A good way to spend a Sunday is by playing a singles game of pickleball. But, the fun only lasts till you keep scoring, and that is possible if you are familiar with the pickleball singles rules. Memorizing the rules of a singles game is what has helped me win countless games.
Therefore, I speak from personal experience when I say that you need to learn each and every rule of pickleball singles game by heart if you are passionate about winning. I have compiled a list which contains every rule of “singles pickleball” and jotted it down in this article.
Most Common Pickleball Singles Rules
Let’s discuss the rules that each player must follow while playing pickleball. These are;
The first rule of thumb of a singles game of pickleball is that in order to score a point, you need to be the one serving the ball. If a player has not served the ball, then they cannot score a point. One of the major pickleball single rules is that when the score of the server is denoted in an even number, the serve has to be made from the right side. Similarly, when the score is denoted in an odd number, then the server must make a serve from the left side.
In addition to that, in a singles game of pickleball, there are a total of 11 points. In order to win a game of pickleball, there must be a difference of 2 points. If there is not a difference of 2 points, then the game cannot be won, and it continues until there is a difference of 2 points between both players. Moreover, the score of the server is called the server’s score, while the score of the receiver is called the receiver’s score.
Rules During The Game
As a singles game of pickleball only has one player on each side of the net, the pickleball singles rules are a bit different than the doubles rules. One of the basic pickleball singles rules is that a player must make a serve near the centerline on the court so that it is convenient for the opponent to cover both sides.
Also See: Pickleball Doubles Strategies
In addition to that, another rule of a pickleball singles game is that the server should hit the ball deep into the court of the opponent. Another rule of a game of pickleball singles is to always play to your opponent’s weakness. If the opponent has a stronger backhand, then you should play the ball to their forehand. Similarly, if the receiver has a stronger forehand, then the server should play the ball at the backhand.
Serving The Ball
One of the important pickleball singles rules is that the direction of the serve is determined by the points of the server. If the points are an even number, then the serve must be made from the right side. On the other hand, if the points are an odd number, then the serve needs to be made from the left side. It is critical to keep in mind that the score of the server will determine the position of the serve.
Furthermore, as there is a single server in a single game, if a server misses the point, then the opponent becomes the server and needs to make the serve. In addition to that, one of the really important pickleball singles rules is that the server must make the serve underhand. This means that they need to hit the ball with their paddle below their waist level. A higher shot cannot be made while making a serve.
A Critical Rule
In addition to that, another critical rule of a singles game of pickleball is that while making a serve, the server should stand behind the baseline. The feet of the server cannot come in contact with the court or the baseline while they are making a serve. After they have hit the ball towards the receiver’s side of the court, then they can come forward.
Moreover, it is important to note that the serve should always be hit diagonally; for instance, if the server is standing at the right side of the court, the serve should be made diagonally towards the left side. Each player gets one chance of making a serve, and if the ball is out, then the other player gets to make the server. However, if the server makes a serve and the ball hits their side of the net, then that ball is called ‘let’, and the server gets to make another serve.
Rules Regarding The Court
A pickleball court is 44 feet long, and the net is mounted right in the center of the court. This means that there is a distance of 22 feet on both sides of the net. The area that is 7 feet from the net into the court is called the non-volley zone or the kitchen. When a player is making a volley shot, which is a shot when the ball is shot within the air without touching the ground, it is important to keep in mind that the said player cannot stand on the non-volley line.
Even if the paddle of the player falls in the non-volley zone while making a volley, it is considered a foul. If a ball has hit the ground in the non-volley zone, then you can strike it back towards the opponent. However, a mid-air shot is not allowed in the non-volley zone.
Double Bounce Rule
The double bounce rule is one of the important pickleball singles rules. According to this rule, when a player serves a ball, then the receiver must let the ball hit the ground once before striking it back towards the server. Similarly, once it is hit back towards the server, the server must let the pickleball bounce on the ground before hitting it with its paddle. After the ball has been returned twice, then the players do not need to wait for the ball to hit the ground first in order to strike it and return it. The ball can either be hit after a single bounce or mid-air.
Volleying in pickleball refers to hitting a ball that has not touched or bounced off the ground while a rally. It is important to keep in mind that even though a player is allowed to hit a ball that is mid-air during a rally, there are certain rules when it comes to volleying.
The major rule of pickleball singles game is that volleying cannot be done in the non-volley zone, which is close to the net. If a player makes a volley in the non-volley zone or even if their paddle or a piece of jewelry falls into the non-volley zone, then it is considered a foul. The player cannot even touch the non-volley line even right after making a volley.
This goes without saying that when a ball is hit outside the baseline, it is considered an out ball. Similarly, if the ball is returned by the opponent player too high, it is also referred to as an out ball. When a player hits the ball and makes a volley in the non-volley zone, it is also considered an out ball. If a ball hits the player’s body, then it is an out ball.
Difference Between A Singles And Doubles Game
The major difference between the rules of singles and doubles game of pickleball is that in a singles game, the player must cover the entire court, while during a doubles game, the player is only in charge of half side of their court. The scoring of a singles game is also different from a doubles game.
Moreover, making a serve is also different in a singles game. As there is only one player on each side of the court, they get one chance to make a serve, and then the opponent gets to make the next serve. In a double game, both players on one side of the net get to make a serve; then, it is the turn of the opponent team to make a serve.
Can pickleball be played in singles?
Yes, the game of pickleball can be played between single players on both sides of the net as well as double players on both sides of the net. The major rules of a singles game of pickleball are the same as a doubles game, with only a few minor differences.
What are the different rules for singles vs. doubles play in pickleball?
The few different rules between a singles game of pickleball and a doubles game of pickleball include scoring difference, serving difference, and the difference of positions. Apart from these major differences, there are no other different rules between a game of singles and doubles.
Bid farewell to losing every game of pickleball, as I have shared a long list of pickleball singles rules that will teach you all the dos and don’ts of the game. So, it will be easier for you to win the next tournament of pickleball singles game. I hope the information I have shared comes to your rescue during the game.