What Is the Difference Between Pickleball Singles & Doubles?

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By Jacob Jackson

Get ready for the scoop on pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports in recent years. You might be surprised to learn that there are actually two versions of this game: singles and doubles. While they might appear similar at first glance, there are some key differences to consider. So, let’s dive into the excitement of pickleball and discover which version suits your style best!

The Major Differences Between Pickleball Singles & Doubles

Pickleball has been gaining popularity and drawing parallels to tennis, yet it has some distinct differences that set it apart. Let’s take a look at the major differences between pickleball singles and doubles:

  1. Court Size: In singles, the court measures 20 feet by 44 feet, while in doubles, it’s a whopping 44 feet by 88 feet. This means that singles players have less room to maneuver and need to be highly focused on positioning at all times. Doubles, on the other hand, offers more space for players to move around and cover the court.
  2. Scoring: Scoring in singles and doubles differs significantly. In singles, points are usually won after every two volleys, while in doubles, points are typically scored when one team fails to return the ball correctly. Additionally, service rotations happen less frequently in singles.
  3. Strategy: Strategy plays a key role in both singles and doubles, but it’s even more important in singles. Without a partner to rely on for defensive shots, singles players must become masters at reading their opponents’ movements and anticipating shots. Strong serves and returns are crucial since there’s no teammate to bail you out.
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As you can see, pickleball singles and doubles offer different challenges and rewards, catering to players of all skill levels.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Both Versions

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of both pickleball singles and doubles:

Playing Singles:


  • Allows individual players to practice and perfect their skills without relying on a partner.
  • Provides more control over game strategy.
  • Allows players to compete against opponents of varying skill levels.


  • Less social interaction compared to doubles play.
  • Physically demanding for one person, as they must cover the entire court alone.
  • Less room for error or mistakes due to reliance on only one person’s skill level.

Playing Doubles:


  • Encourages strategy and communication between partners.
  • Easier court coverage with a partner.
  • Opportunities for team play, socializing, and camaraderie.


  • Difficulty finding an even match with players of different skill levels.
  • Lack of consistency when switching partners or teams during play.
  • Challenging to defend the net against two opponents at once.

Doubles or Singles: What’s Your Preference?

The debate between playing pickleball doubles or singles has no clear consensus. It all comes down to personal preference and playing style.

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If you enjoy a more social atmosphere and fast-paced action, doubles might be your go-to. Playing with a partner fosters teamwork, communication, and offers greater court coverage.

On the other hand, singles is often seen as a mental challenge. Defending both sides of the court solo requires quick thinking and anticipation.

Whether you prefer doubles or singles, both versions have their advantages and disadvantages. Singles allow for individual growth and improved agility, while doubles offer tactical options and improved communication.

The decision of whether to play singles or doubles is up to you or your team. So, grab your gear, gather some friends, and hit the court for an epic pickleball match!

Also, make sure to check out our other blog posts for more exciting pickleball content!


Can pickleball be played 1v1 and 2v2?

Yes, pickleball can be played both 1v1 and 2v2. In 1v1, each player uses one paddle, whereas in 2v2, two players on each side use two paddles. The rules of pickleball are designed for both singles and doubles play.

What is the difference between pickleball doubles and singles?

The main differences include the number of players, court size, ball type, and some rule variations. Doubles involve four players playing on a larger court with specific rules, while singles is played with two players on a smaller court.

Is it harder to play pickleball doubles or singles?

It depends on personal preference and skill level. Beginners often find doubles easier since they have a partner to help them out. Experienced players might find singles more challenging but offer more creative opportunities.

How do I score in pickleball?

In pickleball, each team serves twice before the point is over. A team can only win by two points or more. The serving player serves from the right side to the opponent’s left, switching sides with each serve until one team reaches 11 points or more with a margin of 2.


Now you have a comprehensive understanding of the differences between pickleball singles and doubles. So, go out there and choose a format that suits you best. Whether it’s a singles showdown or a doubles dance, pickleball guarantees an enjoyable experience!

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