Mixed doubles

Mixed doubles or mixed pairs is a form of mixed-sex sports that consists of teams of one man and one woman. This variation of competition is prominent in curling and racket sports, such as tennis, table tennis and badminton (where it is known as doubles), as well as gymnastics, figure skating and card games such as contract bridge (where it is known as mixed pairs).

A mixed doubles team competing at the World Table Tennis Championships
Mixed doubles tennis players at Wimbledon

Mixed doublesEdit


Mixed doubles has a long history in tennis. The social benefits of mixed tennis were recognised in England in the late 19th century, with it serving as a social outing for married couples and a way for single men and women to build a relationship.[1] This variant appeared at the United States National Championships in 1892,[2] followed by the French Championships in 1902, Wimbledon in 1913, and the Australian Open in 1922. It made an early appearance at the second Summer Olympics in 1900 though it was dropped from the programme in the 1920s and did not reappear until the 2012 London Olympics.[3] The Hopman Cup, held from 1989 to 2019, featured a mixed doubles match as the third rubber of each tie.

Table tennisEdit

Mixed doubles has featured at the World Table Tennis Championships since its first edition in 1926, although this did not gain Olympic status until 2020.[4][5]


The 1899 All England Open Badminton Championships saw the first major mixed doubles badminton event.[6] A mixed doubles tournament was included at the Commonwealth Games since the sport was introduced in 1966. The European Mixed Team Badminton Championships, first held in 1972, includes mixed doubles matches. The World Badminton Championships has a mixed doubles tournament since its inception in 1977. The Sudirman Cup, held since 1989, is a team tournament that features men's, women's and mixed doubles matches in every tie. Badminton at the Summer Olympics features a mixed doubles badminton event since 1996.[7]


The concept was a late addition to the sport of curling, with the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship being first held in 2008 and the 2018 Winter Olympics being the first time it was given Olympic status.[8][9]

Gaelic handballEdit

Although Gaelic handball is usually played as single-sex (singles or doubles), mixed doubles competitions take place at juvenile and schools level.[10][11]

Mixed pairsEdit

Pair figure skating shares a history with paired dancing. The form of skating made its debut at both the Winter Olympics and World Figure Skating Championships in 1908.[12] The World Bridge Championships debuted a mixed pairs competition at its second edition in 1966.[13] Pair Go is played by two pairs, with each team consisting of a male and a female. It was popularized by the Japan Pair Go Association as a means of increasing female participation in the game.


  1. ^ Robert J. Lake (2012), Gender and Etiquette in British Lawn Tennis 1870–1939: A Case Study of ‘Mixed Doubles’, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 29:5, 691-710, DOI: 10.1080/09523367.2012.675203. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  2. ^ Hubbard, Lauren (2019-09-01). How the U.S. Open Changed the History of Tennis. Town and Country. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  3. ^ 2008 Olympic Tennis Event. ITF Tennis. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  4. ^ Table Tennis Mixed Doubles Added to Tokyo 2020. ITTF (2017-06-09). Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  5. ^ 1926 World Championships Mixed Doubles. ITTF. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  6. ^ All England Open Badminton Championships Mixed Doubles. Badminton England (archived). Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  7. ^ Brief History of Badminton. Team USA. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  8. ^ About. World Curling. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  9. ^ Curling’s mixed doubles discipline set for historic Olympic debut. World Curling (2018-02-01). Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  10. ^ "Busy times on handball courts with provincial and county action and Gael Linn mixed doubles". independent.
  11. ^ "Gael Linn Finals 2022". GAA Handball.
  12. ^ ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The Sports Examiner (2017-03-29). Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  13. ^ The Mixed Pairs. World Bridge Federation. Retrieved 2019-10-07.