the right, you have a better angle and access to the entire court. This position allows you to hit the ball diagonally across the net, aiming for the opposite side of your opponents’ court.

The Non-Volley Zone Line:

While you take your place on the right side, your partner should stand at the non-volley zone line, which is also known as the kitchen. This line is a special area close to the net and stretches horizontally across the middle of the court. Your partner’s position near the kitchen helps them react quickly to any shots from your opponents and engage in fast-paced rallies.

By adopting these positions as the server team, you establish a strong foundation for effective teamwork and court coverage. The right-side position provides you with a strategic advantage to serve powerfully and accurately, while your partner’s position at the kitchen offers excellent coverage and responsiveness.

Communication with your partner is key. Discuss your strategies, coordinate your movements, and be prepared to adjust your positions based on the game’s dynamics. With practice and understanding, you’ll be able to enhance your serving game and contribute to your team’s success.

Where to Stand in Pickleball Doubles as a Receiver Team?

where to stand in pickleball doubles

As the receiver team in pickleball doubles, your position on the court is just as important as the server’s position. By understanding where to stand, you can maximize your chances of returning the ball effectively and setting up successful plays. Let’s dive into the simple guidelines for positioning as the receiver team.

The Left Side:

As the receiver, your starting position should be on the left side of the court. By standing on the left, you can cover the area closer to the net on your side of the court.

The Non-Volley Zone Line:

Your partner, as the receiver’s teammate, should stand at the non-volley zone line (kitchen). This allows them to be in a prime position to react quickly to any shots and engage in fast exchanges at the net.

Communication and Movement:

As the receiver team, it’s crucial to communicate with your partner and move together fluidly. Coordinate your movements, anticipate each other’s actions, and cover the court efficiently. This teamwork will enhance your ability to respond effectively to the server’s shots.

Adjusting Positions:

As the game progresses, you may need to adjust your positions based on the server’s strategies and the type of shots they deliver. Pay attention to their placement, speed, and spin to determine the best positions to be in for returning the ball.

Remember, pickleball doubles is a dynamic and fast-paced game, so staying alert and focused is essential. By positioning yourself on the left side and having your partner at the kitchen, you create a solid foundation for effective court coverage and teamwork.

Practice your footwork, develop your reflexes, and work on your communication skills with your partner. These efforts will help you become a formidable receiver team, capable of returning serves with precision and setting up winning shots.

Who Serves First in Pickleball Doubles?

One common question that often arises in pickleball doubles is, “Who serves first?” The serving order is determined at the beginning of the game and can impact the flow and momentum of the match. Let’s dive into the simple rules to understand who serves first in pickleball doubles.

Coin Toss:

Typically, a coin toss or another method of chance is used to decide which team serves first. This process is done before the game starts and is used to determine the initial serving team.

Winning Team Serves:

The team that wins the coin toss gets to choose whether they want to serve first or let the opposing team serve first. If they choose to serve first, they become the serving team, and the other team becomes the receiving team.

Alternating Serves:

In pickleball doubles, the serving team continues to serve until a fault occurs. After a fault or a loss of the serve, the serve switches to the opposing team. The serving alternates between the teams for the duration of the game.

Switching Sides:

When the serving team scores a point, they switch sides of the court. This allows for fairness in the game, as both teams get an equal chance to play on each side.


The serving order is determined by chance, and it’s important to respect the decision made during the coin toss or method used. The alternating serve ensures equal opportunities for both teams to showcase their skills and make strategic moves.

What Are the Best Strategies for Pickleball Doubles?

To excel in pickleball doubles, it’s important to have effective strategies in place. These strategies help you work as a team, make smart decisions, and outmaneuver your opponents. Let’s explore some simple yet effective strategies that can elevate your pickleball doubles gameplay.

Communication is Key:

Constant communication with your partner is essential in doubles play. Use verbal cues, hand signals, or pre-arranged codes to convey your intentions and coordinate your movements. This ensures better teamwork, avoids confusion, and helps you cover the court efficiently.

