Pickleball Strategy And Rules: Doubles vs. Singles

Pickleball Strategy And Rules: Doubles vs Singles

Pickleball has two types of games: singles and doubles. Below are essential things you need to know and find out which of the two fits your style and usual gameplay.

Singles Pickleball: Why You Should Play

Singles pickleball is a big step for most players because basically, the area they cover in the court widens. Having to run around the entire half of the court can be exhausting and tiresome. For other players, it takes time and practice to be able to play with finesse in a singles pickleball game. Before you shift to the singles tournament, there are things you should take note of:

  • You need to be physically fit.

Since you don’t have a partner or teammate present, you have to do all the footwork and effort. Choosing to be physically fit is an advantage over other opponents who don’t, and it makes things easier for you as you progress through the tournament.

  • Incorporation of condition training is essential.

Aside from the game itself, condition training should also be a priority. Once you get used to this, playing Pickleball gets easier each time.

On the other hand, choosing to play in this type of pickleball game has its benefits:

  • You can focus on your groundstrokes: groundstrokes are an essential factor in a game. Most of the time, loopy groundstrokes give the opponent a chance to win. Playing alone offers you the opportunity to focus on your moves.
  • The game is an instant cardio workout: you strengthen your heart and end up improving your overall health.
  • You step out of your comfort zone: most players start in the doubles game and gradually shift to the singles, which takes a lot of patience and perseverance.
  • It’s excellent practice for future doubles pickleball games: after training in the singles division, shifting back to doubles becomes a breeze because of the previous exercise.
  • You develop discipline: any sport requires training for you to become successful. Pushing yourself to do better in a singles pickleball game significantly helps you improve.

Strategies For Singles Pickleball

Pickleball Strategy And Rules: Doubles vs Singles

In a singles game, it isn’t enough that you get your service over the net and in because the opponent can quickly turn things around. Make sure to follow these strategies for a sure win:

1. Serve with depth and control

Never underestimate the power of a precise, hard serve. Most pickleball players know that serving in the middle is a smooth way to win. Ideally, you should hit the ball hard towards the opponent’s weak spots rather than trying to aim at the corner of the service box because this gives them a chance to provide you with a robust return.

2. Do The Same When Returning A Serve

Same as how you should start a service, returning the opponent’s service requires a hard and precise hit. However, you should aim for the deep corners of the court and keep the player moving away from their strong position near the net.

3. Keep your Game Simple

A singles game is not the time to try new moves or show finesse. Remember that strength, quick movements, and speed go hand in hand if you want to score points and win. Start aiming at different areas and don’t give the opponent a chance to hit hard on your court. Refrain from giving them a chance to get into a hitting position.

Doubles Pickleball And Why You Should Play

From the name itself, this division requires you to have a partner when playing, which means that you only cover half the portion of your court. A lot of people prefer playing in doubles because of the carefree and easy way of playing. Here are some doubles pickleball benefits you should know:

  • It may decrease the risk of depression: playing in doubles also increases the chances of meeting new people and socializing. The continuous exposure to different opponents and teammates releases happy hormones which help ward of the possibility of developing depression.
  • You improve your overall health: a study conducted by Western State Colorado University showed that Pickleball significantly improved the players’ blood pressure levels and cardiorespiratory fitness.
  • You banish age-related symptoms: inability to move, imbalances, and overall weakness are because of poor exercise habits. Pickleball helps the elderly players have an active lifestyle, further diminishing the chances of deteriorating health.
  • It creates a bond between players: playing together builds friendships and forms bonds that could last a lifetime. Some might bring additional players which increase the chances of meeting new people.

Strategies For Doubles Pickleball

Pickleball Strategy And Rules: Doubles vs Singles

In doubles pickleball, strategies you should thoroughly plan with your partner. You want to be on the same page regarding how you should execute a play so that both of you are in sync. Make sure to follow these tips for a sure win:

1. Make sure the ball is in play

The serve in Pickleball is an influential factor in scoring points, so it’s best if you ace that part already to score points at the start of the game. Talk with your partner regarding a deep, definite hit to avoid giving your opponent the chance to return the service entirely.

2. Aim at the middle portion of your opponent’s court

If you aim at the middle (be it serving or a return serve), chances are your opponents will have a hard time deciding who should return the ball. Deception is an old strategy done by most players. You only need to observe their moves and formulate a plan with your teammate.

3. Form a ‘right’ and ‘lefty’ team

If possible, get a partner whose dominant hand is opposite yours. For example, you hit hard with your right hand. Find a partner who uses their left as the dominant hitting hand to ensure that both sides of your court have equal serving strength and power.

Scoring System: Singles And Double Pickleball

Pickleball Strategy And Rules: Doubles vs Singles

Before playing Pickleball, it’s crucial to understand how the scoring system works. Knowing how you can score helps you plan and strategize a technique to win.

General Scoring System In Pickleball Games:

  • Each tournament reaches eleven points but winning should be by two points.
  • Only the serving team can score.
  • The receiving team can also score through rally(s). If the receiving team can take control of the rally, this gives a chance of controlling the service and ultimately, increasing the score.

Doubles Pickleball Scoring System

In a tournament, the serving player is required to announce the score before doing anything else. The score in a doubles pickleball game is composed of three elements:

  • Server’s score
  • Receiver’s score
  • Server’s number

Here are the things you should remember when scoring in a doubles match:

Pickleball Strategy And Rules: Doubles vs Singles

When keeping track of the score:

  • The serving team announces the score, and then the opposing team does the same, and this finishes off with the number of the server.
  • Once the game starts, the serving team has a chance of scoring, but it also means that the other player won’t be able to serve.
  • The server then becomes server number two. If the first server wins a rally, the score becomes 1-0-2.

After the first serve from the serving team:

  • Both players on the serving team are allowed to serve. 
  • The first server should be on the right side of the court.
  • If the serving team continues to win rallies, they continue to serve, and they continue to have a chance at scoring.

If a serving team scores:

  • Players from the serving team switch places.
  • These rules are continuous as long as the team scores a point.
  • Remember that the receiving team is not allowed to change or switch sides.
  • The server continues serving until they lose a rally.

If the serving team loses a rally:

  • The second server will now serve.
  • If ever the second server fails to deliver a service because of a fault or offense, the serve goes to the other team.
  • The player on the right opposing team should serve next.

This scoring system continues to follow this pattern until there is a declared winner.

Singles Pickleball Scoring System

Pickleball Strategy And Rules: Doubles vs Singles

The way you score in the singles pickleball game is similar to that in doubles. That there are no longer four players on the court, but two. Remember the following when scoring:

In positioning before a game:

  • The serving side depends on the server’s score.
  • When the score is composed of an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10), players on the right side of the court should serve.
  • When the score is composed of an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, 9), players on the left side of the court should serve.

Before starting the tournament:

  • The server should announce two numbers: the server’s score, then the opponent’s score.

Conclusion: Which Type Of Pickleball Game You Should Play

Once you lay down all the pros and cons of each division in Pickleball, you now have the chance to choose between the two.

Choose singles pickleball games if:

  • To improve your overall health.
  • You want to discipline yourself in terms of training and conditioning.
  • You prefer to work alone.

Choose doubles pickleball games if:

  • You want to do it for fun.
  • You want to meet new people.
  • To play better with teams.

About The Author

Scroll to Top