Rules for singles Pickleball

Rules for Singles Pickleball | 1 vs 1 Match

Pickleball singles have unique rules, increased physicality than doubles, alternating sides, right-side first serve, ensure consistent play with underhand serve, and specific contact rules.

Besides Doubles pickleball recreational sport, this game is growing, and its popularity is based on professional socialism. For your successful match, players concentrate on a higher level of fitness deeper understanding of the Rules for Singles Pickleball and related tips. You are proficient in boosting your confidence when you give Singles match a go. 

What are the Rules for Singles Pickleball?

Various pickleball singles rules are similar to that of pickleball doubles rules, but there are some key differences between both games. You can cover up all the non-volley zone rules, line calls, fault rules, two bounce rules, and serving rules shortly. Most of these Rules for Singles Pickleball are quite identical in doubles. 

Therefore, you can analyze the exceptions where both are different. For example, a player in a Singles match has one chance to serve, and it’s different from a doubles match. So, you make consistent to make scores while losing a point, and then the serve goes to your opponent player. There is no concept of your partner player who needs his serve turn. 

Serving Rules for Singles Pickleball

There is one player’s (one vs. one) turn to perform the serve. He will continue to make scores by serving until he loses the points. Then serve will officially transfer to the other opponent player and termed a “Side-Out”. Moreover, you can get your points only by serving. 

Pro Tip: Your great achievement would be to make a reliable and powerful serve. Hence, you can get your points one after the other by imposing the serves. 

As per our official recommendation, here are the serving rules of singles pickleball:

  • Serve is played diagonally across the court, clears over the net and finally lands in the opponent player’s service court. If it lands on baseline, centerline or sideline is taken as part of the game. If it lands in the kitchen region or the NVZ line, then it’s contemplated as a fault. 
  • Must make the underhand stroke hit for serving: The player must contact the ball below from the navel. While contacting, your arm swings up until your paddle’s highest point should be below your wrist (when striking the ball). 
  • Single-serve is allowed until you lose it.
  • Start your serve with one foot behind the baseline and down on the court. You must avoid touching the inner area of the baseline or court even after your serve hit. 

Service Sequence Rules

  • In a Pickleball singles match, the first server must start serving from the right corner of the court. He will serve from behind the baseline and diagonally serve into the opponent’s service area. 
  • Your scores are determined by the courtside and service sequence from where you’re going to serve. For instance, you are serving from the left corner of the court, leading the odd score (5-4). Whereas you are serving from the right side of the court, leading the even scores (4-5). So, remember your scores dictate your position while serving, and your opponent’s score will dictate their serving side. 

Line Call Rules

  • Balls that come in contact with the NVZ line on serving are supposed to be faults. It’s because the NVZ line is regarded as part of NVZ.
  • All playing balls may touch the lines other than the NVZ line that are part of in-balls.

Volley Rules

A shot hitting in the air before bouncing is denoted as a volley. 

  • When the Double bounce rule is fulfilled at a point, players can shoot a volleyball at any other moment of that point.
  • Don’t volley your ball when you are staying in the non-volley zone.
  • Don’t step in the non-volley zone when volleying. It will be pondered as your fault. If your momentum force you to hit anything or with NVZ, it’s also your fault. So, you have to avoid stepping in NVZ when hitting the volley.
  • You are allowed to stay in NVZ legally, except when making the volley shot.

Double Bounce Rules for Singles Pickleball

Double bounce Rules for Singles Pickleball elaborate the rallies elongation in Pickleball by eliminating the volley advantage and serve, as it exists in Tennis sport. Furthermore, there are shorter points because a single player will cover each side of the court. Well, these are more in doubles.

  • In a singles match, both the server and receiver must let the ball bounce at once before hitting it out of the air (volleying). It represents that the server doesn’t advance to the net after playing his serve. If he does this, his shot is at risk of catching on that volley by another player. Meanwhile, the opponent can advance it to the net after his serve bounces, and the rule is acquired successfully.
  • Once the rule is accomplished, both players are allowed to hit the shots without bouncing. Now you can hit your ball in the air or bounce it on any subsequent shot. Remember, don’t hit a volley while staying in NVZ, which is the fault. 
  • Suppose the ball bounced more times on your side, you lose that point, and it’s your fault. 

