Is it allowed to play a racket game, like badminton or squash or tennis or table tennis, both left or right handed at the same time?

So, if the ball or shuttle is played towards the backhand side, the player switches from a right hand play to a left hand play.

Can you show me a video reference of such taking place in a match?

6 Answers 6


I've heard reports of amateur players who are ambidextrous swapping a tennis racket from one hand to the other to have two forehands.

I don't know about squash and tennis, but in badminton there's no rule banning moving the racket between your left and right hands. The reason is probably because, except perhaps at beginner level, there's no advantage to doing so. The shuttle moves quickly and it is relatively easy to disguise your shot, so players don't have much time to work out where the next shot is going and swap hands.

Another reason may be that there are very few ambidextrous players and they'd have to practise specially to do this. Certainly my other hand forehand is much worse than my dominant hand backhand.


There is no rule in tennis stopping players from switching the racquet between hands to hit a forehand (or backhand) from both sides. It is extremely rare in tennis (especially among the pro ranks) to see someone who is ambidextrous and can hit a forehand with both hands.

What is more common (but still not very common) is to see a player that hits with 2 hands from both sides. Two female professional players come to mind - Monica Seles and Marion Bartoli. Both hit two-handed forehands and two-handed backhands.

It is probably worth mentioning that in tennis, players that hit a two-handed backhand have an almost ambidextrous skill with their backhand side. This is because most two-handed backhand technique is learned and developed by first practicing hitting a forehand with their backhand side, then later adding their dominant hand to the racquet handle for power and stability. I suspect many professional level players that hit a two-handed backhand could maintain a slow-to-medium pace non-competitive rally by hitting only forehand shots (from both sides).

Sorry I can't answer for the other sports, but I would strongly suspect the same technique is allowed, mostly because of how rare it is for someone to be able to hit a forehand shot from both sides - it's not something that you'd see being used (for any kind of unfair advantage) by more than 1% of players participating in those sports.


You can definitely do this in table tennis. Andrej Grubba, a Polish table tennis pro used to do this quite often. Recently I have seen Timo Boll doing this in a real match. The Chinese players don't do this during the match because their coaches will not be happy.


In Badminton, it's simply allowed - the rules don't state anything about how to grip the racket at all. However, due to the high speed of the game, it is virtually impossible in competitive play - if you have the time to switch racket hands, you can easily take another step or jump and use your regular forehand.


You know, there is no need to do that. As phihag pointed it out, badminton is to fast to play that way. Moreover, if you do that, you will create a very bad habit and it will be very difficult to break it down later.


Beverly Baker Fleitz was an American woman player ranked as high as third in the world who made the finals of Wimbledon in 1955 without ever hitting a backhand because of being ambidextrous. She lost 7-5, 8-6 to Louise Brough.

  • Please check if your answer answers the question or not. Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 5:01
  • 1
    I think this does implicitly answer the question: if the third-ranked player in the world played ambidextrously, then it must be allowed (or at least, have been allowed in 1955).
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 8:19
  • Without reliable references, it's not even that. She may have played other games ambidextrously and the actual competition "properly" - mixing up the details of two or more stories to make a new wrong one is known to happen often (take e.g. any film "based on a true story").
    – Nij
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 8:58
  • 1
    @Nij: The Wikipedia article about Baker-Fleitz says "She was ambidextrous and played with two forehands." Also, there is (a small amount of) footage of her hitting forehands from both sides during the 1955 Wimbledon finals at: youtube.com/watch?v=qn_46rug1gA
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 15:00
  • And none of that evidence is provided in the answer, so the point remains.
    – Nij
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 18:38

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