What Is Skinny Singles In Pickleball?

What is Skinny singles in Pickleball?

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Pickleball is a fun sport that you can play with your friends. It is kind of like tennis but uses a plastic ball and paddle. There are many ways to play pickleball. One way is called “skinny singles.”

What does skinny singles mean?

Skinny singles uses a smaller part of the court. Normally in pickleball, you use the whole court. It looks like a big rectangle. In skinny singles, you only use half of the rectangle. You split it down the middle. This makes the court skinny, so you have less space to run around. Since there is one player on each side, it is called singles.

Why play skinny singles?

There are some good reasons to play pickleball as skinny singles:

  • It is easier to cover less space. You do not have to run as much!
  • You can practice specific skills. Focus on your serving, returning, or dinking without moving around as much.
  • It can be really tiring to sprint all over the full court. Skinny singles lets you get a workout without getting too exhausted.
  • You can use it for training to improve your reflexes. The ball comes back faster since the space is smaller.
  • It works well if you only have 1 friend to play with. No need to find 2 more people for doubles.
  • You get more chances to hit the ball because you cover the whole half-court by yourself. More hitting means more practice!

How do you set up the court for skinny singles?

To set up for skinny singles pickleball, you split the court in half. There are 2 main ways to split the court:

Split down the centerline

  • This divides the court straight down the middle into 2 equal halves.
  • Each player gets one half and stays on their side.
  • The centerline is the border. You cannot cross over to the other half.

Use the service courts

  • Service courts are the smaller boxes on each side where you start the serve.
  • Each player gets one service court to play in.
  • The middle non-service court is out of bounds.

Both ways work fine. Just pick one and be consistent!

What are the rules for playing skinny singles?

Skinny singles pickleball has a few key rules:

  • Stay on your side: Do not go over the centerline or out of your service court. Let balls go if they go past you.
  • Take turns serving: Just like regular pickleball, you switch serves every 2 points. This keeps things fair.
  • Play out the point: Even if the ball bounces twice, keep playing the point until someone hits it out of bounds or into the net. Do not stop after 1 bounce.
  • Normal scoring: You can score points just like regular pickleball. Games go to 11 and you must win by 2.
  • Agree on Faults: Since the space is small, agree if you want to call faults for hitting balls too low or wide. Be reasonable with faults to keep the game flowing.

That covers the basic rules. Feel free to add any other rules you want!

What skills can you practice with skinny singles?

Skinny singles pickleball is great for working on:

  • Serving – Master your serve without as much running.
  • Returning – Get better at returning fast shots with less time to react.
  • Dinking – Keep rallies going with quick responsive dinking.
  • Placement – Aim your shots accurately into the corners and edges.
  • Defense – Try to reach and return balls hit close to the sidelines.
  • Offense – Hit aggressive shots to push your opponent back.
  • Transitions – Switch quickly from defense to offense after returning hard shots.
  • Reflexes – Improve how fast you react to shots since the ball comes back quicker.

Pretty much any skill can be practiced and improved in skinny singles!

What are some skinny singles strategies and tips?

Here are some tips to help you play better skinny singles pickleball:

  • Move your feet quickly and get into position fast. Be ready to sprint to reach balls.
  • Keep your paddle up and ready. You will not have as much reaction time.
  • Hit the ball down the middle sometimes. Do not always go crosscourt. Keep your opponent guessing.
  • Try dropping soft shots just over the net. They are hard to return in the small space.
  • Mix up your shots – high, low, hard, soft, crosscourt, down the line. Do not be predictable.
  • Move forward quickly when you get a chance. Take control of the no-volley zone.
  • Watch your opponent and see if you can detect patterns. Look for weaknesses you can exploit.
  • Stay positive! Skinny singles can be tiring and intense. Keep up your energy and have fun with it.


Skinny singles pickleball provides a fun new way to enjoy this great sport. By only using half the court, you get more chances to hit the ball while covering less ground. It allows you to practice your skills, reflexes, and fitness. You can play singles even with only 1 other player. While popular in drills and training, it can also just be used for casual games when you want quick rallies and lots of action. Give it a try for a new pickleball experience!

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