Can You Play Pickleball Singles?

Are you that pickleball enthusiast who doesn’t find himself fit playing pickleball double format? Or do you want to test your agility and expertise with paddle and ball solely? Well, if that is the case, pickleball single format is made for you to conquer. Pickleball has been known for its traditional double play, but pickleball singles have been the talk of the town among people who want workout sessions as complimentary with the game because playing pickleball solely isn’t only physically more challenging, but also taxing mentally, as the strategy in pickleball doubles vs singles varies, though the game objective remains the same.

Pickleball Singles Vs. Doubles Rules

There’s not much difference between playing pickleball in singles vs double format. For singles, there’s 1v1 among players, and for doubles, 2v2 is followed. Playing pickleball solo isn’t only physically tiring, but pickleball rules singles vs doubles also differ to some extent. The rules of pickleball confuse beginners, but the objective of the game is winning points by outmaneuvering the opponent. The rules may appear complex for beginners, but we'll simplify them by highlighting key points that affect serving and the overall sequence.

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1- Serving Rules

  • While serving, the player should have both feet behind the baseline- a line parallel to the net in court. However, relaxation is provided to players if they want to hover one foot to keep their bodies balanced while serving, but the other foot must be on the ground to keep in check the player’s jump.
  • Always serve the ball underhand. This means that the paddle you hold must be below your waist when it comes in contact with the ball.
  • Another nuanced rule is that you can hit the drop serve, but you aren’t allowed to throw the ball on the ground to make the ball bounce higher. This subtle cheating is considered a fault.
  • Pickleball singles serving rotation differs from doubles, as in singles, each player must start serving from his right box, and if the player wins the serve, he has to switch his side, and he continues to serve while switching his position until he loses the serve, and the authority to serve is passed to the opponent.

2- Singles Scoring Rules

  • The concept of pickleball singles scoring vs doubles scoring isn’t chalk and cheese. However, the differentiation occurs as in pickleball singles scoring, the serve is passed to the receiver when a fault occurs.
  • In pickleball singles, the score of the server decides the position of the server and changes the position of the receiver accordingly.
  • If the score of the server is an even number like 0,2,4 he’ll be serving from the right side, but if the score is an odd number like 1,3,5 he’ll be serving from the left side, and the receiver will change his position diagonally accordingly.
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Pickleball Court For Singles

You need to get your ambiguities clear regarding the pickleball singles court, as the court provides you with the ground to play, and the scores of the players largely depend upon their position in the court, and avoiding faults with their court position.

The court is divided by a net that is 36’’ high at the sidelines, and 34’’ at the center. There are 7’ areas on both sides of the net known as the non-volley zone aka ‘’kitchen’’. The court has baselines parallel to the net, and sidelines perpendicular to the net. The centerline is drawn in mid-court perpendicular to the net that distinguishes between the right, and left sides of the box.

Pickleball Singles Court Size

The official dimensions of the pickleball court as per the US Pickleball Federation are 20′ wide (6.10 m) and 44′ long (13.41 m) inclusive of the court lines. The dimensions of the court for singles and doubles are the same.

Pickleball Skinny Single Rules

Pickleball's beauty lies in the variation this game holds. A skinny single is a non-traditional format where players play 1v1 but narrow the court width-wise in half. Skinny singles look more like pickleball doubles because each player has to cover half of his courtside. The serving and scoring rules are the same as the regular singles format.

Pickleball skinny singles rules are similar to regular singles. Though it seems less hectic, the skinny singles demand the agility of singles and the strategy of doubles. This format of the game isn’t seen endorsed quite often by tournament associations, but it comes in handy when you want some warm-up with a friend or want to practice different shot angles for your tournament as a professional. Skinny singles harness the individual dexterity of the player and judge how he carries the game without the assistance of a co-player.

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Discover More: When Can You Go To The Kitchen In Pickleball?

Jump Into Pickleball Singles As A Newbie!

