Pickleball Single Rules in 2023 – A Complete Breakdown

pickleball single rules

Pickleball, a racquet sport that incorporates aspects of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, is growing in popularity. Although the game is frequently played in doubles, a singles version also exists and has become more and more popular in recent years. And here we are to discuss the pickleball single rules and how it is played professionally.

The Singles Pickleball game is played between two players (One on each side) with 11 points (winning by 2). In singles, the player who serves the pickleball stands on the right side of the court. If the server scores the point, the sides will be changed. And if the pickleball receiver wins the rally, there will be no exchange of court sides but will be a side out.

Your level of experience in this game won’t matter if you follow the guide of rules of pickleball singles. We will cover everything from the court dimensions and Pickleball scoring to serving rules, tips, sequence, and fault violations. Readers will learn about the differences between single and doubles matches, how to adjust their strategy accordingly, and win matches. Last but not least you will be guided properly on how to play pickleball singles.

Rules of PICKLEBALL SINGLEs (Every Player Should Know)

Pickleball Single Rules Description & Details
Court Size 20 feet wide by 44 feet long 
Net Height 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches at the center 
Serving The serve must be hit underhand and diagonally across the court. The server must keep both feet behind the back line until after the ball is struck. The serve must land in the opponent’s service court, and the ball must clear the non-volley zone. 
Faults on Serve When the serve does not land in the opponent’s service court, if the ball touches the net on the serve and does not land in the correct service court, if the server steps on or over the baseline before making contact with the ball, or if the ball lands in the non-volley zone, it is a fault. 
Return of Serve The receiver must let the ball bounce once on their side of the court before hitting it. After the ball has bounced, the receiver may return the ball to any part of the opponent’s court, including the non-volley zone. 
Volleys Volleys are allowed but can not be made in the non-volley zone. Players must have both feet behind the non-volley zone line when volleying. 
Scoring Games are played to 11 points, and the winner must win by two points. Points are scored by the serving team when the receiving team commits a fault, and the serve switches sides after each point. 
Faults Faults are called if the ball is hit out of bounds if the ball is hit into the net if a player steps into the non-volley zone and hits the ball before it bounces if the ball is hit out of sequence, if a player hits the ball before it crosses the net, or if a player hits the ball into the wrong court. 
Switching Sides Players switch sides of the court after each point is scored. 
Let Serves If the ball hits the net on a serve and lands in the correct service court, it is called a “let serve,” and the serve is replayed. 
Challenges In some competitive games, players may be allowed to challenge calls made by the referee or linesmen. If a player wins a challenge, they keep their challenge, and if they lose, they lose their challenge. 

Court Size And Equipment 

The court size is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long when it comes to pickleball singles rules. The net is hung at a height of 36 inches at the ends and 34 inches in the middle. Players use paddles that are like oversized ping pong paddles and a perforated ball that is slightly larger than a tennis ball.  Here we discussed the pickleball single rules that anyone can take the benefit of.

Court Size And Equipment


In pickleball singles serving rules, the player who is serving must start behind the baseline and serve diagonally across the court to the opponent’s service box. The serve must clear the net and land in the opponent’s service box. 

If the serve hits the net and lands in the proper service box, it is considered a lot, and the serve is replayed. The server continues to serve until a fault occurs. There are some discussions first point of pickleball rules for singles. 

Pickleball Scoring Rules Singles

Pickleball scoring single plays is the same as in doubles play, with games played to 11 points and a two-point advantage required to win. Only the server can score points, and if the non-serving player wins a rally, they become the server. At the start of each game, the first player is served to be determined by a coin toss or other agreed-upon method. 

Rules of Play 

During play, players must allow the ball to bounce once on their side of the court before hitting it. After the ball has bounced, players can either volley the ball out of the air or let it bounce again before hitting it. If a player hits the ball. Before it has bounced, it is considered a fault, and the opponent is awarded the point. 

Players are not allowed to step into the non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, to hit a ball out of the air. If a player steps into the kitchen and hits the ball, it is considered a fault, and the opponent is awarded the point.

Players can enter the kitchen to play a ball that has bounced in the kitchen or to retrieve a ball that has gone out of bounds. To play professionally as a beginner, you need to go through the kitchen rules in pickleball with less effort and confusion.

pickleball singles strategies

There are also some pickleball single rules for beginners that are discussed as follows. These strategies have been found in the years of our experience.

Serve Strategically

The serve is the most important shot in a single play. You want to make sure that you place your serve in a way that forces your opponent to hit a weak return. Try to hit your serve to the corners or at your opponent’s body to limit their options. 

Stay Aggressive

In a single play, it is important to stay on the offensive as much as possible. Try to keep your opponent moving by hitting deep shots to the baseline or drop shots near the net. This will make it harder for your opponent to get into a rhythm and can force them to make mistakes. 

Control the Center

In a single play, the player who controls the middle of the court has a big advantage. Try to stay in the center of the court as much as possible and move your opponent side to side to create openings for your shots. 

Vary your Shots

Do not be predictable in your shot selection. Mix up your shots with drop shots, lobs, and drives to keep your opponent guessing. This will also make it harder for them to get into a rhythm and can force them to make mistakes. 

