Can You Switch Hands In Pickleball? | Paddle2Racket

Since pickleball combines ping-pong, badminton, and tennis, the rules can be confusing. This is why people often ask this common question, "Can you switch hands in pickleball?"

While the game is easy, some things may be confusing to first-timers, including whether you can switch hands during the sport or not.

It is okay to switch hands during a pickleball game, and players often do so before hitting a shot. While it is sometimes recommended to swap hands, there are times in which it is preferable not to do so.

Pickleball is a fun sport, provided you have a good grip on the rules and techniques. Keeping that in mind, we asked some avid pickleball players to share their secrets with us about playing pickleball.

As players of the sport, we can answer the question of can you switch hands in pickleball and what is the best time to do it.

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Switching Hands in Pickleball

The grip is the first thing most people notice when trying out different paddles. The size of the grip, whether it's rounded or octagon-shaped, and the texture of the grip all matter. All of these factors influence our first perceptions of a paddle. When it comes to picking a paddle, many individuals are more concerned with how it feels in their hands. That makes it logical, given that the grip is our only point of touch with the paddle.

While most pickleball players prefer to keep the paddle in one hand while hitting shots, there are others who prefer switching things up during a game, which is fine as well. Although there are times when switching hands is not recommended. For instance, experienced pickleball players know all too well that attempting to switch hands during a game during a fast kitchen volley exchange is far more difficult than a normal switch.

It can also result in the other team scoring a point because you weren’t fast enough during the switch, and they saw it coming. This is why first-time players of pickleball are advised to only switch hands for those balls that bounce but make sure the paddle is in your strong hand and not your weak one when hitting those backhand volleys. This is mainly because many pickleball players are not as dexterous with their weak hand, which only makes it more challenging to shift hands during a game.

As a rule of thumb, it is advised to first-time pickleball players and even players in general that if you have a solid backhand, or want to develop one, it is best to stick to it during the game. However, if you find that you lack the necessary mobility and are not as fast, or if you are not as comfortable playing the backhand, then it is best to switch hands instead. Besides, you really don’t want to make more errors than you should during a game of pickleball just because you want to keep attempting that perfect backhand that’s just not happening.

Also, those recovering from a shoulder injury are advised to switch to the other hand while playing for obvious reasons. However, it is okay to switch hands during a game after you have recovered, but remember that it will be more challenging in fast play in the kitchen.



Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens

Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.

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