Pickleball welcomes everyone, regardless of their background. Many newcomers to the sport ask experienced pickleball players, "Can beginners play pickleball singles?" and the resounding answer is YES! If you're genuinely interested in enhancing your game and mastering the art of outmaneuvering your opponents in pickleball, you need to start with pickleball singles. As a beginner, you'll acquire valuable skills such as:

1- Game Enhancement

You may improve your strokes, footwork, and hand-eye coordination without having to rely on a partner when playing singles. More practice with the ball means less time spent learning the ropes.

2- Fitness Boost

Playing singles might be more of a workout because it requires you to cover the entire court without relying on a partner. This gives you a more effective workout, which in turn increases your endurance.

3- Improve Decisiveness

You’ll learn to make decisions on your own at the beginning of your game career if you prefer playing solo, which will not let you pressure yourself to coordinate your moves with someone.

4- Easy To Start The Game

More people bring you more excuses. If you’re someone who’s a beginner-level player and needs more practice to enhance your skill, you need to have more playing hours, and to play solo, you just need an opponent to initiate the fight of paddles.

5- Personal Improvement

Playing 1v1 will make you have an eye on your game skill and proficiency. You’ll try to learn from your mistakes to improve your game since you don’t have a partner to blame for your faults.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Only Two Players Play Pickleball?

No, pickleball has the beauty to accommodate players in various format variations. Pickleball can be played among doubles and singles. In doubles, 2 players play against 2 players, and this 2v2 is more of a traditional pickleball style. However, two people can be accommodated to play pickleball singles, in which agility, eye and hand coordination, and the strategy of players get polished. So, whatever the format you’re interested in, pickleball gets you covered.

Do Pickleball Singles Have Specific Court Lines?

There exist no lines for pickleball in the singles format. The game is played in the same court no matter if it's singles or doubles, and the transition of game format in pickleball is quite seamless. However, if you have decided to play pickleball skinny singles, the rules of the game remain the same, just the width of the cut is cut in half, by declaring the centerline as the sidelines. You don’t need to add probs, and you can continue playing skinny singles variation.

What Does Singles Mean in Pickleball?

The term ‘’singles’’ refers to the format of pickleball, where there is one-player versus one-player combat to win points. The rules and objectives of the game remain the same as those of doubles, however, playing pickleball singles is a test of nerves, agility, dexterity, and skill improvement on an individual level for players. The Singles in pickleball are physically quite taxing because only one player on each side will be covering the whole court.

Are Pickleball Singles & Doubles Played On The Same Size Of Court?

Yes, as per the US Pickleball Association, the official dimensions of the court are 22 by 44 ft. Pickleball singles and doubles are played on the same size of court. The difference is that in ‘’singles’’, players have to cover their side of the court whole without the assistance of any co-player, thus it's comparatively tougher than ‘’doubles’’

Can Pickleball Be 1v1?

Pickleball 1v1 is a singles format that is quite popular among pickleball enthusiasts. Instead of a team of two, each side is covered by one player. This 1v1 format isn’t as widely popular as traditional 2v2. However, it’s still in demand among players who want to brush up their skills individually without relying on a co-player or game partner. 1v1 pickleball has always been hasty, and a test of reflexes rather than strategic ‘’doubles’.

How Can I Practice Pickleball Alone?

You can improve your pickleball skills by practicing on your own. Use a wall to practice your groundstrokes and volleys. Set cones in the serving box to perfect your serves. To improve muscle memory, imagine game scenarios and shadow swing. Perform cone drills to improve agility and drop shots at targets near the kitchen line. Record yourself to identify areas for improvement. Consistent solitary practice can boost your game.


Pickleball's "singles" format exists as a game variation that is a promising way to test the agility, skill, and endurance of players. It helps improve eye-hand coordination, footwork, and strategic playing with sharpened reflexes. Playing singles is an exhilarating and tiring experience for players. Thus, you'll learn to play singles, and a time will soon approach when you'll be able to appreciate this version of the game.

Sophia William

An accomplished author with an impressive history of 6 years of contributions to renowned informational websites.

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