Pickleball Singles Rules: How to Play Pickleball Singles?

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Don’t you have a partner to play with? Surprisingly, pickleball can be played with single player on each end. There are only a few differences between singles and doubles pickleball.  In singles pickleball, you are the only one to serve, and there is no backup for you. It’s a little bit boring play as you encounter less social interaction and entertainment.

Let’s learn how to play pickleball singles and rules of pickleball singles. You will find this article appealing to overcome your queries related to rules, scoring, and strategies for singles pickleball.

Pickleball singles rules

Pickleball Singles Rules and Regulations

While learning the pickleball, I harkened “even score = even side and Odd score =odd side”.

Even and odd side of Pickleball
Even and odd side of Pickleball

I didn’t know what they are talking about. I just knew that I have to serve from the right side as a server in singles.

Then after thorough research on this point, I came to know that an even score means I have to move toward the right side and an odd score means I have to move toward the left.

Do you understand even and odd terms? Even simply means even number i.e, 2 4 6 8 10, while odd means odd numbers i.e, 1, 3 5, 7, 9.

Now let’s discuss some pinpoints:

  • In singles when the server scores he can switch his sides as there is no one to help with it.
  • When a server is consistent in maintaining a rally, he keeps the serve and when the rally breaks the serve goes for the other team.
  • Remember, when the receiver or opponent wins a rally, no one has the authority to move or switch their sides.
  • While standing in the non-volley zone, you are not allowed to strike the ball before bouncing.
  • In serving, there is only one chance to serve for each player. If the player makes any fault like; hitting the ball at the opponent’s or his clothing, or the ball hits the wall or ceiling of the court, the service will be lost and given to the opponent.

Pickleball Singles Serving

To distinct the terms singles vs doubles, I would say that singles mean only two players (one on each side) and doubles mean four players on a court (two on each side). Here, we will learn to serve singles pickleball.

As you know, the serving and receiving team is decided after a toss. If I am not wrong, I should say server and a receiver, as there is only one player on each side of the court.

Serving in singles means you will get only one chance to serve, there is no second player to back up your performance or misstep.

Even if you mistakenly hit the ball into the net, you have no other option until the opponent makes an error.

Any fault by your side will let the serve go to your opponent, and now you are the receiver.

Pickleball Singles Scoring

The major difference between singles and doubles scoring is two and three scoring numbers, respectively. In singles, two digits represent the score while in doubles three digits represent.

For instance, 6-4-2 (scoring in doubles) and 6-4 (scoring in singles)

Why are the singles scoring system comprised of two numbers only?

The answer to this query is that singles match only has one server on one side. There is no second server.

You all know that the third number in singles will always be one as there is one server, so it’s useless to call it.

Pickleball Singles Strategies

After a comprehensive discussion on rules, scoring and serving techniques, let’s move towards tips and strategies.

You have to cover a large portion as there is no one on your opposite side to help you, so you need to work hard.

Strong Serve and Return

Like doubles, you should have deep serves and returns in singles too. As you have just one serve, you have to maintain rally and score by striking strong return and serve. It will help you to keep the opponent under pressure.

Deep Serve

Quick and Continuous Movement Towards Net

Another thing to improve the singles game is, moving towards the net early and often. If you can’t do so, don’t get frustrated, it needs practice.

It’s not actually easy, you must have great mobility skills and quickness.

Here’s the one tip for you, try to reach out the net while the return of the serve. It will be easy for you to approach at that time.

Compel Opponent to Play Backhand Shot

For putting pressure on your opponent,  try to hit the ball on his backhand side. Most of the players play with forehand and are experts in it.

Backhand shots are tricky somehow, so observe the weakness of the opponent and give him a tough time.

Strengthen Yourself

Single pickleball is more challenging to your body than doubles. To make you understand I would say that single pickleball is like a one-yard race.

Always warm up yourselves before approaching the pickleball court, it will help you to achieve mobility.

Approach the Non-Volley Zone Quickly

As you know, the players can score more points on the kitchen line, so the one who approaches the kitchen quickly will score more. This strategy works for both doubles and singles.

Utilization of Opponent’s Court Room

For defeating your opponent, take advantage of the opponent’s weakness, and his bad angles.

In the singles game, we have vast space to hit the ball on the opponent’s court, therefore, it is suggested that while responding to your opponent’s shot, you should target the room of your opponent to clinch points.

Serve in a small court of opponent

Final Thoughts: Pickleball Singles Rules

Playing pickleball as singles are challenging sometimes. The players who use to play singles will work outclass in doubles as they have handled the difficult situations individually. To play pickleball, for a self-care, weight management, and fitness point of view, singles is the best. In my view, singles pickleball burns more calories than doubles as you are all alone on your side of the court.

You have to work out more in singles. If we talk about rules, strategies, and scoring, these are simple to understand. The scoring is painless in singles, as three digits of doubles create complications sometimes. Just don’t get pessimistic, and play with enthusiasm and patience.

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