Stay in Shape

Pickleball single play can be physically demanding, so it is important to stay in good shape. Make sure to do some cardio and strength training exercises to improve your endurance and stamina on the court.


Anticipate where your opponent is likely to hit the ball and move into position before they contact the ball. 

Defensive Skills

Be prepared to play defense and stay in rallies by hitting high-percentage shots, playing conservatively, and being patient. 

how to play pickleball singles

Regardless of age, pickleball singles is an exciting and engaging sport. The basics of how to play pickleball singles are essential for beginners or those looking to improve their skills. To start, you’ll need a pickleball court, which is typically smaller than a tennis court and has similar dimensions to a badminton court.

In this game, a paddle is used and a plastic ball with holes is used, similar to a wiffle ball. It is the object of pickleball singles to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent’s side of the court without letting them return it.
Here are some key steps and included pickleball single rules on how to play:

  1. Serving: The game begins with one player serving the ball diagonally across the net into their opponent’s service area. They should serve in their opponent’s service area, clearing the non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen).
  2. Return: As soon as the ball is served, both players take turns hitting it back and forth over the net until one player fails to return it correctly. Before hitting the ball out of mid-air (known as volleying), the ball must bounce once on each side.
  3. Scoring: Whenever a player does not return the ball or hits it out of bounds, a point is scored. There are usually 11 or 15 points in a game, depending on the pickleball single rules, and the serving team can only score.
  4. Non-Volley Zone: The non-volley zone refers to an area close to the net where players cannot hit volleys directly from within this zone unless they are standing behind it. This rule prevents players from dominating at close range.
  5. Strategy: Like any sport, strategy plays a crucial role in playing pickleball singles effectively. Players should aim for strategic shot placement, mix up their shots between power and finesse, anticipate their opponent’s moves, and maintain good court positioning.

When I used to practice in my early days, I had the time schedule to learn it and be a professional as soon as possible. So, your passion and the practice time will decide how long it will take you to become a master of the game.

Pickleball Rules Singles vs Doubles

The difference between pickleball singles and doubles is pivotal in shaping the dynamics of the game, offering players different challenges and strategic opportunities. In singles play, the court maintains its standard dimensions, but the experience transforms into an individual showdown. Competitors navigate the entire court alone, emphasizing personal agility and strategic finesse. The serve becomes a critical element, setting the tone for each rally and influencing the entire match.

On the flip side, doubles play introduces a collaborative aspect to the game. Teams of two square off against each other, demanding effective communication and coordination between partners. The “non-volley zone” or “kitchen” rules apply in both formats, preventing players from volleying within this designated area, and adding an extra layer of strategy. Whether you thrive in the intense precision of one-on-one battles or relish the camaraderie of team dynamics.

Understanding the pickleball basics for beginners in each format is essential for pickleball enthusiasts. So, whether you prefer the singular challenge of singles or the teamwork and coordination of doubles. Pickleball offers a dynamic and engaging experience for players of all skill levels. Grab your paddle, hit the court, and embrace the nuances that set singles and doubles apart in this thrilling sport.

Pickleball Skinny Singles Rules

The major difference between pickleball single and Pickleball skinny single is the size of the court. The court size in width gets reduced to 20 feet which is the middle third of the court. This step makes the pickleball play a bit difficult because of precise and tricky shots.


Being a beginner in Pickleball Single game, you must know court size, serving rules, and some other rules to play and be an expert in the game. This article explained the necessities of a beginner for pickleball single rules. By reading this article a beginner can learn the information and court dimensions. Along with all this information article mentioned the strategies for playing Pickleball Single game, which provides you knowledge for mastering the game in a short time.


Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors, depending on the availability of courts and the weather conditions. 

Pickleball singles is a version of pickleball in which there is only one player on each side of the court. It is similar to doubles pickleball but with some differences in rules and strategies due to the reduced number of players. 

The serving rules for singles pickleball are the same as the serving rules for doubles pickleball. The server must stand behind the baseline and serve the ball diagonally to the opponent’s service court. The server must clear the non-volley zone and land in the diagonal service court. The server cannot step on or over the baseline until after the ball is struck, and the ball must be hit with an underhand motion.

In singles pickleball, the serving order is always the same. The server serves from the right-hand side of the court for the first point and then switches to the left-hand side of the court for the second point. The server then continues to alternate sides for each subsequent point. 

Playing a court sport can provide many health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, increased muscle strength and endurance, improved coordination and balance, and enhanced flexibility. Additionally, playing a court sport can be a fun and social way to get exercise and stay active. 

Some ways to improve your pickleball skills include practicing regularly, working on your footwork and positioning, playing with players of different skill levels, and studying instructional materials such as videos and books. 

Yes, the ball can be volleyed in singles pickleball, but the player must be standing outside of the non-volley zone to do so. If the player is standing inside the non-volley zone, they cannot volley the ball and must let it bounce before hitting it. 

No, you can’t serve twice in singles pickleball and the serve will be started from the right side of the pickleball court.

Yes, you can play singles pickleball but you have to follow the singles pickleball rules for professional play and to boost your confidence towards the game.

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