What are Pickleball Singles Rules: Skinny, Serves, and Kitchen Rules

Pickleball singles is a famous format of pickleball that consists of a single server. But compared to the doubles game, the pickleball singles rules are pretty complex and challenging. 

In the pickleball singles game, there is only one player on each side of the court. Besides, the pickleball singles scoring system does not require a third number to represent the serving side. Each pickleball singles is an 11-point match in which the winning team must score two points to end the game.

What are Pickleball Singles Rules Skinny Serves and Kitchen Rules

Check out the following context to know more about pickleball singles rules and how to play singles pickleball. With the help of our elaborative guide, you can master the pickleball singles game within a short period. 

What are the Pickleball Scoring Rules?

Unlike pickleball doubles, the singles format consists of only two players with a single serving side. Since this format is atypical of other games, you may find them difficult to understand. The following are a few points that can help you understand the pickleball singles rules and pickleball scoring rules singles. 

What is Pickleball Singles Court Size?

Since pickleball singles is a unique game format, many people wonder whether the pickleball singles court size is different. But in actuality, no such thing is true. The pickleball singles court size is the same as that of pickleball doubles. 

An average pickleball court is about 44 by 20 inches. The pickleball court is very similar to a tennis court. But the primary difference between the two is that the pickleball court is much smaller. The court is divided in the middle by a red-painted net. 

On either side of the net are two white sidelines, which specify the non-volley zone or “Kitchen.” Beyond that is the volley zone where players serve or receive the pickleball. The volley zone is further divided into two sections on each side of the net by two blue sidelines. These lines determine the standing position of the player during the game. 

What is Pickleball Singles Serving Rules? 

The ‘serving’ in a pickleball game implies delivering the ball to the receiving side. Below are essential rules one must follow to serve the ball during pickleball singles. 

  • When the score is even (0,2,4,6,….., etc.), the player makes the serve from the right side of the court. 
  • When the score is odd (1,3,5,7,…., etc.), the player makes the serve from the left side of the court. 
  • The player must serve the pickleball with their underhand motion and below the waistline. 
  • To initiate the serve, the player must be at least one foot behind the baseline. Neither the player’s foot nor the ball should strike the baseline. Otherwise, it will be a fault.
  • The first serve is always through the right side of the service area or volley zone.
  • The serve should be made diagonally and land into the receiver’s volleying zone. 
  • Except for the “let serve,” only a single serve is allowed per player. 
  • Besides, the player must abide by the “double bounce” rule before making the serve. The law states that the pickleball must bounce twice before the player throws it in the air to make the serve. 
  • If the player scores the point, he must switch the side, i.e., move to the left side of the court. 

Following some misconception, many ask if you serve twice in singles pickleball. But as you stated, only serve is allowed in a pickleball game. But if the “let serve” condition arrives, the player must make several serve attempts before delivering the pickleball. 

What is Pickleball Singles Scoring Rules?

The pickleball singles scoring rules are also different from the doubles format. It is because pickleball singles have only one server and a total of two players. The following are some of the most crucial pickleball singles tournament rules for its scoring system. 

  • Only the serving side in the pickleball singles game gets scores. 
  • Each pickleball singles tournament is of 11 points, which must end with a 2-point win. 
  • When the score is even, the server stands on the right side. But when the score is in odd figures, the player stands on the left. 
  • In the pickleball singles game, two scores are displayed on the scoreboard. One is for the serving side, and the other represents the receiving side. 

What are the Pickleball Singles Kitchen Rules?

Like the doubles format, pickleball singles also have a few kitchen rules. If you have read our previous posts, you may be familiar with the kitchen or “non-volley” zone in the pickleball court. But if you haven’t, then let us brief you on that before heading towards pickleball singles kitchen rules. 

The pickleball kitchen is a zone in the court where players must not enter. It is around 7×2 inches in dimensions and is on either side of the court. Neither can they serve the ball in this zone, nor do their served ball should enter this area. Also, check the How To Clean Pickleball Paddle.

In fact, throughout the active game, players and pickleball are prohibited from stepping into the court’s kitchen. The following are a few pickleball singles kitchen rules which can help you understand the role of the non-volley zone in the singles format. We have formatted these rules according to the ‘USAPA Rule Book’ that highlights the kitchen regulations under Section 9A-9D. 

  • The server and receiver cannot enter the non-volley zone or kitchen. 
  • Any part of the player’s body must not come into the confined areas of the kitchen. 
  • The served ball must also not enter the non-volleying zone. 
  • The paddle can touch the kitchen zone while volleying the ball. 
  • However, the paddle must not drop into the kitchen zone. 
  • The player must not swing, hit, or throw the ball into the kitchen. 
  • If any player violates these rules, it will result in a fault, and the opponent team will get the point. 

What is Pickleball Skinny Singles Rules? 

Pickleball skinny single is an alternate version of the singles format. The gameplay is almost similar to the pickleball singles, but with only one significant exception. The difference is that the server must serve the ball in skinny singles into the confined half side of the receiving side.  Also, check the Pickleball Rules.

However, the ball must be a cross-hit and should land diagonally into the opponent’s side. Like the conventional singles format, skinny singles also proffers a few rules. One can better understand this game format by acknowledging the pickleball skinny singles rules. 

  • One is the serving side, while the other is receiving side. 
  • The ball must be delivered with the underhand motion below the waist. 
  • The receiver and server must only deliver the serve in the confined area of the pickleball court. 
  • If the player fails to deliver the ball diagonally to the opponent’s confined zone, it will result in a fault. 
  • No player can step into the kitchen or non-volley zone while serving the ball.
What is Pickleball Skinny Singles Rules

Frequently Asked Questions

How many serves in pickleball singles?

The pickleball singles format allows a single serve in each turn. However, if the “let” condition applies, then serves can be as many till the player finally delivers the ball to the receiving side.

How to play singles pickleball?

By attaining familiarity with pickleball singles tournament rules, you can easily master the singles format.

What is the difference between pickleball singles and skinny singles?

In pickleball singles, the players can deliver the ball to any part of the opponent’s courtside. But in pickleball skinny singles, the receiver and server must only deliver the ball diagonally in each other’s confined areas.

Can players volley in Pickleball Singles?

Yes, players can volley in Pickleball Singles. However, the “two-bounce” rule still applies, meaning the ball must bounce once on each side of the net before players can volley.


The pickleball singles tournament rules might seem complicated at first. But when you study them thoroughly, you may realize how straightforward the game is. The pickleball singles game is often recommended to beginners who have just attained familiarity with this sport. 

By mastering pickleball singles, you can easily play the doubles format. We hope you liked our article on pickleball singles rules. If you want to read more such context related to pickleball, visit our website.

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