How To Play Skinny Singles Pickleball – Complete Guide

how to play skinny singles pickleball

Skinny singles pickleball helps to improve angles, serve, and fitness but if you don’t know how to play skinny singles pickleball, read here.

Skinny singles pickleball is what you need if you are planning to be a part of a tournament, as you can play it with your partner. Also, if you want to play a game with less running, it is ideal, as, in this game, you have to use the half side of the court, which reduces the movement area.

It is like singles pickleball but with the use of half-court. With this game, you can improve your angles, performance, serve and stay fit. However, if you need to become more familiar with this, here is a detailed article on how to play skinny singles pickleball. To learn, keep reading. 

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What Are Skinny Singles In Pickleball?

Skinny singles in pickleball are just like single pickleball; however, it is a slightly modified version where you have to run little because of the use of half-court. Simply, you don’t have to move here and there in the court to hit the ball due to less space.

Two players play this game like single pickleball, one on each side of the net to defend the ball. Also, all single or regular pickleball rules apply to skinny singles. So if you are familiar with double or single pickleball, there is nothing new about skinny singles. 

Step-by-Step Guide: How To Play Skinny Singles Pickleball

Skinny singles pickleball is just like a double pickleball game; therefore, it has the same shot selection and strategies. The only difference is fixing player position and use of half ground. You can play it on either half side of the floor or stand diagonally. Also, you can hit the ball back in the opponent’s decided half. If you fail to hit back into the appropriate half, it will be considered a fault. The right part depends on the game score. 

For better understanding, let’s suppose you serve the ball while the score is 0 – 0, which is even. So you have to toss the ball in the event section of your opponent. In this situation, you have to do everything, i.e., volley, serve, return, drop, etc., into the even side (appropriate side) from the even side. In contrast, you must do everything from the odd side when the score becomes odd. 

Related To: How To Score In Pickleball

a picture in which two player showing how to play skinny singles pickleball

Overall there are these three techniques in skinny singles pickleball:

1. Around The Post Shots 

This is a MOD version of cross-court shots of both single and regular pickleball. For around the post-shot, you must hit the opponent’s other half. Also, you have to hit back the shot from the opponent that comes appropriately on your side. However, you can run outside the court without hitting it over the net as long as the shot stays inside the appropriate area. 

2. Down The Line Shots

In skinny singles pickleball, the players use half of the ground and play it like a cross-court. However, the service area changes according to the score. For example, if the score is 1 – 1, the player serves the ball from the even side as the score is even. On the other hand, if the score is 1 – 2, the server needs to stay on the odd side and serve across the court. 

Some people find it tough to toss across the court. To keep things easy, you can use a down-the-line shot; the server can start the game from the even side while returning to the odd side after the serve. This way, you play it like cross-court but slide back to the old position to follow game rules. 

3. Combination Of The Two

Combining both techniques, i.e., ATP and down-the-line shots, is ideal for beginners or people who want to keep the game accessible. In this method, both players stand on the odd side of the court like the regular skinny singles pickleball. However, the unique thing about this technique is the even position of both players after the scoreboard shows even numbers. Here the position of both players depends on the scoreboard, not the server. 

How To Improve Your Skinny Singles Game?

If you are new to this game, here I have some helpful tips and tricks to improve your skinny singles game. Follow these easy tips to excel in the game.

how to play skinny singles pickleball

Related: How To Return A Spin Serve In Pickleball

1. Strengthen Your Serve

The winner serves the ball in skinny singles; however, you can score more points with good service. Therefore, learn to hit deep into the cross-court to reduce the chances of a return shot from the opponent. If you keep serving shallow, you are more likely to get back the serve. 

2. Attacking The Net

If you get the ball in the non-volley zone, you have to move forward to get the hit. However, if you know how to return the ball deeper in the court, there is more chance that your opponent will fail to hit it back. Therefore, practice both forward and backward shots with good strength to send back the deeper hit. 

3. Move Your Feet

By moving your feet to follow your shot continuously, you can cut the angle of another player. Therefore, during play, make sure to move your feet and move toward the mid of the court. However, slide your feet toward the center slowly after each shot. 

4. Get To The Kitchen Line

Opponents often try to get the score at Non-Volley Zone Line; therefore, try to stay near this line. You usually get into this after a serve however, if you are not good at this, you can make high arc shots to stay away from the kitchen line. This strategy is for average days; therefore, don’t go with high arc shots on windy days. Also, this is not applicable if the opponent is a banger. 

5. Work The Angles

If you are in a cross-court situation, fair use of angles brings the points. However, this is not for the straight-on match-up, but if you get the chance of cross-court play, use angles. For this, read the movement of the opponent. For example, if you notice that the opponent is struggling to move the feet toward the mid, return the ball in that area by beautifully using the angle. 

6. Assess Your Opponent

To ensure a good shot, it is essential to assess your opponent. For this, notice his/her movement, playing style, and angles. Also, focus on the backhand return and serving point. After this, you can respond in a better way that ultimately helps you score more. Knowing the weaknesses of your competitors and their appropriate use brings success. 

What Are The Benefits Of Skinny Singles?

If you know how to play skinny singles pickleball and play it more often, it will benefit you in the following ways:

  • You will learn the angles in a cross-court game and can use them beautifully in regular pickleball. 
  • Even with less movement, it is ideal to stay fit. 
  • You can practice with your partner in skinny singles pickleball if you want to practice for a tournament. 
  • This way, you can learn angles, techniques, and different shots. 
  • If you are looking for a way to get experience, skinny singles pickleball is the best option.  


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The Bottom Line

If you are two players and want to play pickleball with less movement, you can go with skinny singles pickleball. Also, it is so easy to learn how to play skinny singles pickleball because of the same rules and strategies of double pickleball. You can use this drill as a workout or warm-up to stay active.

Moreover, if you are planning to be a part of a tournament, playing skinny singles pickleball is an ideal way to learn angles, leg movement, and service improvement. Use the above-shared tips to improve performance, and you are ready to win the game. 

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