How To Play Pickleball Singles

If you’re just getting started out with pickleball, then chances are you have a whole bunch of questions that you want to ask. Perhaps you just want a broad overview of how to play the game, so that you can decide whether it’s something that you’d be interested in trying. 

How To Play Pickleball Singles

We’d definitely recommend pickleball as a sport, it’s a great way to build your core and upper arm strength, as well as having lots of fun in the process. It’s also not too hard to pick up, especially if you’re already adept at playing tennis, as the two go hand in hand. 

In order to get started, there are a few things you’ll need to know first however. Below, we take you through how to play pickleball singles, as well as giving you some tips and tricks along the way.

To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look. 

How To Play Pickleball

So, why not jump straight in and discuss the titular question, just how do you get started with playing pickleball singles? 

In order to get started with the game, there are a few basic rules that you’re going to need to keep in mind, the first of which is how to score points.

In pickleball, you score points by side serves only, and when your opponent either doesn’t manage to feed you the ball back by missing, or hits it out of bounds. 

You will be serving your ball in an underhand, diagonal manner, making sure that you don’t bounce it off of the court in the process. 

You will continue the game for three rounds, and will switch sides with your opponents at intervals. 

Rules You’ll Need To Remember Whilst Playing Pickleball

Now that we’ve given a basic explanation of how you play the game, we can move on to discuss some key rules that you’re going to need to remember each time you play.

If you fail to follow these rules, you won’t be awarded points, and may even be disqualified from the game. 

The first thing that you need to do at the beginning of each game is to make sure that your feet are behind the baseline. If you’re any further in than this, then you’ll be told to move.

You can place one foot inside the baseline, as long as your other foot is outside. After you’ve hit your ball and made your first shot, you can then step inside. 

The most important rule is that all of your shots need to be served underhand. This is where the game differs most from tennis, which allows both overhand and underhand serves(see also: What Is An Underhand Serve?). 

In addition to this, you’re going to need to make sure that every time you’re serving, that you’re holding your paddle below the waist. If you hold it any higher than this, you won’t be given any points you score.

In addition to this, the serves also have to be hit in a diagonal manner so that they cross the court. 

Finally, you only get one attempt at serving, so make sure that you don’t miss. 

Tips For Playing Pickleball Singles

Now that we’ve taken a look at the most important rules of the game, we can move on to discuss some key tips that can help you during gameplay.

These can help to take your game to the next level, and may be the difference between being a good player, and a great player. 

1. Hit With Intention

Many times when we’re playing pickleball, we aren’t paying enough attention to where we’re hitting the ball. This may sound incredibly basic, but we often get caught up with looking at our opponent, instead of our target. 

Make sure that you’re looking directly at the specific place you want to hit your ball, and you can then use this to think about your strategy. 

2. Practice Alone

If you’re somebody who doesn’t have a friend that you can practice pickleball with, but you still want to play, don’t be afraid to play on your own. This is completely possible, and a lot of players will practice by themselves and make massive improvements. 

Being by yourself actually gives you a great opportunity to practice your serve, and concentrate on this all important aspect of pickleball. Simply head over to your local pickleball court, then place some items on the other end of the net to act as targets. 

We’d recommend some water bottles. Simply line them up, and practice hitting these as targets. This will help to give you a better idea of what you’re doing well in terms of serving, and what could use some improvement. 

3. Your Stance

Another key tip to improve your pickleball game is to pay attention to your stance during gameplay. 

Make sure that you’re getting nice and low, and bending your knees in order to catch the ball more frequently. This will help you to dink far more effectively than if you were standing tall. 

Final Thoughts

To sum up, pickleball is an incredibly easy game to play. You need to make sure that you’re always hitting underhand and below the waist. There are a total of 3 matches, which have a total of 11 points to reach in each. Players will switch sides during gameplay.

Michael Walter
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