Playing Doubles

Lesson ideas to get pupils playing in pairs

There’s many benefits to getting pupils to play in pairs from improving spatial awareness to improving teamwork skills.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a guide on how to play, including a downloadable print-out and a doubles drill.

The Rules of Doubles

Service Changeover

Service must be diagonal, from the right half court (marked by a white line) to the opponent’s right half court.

Service changeover in Doubles is as follows:

At the start of a game, the serving team will decide which player will serve first. The first player to serve is A1 and;

A1 serves to B1 (2 services)

B1 then serves to A2 (2 services)

A2 then serves to B2 (2 services)

B2 serves to A1 (2 services)

Repeat until one team wins the game (see scoring system below)

At the start of game 2, team B will take the first serve; B1 must serve to A1. A1 then serves to B2 and so on.

Rotation rules for doubles

In doubles, you should alternate hitting the ball with your partner. So, for example, A1 serves the ball to B1, who returns the ball. A2 then hits the ball and B2 returns this. A1 hits and B2 returns, A2 hits and B1 returns….and so on.


As with a game of singles, the winner of a game is the first to 11 points. There must be a gap of at least two points between opponents at the end of the game though, so if the score is 10-10, the game goes in to extra play until one of the players has gained a lead of 2 points. The point goes to the player who successfully ends a rally, regardless of who has served. A match can consist of the number of games you like.

The Doubles Drill

Watch the below video to learn a simple doubles drill you can use in your lesson.

Download the How to Play guide

View How to Play guide below or scroll to the bottom of the page to download a PDF version.


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Introduction to Doubles - How to Play

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