Net Rules for Singles Pickleball

  • When serving, the Ball comes in contact with the nest and lands in the opponent’s service zone. It would establish a let, and the server player will receive a “Do-over”. 
  • Your Ball hits your court net and runs out-of-bound (sometimes fall on your side) while serving, which is your fault. Ultimately, serve moves to your opponent player. 
  • The Ball must go over the net for all played shots.
  • Once the Ball moves widely, you can make a good hit around the net post into your opponent’s court. It is officially taken as the legal shot, and your gameplay continues. 

Out-of-bounce Rules

  • When playing the singles tournament and your Ball goes outside the confines of your court, it’s your mistake. 
  • If the Ball or any part of the Ball touches the court lines, it is still taken as in bounds.

Players’ Fault Rules

Any act of a player that can violate the Pickleball rules is enlisted as the player’s fault.

  • In competitive games, the server player is designated by coin flipping. And in the recreational singles game, you can decide with your partner player.
  • The server’s fault will transfer the serve to the other partner player.
  • Meanwhile, the receiver makes a mistake, and the point goes to the serving player.

In pickleball singles, the fault are committed due to many reasons, some of which are:

  • Your Ball isn’t landed in service area boundaries on serving.
  • Ball hits the player’s clothes or other wearing objects.
  • Violation of service rule.
  • More than one bounces on each side of the court.

5 Strategies and Tips for Pickleball Singles 

  • Force the opponent player to use his backhand

The majority of Pickleball players have strong forehand skills but weak backhand. Therefore, compel your opponent player to go with a weaker backhand. There are rare chances where players have weaker forehand skills and stronger backhand. It will help if you hit your opponent from his weak side. In this way, he will make more mistakes and get pressurized by your side. Though, you can enjoy this strategy

  • Use your forehand

Thus, the forehand stroke is quite powerful and more effective for many players. It would help if you analyzed while you’re lying in this category where players prefer their forehand.

It would help if you tried to utilize your forehand as much as you could. Even if you can go through your backhand. Focusing on your forehand would help; your opponent prevents you from doing this. It’s your winning point to handle your opponent player technically. 

  • Make the serve closer to the centerline.

You can effectively cover both corners of the court when serving from near the centerline. It’s reliable while your serve is returned to you. Though you can serve in the service region, your returning serve can land anywhere in your court. As per our recommendation, you must get the best position ‘near the center of your side’. 

Suppose you’re serving as the server player; start from the sideline region and make a powerful serve. Your opponent player is proficient at returning anywhere in the big gap of your court. 

  • You must hit the angle shots and corner shots.

To win the Singles Pickleball match, you should concentrate on moving your opponent as much as possible. If he is moving to all the corners of the court, it’s a hectic situation for him physically. Let’s make a good hit and shoot your ball on different corners of your opponent player’s side. You must know about the errors; hit on the left if he is in the right corner. 

  • Strong serve – Great return

You are an expert player, and knowing all the Rules for Singles Pickleball, you must remember this tip that your serve should be stronger enough, and return would also be great. Then you can win your competitive gameplay. Your powerful serve will threaten your opponent, and once he loses his confidence, you can easily make your 11 scores. 

Likewise, it would help if you were focused on your opponent and prevented him from making a good serve. Your main goal is to put pressure on your opponent constantly and make your side stronger enough. 

Ready More about Rules for Singles Pickleball:

Singles Pickleball Rules

Pickleball Doubles Rules 


It’s the form of Pickleball Singles match that divides the playing area of the court in halves. This way, players can easily cover the ground when playing as 1 vs. 1. Though the court can be divided to mark the playing region diagonal to the service court or along the centerlines.

In Singles gameplay, the number of players, serving rules, scorecard display, and various other rules are different in both games. 

The single attempt is allowed to serve on account of the Rules of Pickleball Singles. Although, there is an exceptional case with “let” where the ball comes in contact with the net on serving and lands properly in the service court region; hence let serves are replayed. The first serve is always played from the Right side of the court. 


A singles match is played slightly differently (between two players), one on each corner of the court. Merely, it means you’re playing the Pickleball Match as 1 vs. 1.

However, players must learn the Rules for Singles Pickleball games and know the difference between doubles and singles games. Without these rules, they may create problems in the Pickleball court. Though, they need to master the basic information of the game. After that, all the rules would be at their fingertips. 

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