Maintain Court Balance:

It’s crucial to maintain a balanced position on the court with your partner. Avoid clustering together or leaving large gaps between you. By spreading out, you can cover more ground and have better chances of returning shots.

Utilize the Non-Volley Zone (Kitchen):

The non-volley zone, or the kitchen, is a crucial area near the net. Use this zone strategically to control the game. Try to keep your opponents back and force them into making errors by hitting well-placed shots that keep them away from the kitchen.

Play to Your Strengths:

Identify your team’s strengths and capitalize on them. If you have a strong serve, focus on aggressive serving to put pressure on your opponents. If you have excellent volleys, aim to engage in fast-paced exchanges at the net. Tailor your strategies to your skills for maximum impact.

Adjust to Your Opponents:

Observe your opponents’ playing style and adapt your strategies accordingly. If they tend to hit powerful shots, adjust your positioning to allow for better defense. If they have a weak backhand, target that side with your shots. Being adaptable and responsive to your opponents’ weaknesses can give you a competitive advantage.

Practice Smart Shot Placement:

Instead of focusing solely on power, emphasize shot placement. Aim for the open areas of the court, away from your opponents, to make it harder for them to return the ball effectively. Strategic shot placement can create opportunities for winning shots.

These strategies are meant to guide you, but it’s essential to adapt them to your own style and the specific dynamics of the game. Experiment, learn from experience, and find strategies that work best for you and your partner.

By implementing these strategies and continuously refining your gameplay, you’ll be on your way to becoming a formidable pickleball doubles player. Stay tuned for more tips and insights in our next section!

What is Stacking?

Stacking in pickleball is a strategy used in doubles play that involves positioning the players on one side of the court in a specific way. It is important to note that stacking is not a rule in pickleball, but rather a tactic employed by players to gain a competitive advantage.

In a stacked formation, one player stands directly behind their partner, aligning themselves in a line rather than side by side. This configuration is typically used when one player has a stronger forehand or backhand shot, and the team wants to maximize their offensive capabilities.

By stacking, the team aims to create better angles for their dominant player to hit winners and put pressure on their opponents. The player in front, often referred to as the “dinker” or “soft game specialist,” focuses on placing strategic shots while the player behind provides backup and covers a larger portion of the court.

It’s important to remember that stacking is not allowed in all tournaments or recreational play, as some organizations or venues have specific rules against it. Always check the rules and guidelines of the specific event or location where you are playing pickleball doubles.

If you decide to use stacking as a strategy, practice and coordination with your partner are crucial. Effective communication and understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help you execute this tactic successfully.

While stacking is not a mandatory rule in pickleball doubles, understanding this strategy can provide you with valuable insights into advanced gameplay techniques and tactics. Experiment with different formations and find what works best for you and your partner within the framework of the official pickleball rules.

What Is “I-Formation” in Pickleball Doubles?

When it comes to advanced strategies in pickleball doubles, the “I-formation” is a technique worth exploring. It involves a specific positioning of players on the court, enhancing teamwork and creating opportunities for tactical advantage. Let’s dive into what the “I-formation” is and how it can elevate your pickleball doubles gameplay.

Understanding the “I-Formation”:

The “I-formation” is a strategic positioning where the serving team’s players align themselves in the shape of the letter “I.”

The player at the net, typically the stronger and more aggressive player, stands at the center of the non-volley zone line (kitchen).

The partner positions themselves at the baseline, creating the vertical line of the “I.”

This formation allows the serving team to put pressure on their opponents and control the game’s tempo.

Advantages of the “I-Formation”:

Confusing Opponents: The “I-formation” can confuse opponents by concealing the server’s intended direction and shot selection.

Better Court Coverage: By positioning one player at the net and the other at the baseline, the serving team covers more areas of the court effectively.

Opening Up Opportunities: The server’s partner at the baseline can observe the opponents’ reactions and adjust their positioning accordingly, creating opportunities for well-placed shots.

