Master Skill And Strategy With Pickleball Skinny Singles Rules

Playing pickleball - Skinny Singles

The pickleball skinny singles rules are simplified rules designed to introduce new players to the game quickly and easily. I love playing skinny singles for my first game on the court because it gets your reaction times and awareness up to speed quickly. The goal is to get people playing faster, practicing hitting technique while preserving the sport’s core elements.

There are a couple of rules, changes, and adjustments you need to know when playing skinny singles; here is the short answer, and we will breakdown everything down below:

  • Playing on a smaller court.

  • No doubles, only singles play.

  • Serving from behind the baseline.

  • Hit the ball cross-court only.

  • Play to 11 points, and win by two. (Some people like playing skinny singles to 7 points for faster games)

These allow for shorter, faster-paced games that require more skill and strategy than traditional pickleball. So how do you play skinny singles pickleball? Keep reading.

How do you play skinny singles pickleball?

Playing pickleball in a skinny singles format is a great way to practice drills, drop shots, and hit cross-court rapid-fire, and the game can get intense. Games will last a lot shorter, usually 15 minutes or less, depending on how many rallies there are. Skinny singles play is also more competitive and exciting than playing doubles.

Skinny Singles Rules

  1. Pick one side of the court to play on, either the even side or the odd side. You can tape one side of the court as to remember of the appropriate half.

  2. The number of points you play is up to you, but 11 points are traditional. If there are four to six players, 7 points can be more fun so that you can jump in and play several quick games. This is also an excellent way to get warmed up and heighten those pickleball senses!

  3. Serving in skinny singles, you serve cross-court on the same half of the court. This goes for all the shots, dinks, and volleys.

  4. Points are the same as in a regular game, with only the serving player able to score. If the server loses the point, it is still a side out and goes to the other player’s side.

  5. Non-volley zone same rules apply.

  6. Skinny singles are played with the same rules as regular singles, with one exception: you can only hit the ball cross-court into your opponent’s half-of-the-court.

Another little know rule is the “around the post” shot. The ATP shot means that if a player hits the ball, goes around one of the pickleball posts, and goes into the opponent’s court, it is considered a legal shot. This is particularly helpful in skinny singles because the court size is smaller.

Pickleball Skinny Singles rules - Court Size

What are the skinny singles pickleball court dimensions?

The skinny singles court dimensions are 10 feet wide by 44 feet long, half of the official pickleball court size. All other elements of the court stay the same, including the net height, service lines, and non-volley zone. If you want a pickleball experience that is fast-paced, intense, and physically demanding, It’s a great way to get in shape and sharpen your pickleball skills.

Half the court means it mimics a doubles game.

Since the width of the court is only half, each player must cover 10 feet, leading to similar shots and strategies in skinny singles like doubles. The power behind hard-driving passing shots diminishes, so drop shots will more likely be used along with dinks. Consequently, skinny singles closely reflect playing habits during a game of doubles.

Can you play a skinny singles tournament?

Yes, pickleball skinny singles tournaments are often encouraged for beginners or those who want to practice their pickleball skills. Skinny singles pickleball tournaments can help players gain experience in a competitive environment and get used to playing against different opponents. Many pickleball tournament directors now offer skinny singles tournaments, so check your local pickleball association or pickleball club for upcoming tournaments.

Man Playing Skinny Singles Pickleball

Skinny Singles Strategy

When returning a cross-court pickleball shot, try to hit it in the middle half of the court. This will give your opponent a difficult choice between hitting it back to you or trying to pick up an angled shot that could be their undoing.

Offensively, pickleball skinny singles require players to have well-honed serving and volleying skills. Focus on having good footwork and staying balanced to increase your chances of making a successful return.

Defensively, pickleball skinny singles are all about getting the ball back in play and forcing errors from your opponents. Keep them guessing with angles, spin, and drop shots.

Finally, pickleball skinny singles are all about scoring. The pickleball court is smaller, so angles and placement are critical. Aim for the corners of the court and use your opponents’ weaknesses to pick up points quickly.


Pickleball skinny singles are easy and fun for all levels of players! The rules are simplified, so you pick up the basics quickly and start playing immediately. The smaller court size makes it a more intense game with more opportunities to score. With half-court pickleball, players must focus on their footwork, serve, and volley skills to pick up points.

There are also more opportunities for players to practice their defensive strategies and pick up cross-court shots. Skinny singles pickleball tournaments are an excellent way for beginners or experienced pickle ballers to get competitive experience and sharpen their pickleball skills.

The skinny pickleball rules are ideal for introducing new players or brushing up on your hitting techniques. It allows players to learn the basics without becoming overwhelmed or discouraged by the larger court size. Players can quickly move on to standard rules and more advanced strategies as they become more comfortable with the game.