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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Skinny Singles

Pickleball players come in all shapes. Some are skinny. Others, like me, not so much. My body shape luckily doesn't prevent me or anyone else from playing a new version of singles. In fact, skinny singles is meant for those who cannot or choose not to cover the entire court. It sounds interesting. 

A new form of singles is showing up in tournament play. Called Skinny Singles. You only use half the court. You can use either diagonal courts and change each serve or use half court directly across from each other. This may catch on with the older players as it minimizes the “ I am going to die” feeling after 5 min of singles on full court. It also puts the dink game back in play. Singles on full court is not a dink game. Skinny Singles is doubles strategy with two players. This can really help your doubles play as it makes you focus on placement of the ball. No hitting down the middle and having 10 foot error lines on each side. Give it a try.
Kyle Yates, one of the best young players in the game and recent Mens Doubles gold medal winner in the US Open commented:
"Best drill to simulate true Pickleball strategy! Crucial to utilize the 3rd shot drop and master distance control."


  1. I've only managed to get a few players to try the "radical" idea of half-court, straight-across singles. I think it's great. In my view, it is a far superior game to doubles. I can hardly believe the pickleball world has not migrated to it. It makes sense: if a pickleball court is perfect for two players, half a court is perfect for one player; that's just math, right? (In my view, one player trying to cover the doubles court is an absurdity, and watching such play is an embarrassment. Doesn't tennis have a reduced area for singles?) Single play on a half-court is more of a workout than conventional doubles because you're on for every returned shot, but not because you're running around like a foaming horse. In singles, you, and only you, are in complete control of your destiny. All thoughts of partners letting each other down are up in smoke. I'm waiting for pickleball supply companies to come out with a singles net.


  2. How do you deal with lack of a centerline in the no volley zone when you play skinny singles? How do you know when a ball landing in the kitchen is in or out?

    1. Having never played, I can only venture a guess. I would hope that sites where skinny singles is played would have a temporary line - like tape or chalk - available to mark the line. In the absence of a temporary line, it becomes a honor system with estimates of the line. Players would need to understand that errors will be common.

    2. Receiving player makes the call, just line other line calls. Previous answer is correct, you have to agree ahead of time that there will be errors, and agree on sportsmanship. In tournament play, add tape or chalk lines if necessary.