Enhancing Communication: The “I-formation” encourages active communication between teammates, ensuring coordinated movements and strategic shot selection.

Execution and Adaptation:

Effective execution of the “I-formation” requires practice, coordination, and understanding between teammates.

Communicate your intentions, strategies, and shot selections to ensure seamless execution.

Adapt the “I-formation” based on your opponents’ responses and the dynamics of the game. Adjust your positioning to maximize your strengths and exploit your opponents’ weaknesses.

Remember, the “I-formation” is an advanced strategy that may not be suitable for all players or situations. It requires teamwork, communication, and understanding between partners. Experiment with the “I-formation” during practice sessions and adapt it to your own style and capabilities.

Understanding advanced strategies like the “I-formation” can enhance your pickleball doubles gameplay, offering a tactical edge. As you develop your skills and explore different formations, remember to balance strategy with the fundamental principles of court coverage and teamwork.

Tips for Effective Positioning in Pickleball Doubles

Positioning is a key factor in pickleball doubles, and understanding how to position yourself and work with your partner can greatly improve your performance on the court. Let’s explore some simple yet effective tips for effective positioning in pickleball doubles.

Maintaining an Optimal Distance between Partners:

It’s important to maintain an optimal distance between you and your partner on the court.

Standing too close can create congestion and limit your mobility, while standing too far apart can leave gaps in court coverage.

Find a comfortable distance that allows you to move swiftly and communicate effectively while covering a significant portion of the court.

Being Aware of Court Boundaries and Maintaining Court Balance:

Pay attention to the boundaries of the court and ensure you stay within them during play.

By staying within the boundaries, you avoid giving away points due to stepping out of bounds.

Additionally, strive to maintain court balance by spreading out and covering both sides of the court effectively.

Avoid clustering in one area, as it can leave the other side vulnerable to opponents’ shots.

By following these tips, you and your partner can achieve better court coverage, mobility, and teamwork. Maintaining an optimal distance and court balance allows for quick movement and effective shot selection.

Remember, practice is essential to develop a sense of positioning and court awareness. As you become more comfortable with these concepts, you’ll be able to make split-second decisions and adjust your positioning based on the game’s dynamics.

Also read: what are the best pickleball drill to take your game to next level

Can you stand anywhere in pickleball doubles while your partner is serving?

So, if you are the server’s partner, where should you stand? In this case, you will also be positioned on the baseline, specifically in the box next to the server. As the non-server, you can stand right on the baseline or slightly in front of it. Your role as the server’s partner is to keep an eye on the opponent’s return shots. If the return is deep, you should stay back with your partner. However, if the returns are not deep, you can move up closer to the baseline, but be cautious not to stand too close to the kitchen line. Standing near the kitchen line makes you an easy target for your opponents as you haven’t left enough space for the shot to bounce.


When it comes to pickleball doubles, knowing where to stand on the court is key. By understanding the proper positioning for serving and receiving, communicating with your partner, and adapting to the game, you can maximize your performance. So, make sure you know where to stand in pickleball doubles, work together with your partner, and enjoy the game to the fullest!


What is double bouce rule in pickleball?

The double bounce rule in pickleball means that both teams must allow the ball to bounce once on each side before volleying it. This rule ensures fair play and encourages longer rallies by preventing players from smashing the ball immediately after the serve.

Where should I stand when serving in pickleball doubles?

As the server, stand at the back of your side of the court, diagonally opposite your partner.

What is the purpose of the “stack” or “I-formation” in pickleball doubles?

The “stack” or “I-formation” is a strategic positioning where one player stands at the kitchen line, while the other stands slightly behind. It aims to provide optimal coverage and coordination between both players during the game.

Can I move around the court during the game in pickleball doubles?

Yes, movement is essential in pickleball doubles. You should adapt your positions based on the situation, communicate with your partner, and coordinate your movements to effectively cover the court and respond to your opponents’ shots.

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