Both singles and doubles pickleball games tend to be generally similar. The goal is to force your opponent into an error of some sort thus resulting in a point for you or your team. Pickleball is great exercise and fantastic fun no matter if you play singles or doubles. Being an effective player in a singles match will help your skills in a doubles game. The more practice you get by just playing and practicing in general will improve both your singles and doubles match play.
When calling the score before a serve in doubles there are three numbers instead of two in a singles game. The third number is meant to identify which player is serving, either the first or second. The serving players call out the serving team’s score first, then the receiving team’s score and finally the serving team’s server number either one or two for who is first or second.
An example serving call out would be: 2-1-2. Both players on the serving team get a chance to serve. The exception is in the very beginning of the game where the serving team only has one player serve to help minimize any advantage of serving first.
Doubles Means Less Court To Cover
Think about it, you have a teammate to help you cover and defend the court. The same court you would need to cover by yourself in a singles match. Twice the people means less effort and energy spent to play a game. With doubles, you must now perfect the communication between you and your partner. Good in game communication can really make a difference in a point scored versus a point lost. Always be sure to communicate before the serve as well to make sure you both know how to approach in game scenarios.
There must be a clear understanding of each player’s area and role in the game. While both players serve, it is good to be prepared at all times during a match. With less ground to cover, you can conserve your energy a bit more for those late game heroics that require that little extra. When you only have half the court to watch over it is important both players know where each other will be during a rally. You must know who is covering where.
When it comes to a game strategy you must both be on board. Your strategy is the overall big picture of how you will both play off of each other. The tactics will be more of the way each individual player performs with each volley or serve. Tactics are short term in game maneuvers while strategy is the teams long term big picture approach of how they will navigate the match.
Maybe you notice the other team is always confused when you hit the ball in the middle of the two players. They don’t communicate who returns when the ball is sent into “no mans land”. It is wise to return serves to the other team’s center court to cause confusion and potentially an error resulting in a point for your team.
Maybe the other team is not as fast or athletic and you can wear them out by making them chase erratic shots. Keeping them guessing with deep baseline then short kitchen shots is a good way to not let them settle into the game. Mentally frustrating the other team by having a strategy in place could give your team a big advantage. Always know how you want to play different teams.
Double The Fun
Along with having less ground to cover in doubles, you will have more fun meeting new people to play with or even play against. It’s mostly for the fun of it and yeah maybe some bragging rights also. The social aspect of doubles is a great reason to join in. You may even pair up with someone new and find the two of you play well together and make quite the team!
By playing doubles, you get better at playing without the ball and moving into position based on what your teammate does. Sometimes you hang back or you may rush the net and be aggressive. It’s important to try new things with different players and adjust as you go. You never want to get stuck in a rut every time you go to the pickleball court. Keep it fresh by introducing yourself to new people and maybe learn something new from them. When playing doubles, you have the added incentive to play well and not let your teammate down. This gives you a reason to stay focused and sharp which can enhance your experience.
Improve Your Own Game
After you have been doing doubles games for a while you are sure to show improvement. This could not only make you a sought after doubles partner but in turn could actually improve your singles game. The more you play the better you will be. By adding in some doubles game experience, you are in fact becoming a better pickleball player overall. The more you mix it up between doubles and singles will also help you from getting bored on the court.
If you can play well with another person and share the court intelligently, then you are bound to improve your own game along the way. Playing doubles lets you see other players at work. You can most likely pick up a couple tips from different players just by observing them play. The good ole’ post-match hang out is a great way to throw ideas back and forth about technique and strategy.
Pickleball is good exercise and great fun no matter if it is played as singles or doubles. With doubles you broaden your thinking ever so much by having a partner you have to work with. This kind of team building activity sharpens your mind and brings you closer together with old friends or new acquaintances. Playing doubles makes you think and react in a different way compared to a singles game.
You and your teammate now have to communicate and come up with a strategy to win. You feed off each other in a fierce rally with the hope of getting the point. You end up forming bonds with new people. There are some differences but having fun is still the name of the game.