The Thrills and Challenges of Singles Pickleball


Singles pickleball, a variation of the popular doubles pickleball, offers a unique and exciting experience for players. With only one player on each side of the court, the strategy and dynamics of the game differ significantly. While some players enjoy the rigorous workout and independence of singles pickleball, others may find it isolating. In this article, we will explore the rules, player positioning, and basic strategies of singles pickleball.

Rules for Singles Pickleball

Singles pickleball follows most of the same rules as doubles pickleball, with a few exceptions. The rules for serving, non-volley zone line calls, and faults apply similarly in both variations. However, in singles pickleball, each player has only one serve, and the score only consists of two numbers: the server’s score and the receiver’s score. This eliminates the concept of server #1 or server #2, making the scoring system more streamlined.

Player Positioning in Singles Pickleball

In singles pickleball, player positioning plays a crucial role in serving and returning serve. The first serve always starts from the even/right-hand side of the court. If the server wins the point, they switch to serve from the other side. The server serves diagonally and retains the serve until they lose the rally or commit a fault. Similar to doubles pickleball, the correct server must serve from the respective side of the court dictated by the score.

Basic Strategy for Singles Pickleball

Singles pickleball requires a different approach and strategy compared to doubles pickleball. Since you are alone on your side of the court, every shot is entirely up to you. Here are some essential keys to success in singles pickleball:

1. Big Deep Serve: A powerful and deep serve gives you an immediate advantage and puts pressure on your opponent from the start.

2. Big Deep Return of Serve: A deep return of serve allows you to move into the non-volley zone line and cut off your opponent’s angles. Aim to return the serve into a corner and seize control of the game.

3. Move Into the Non-Volley Zone Line: To restrict your opponent’s angles, work your way into the non-volley zone line. Follow the flight of the pickleball to position yourself effectively.

4. Strong Fundamentals and Placement: Having solid fundamentals and precise shot placement is crucial in singles pickleball. With no partner to rely on, you must master your shots and make them count.

5. Angles and Passing Shots: Exploit any opportunities to find open court angles and execute passing shots. Singles pickleball is about outmaneuvering your opponent and capitalizing on their weaknesses.

Apart from strategy, singles pickleball requires exceptional endurance and cardio fitness. The game involves constant movement and sprinting to reach each shot. Prioritize cardio training to enhance your stamina and improve your performance on the court.


Singles pickleball offers a unique and challenging experience for players. While some may find the rigorous workout and independence exhilarating, others might feel the isolation of being alone on the court. Familiarizing yourself with the rules, player positioning, and basic strategies of singles pickleball will help you make the most of this thrilling variation. So, if you’re ready to test your skills and experience the excitement of singles pickleball, step onto the court and embrace the challenge!

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