5 Small-Sided Pickleball Games for Skill Development [Video]

Add more variety to your pickleball unit with these 5 small-sided pickleball games. These games can be played with 4 or more students without a teacher! Create your own unique twists to the games by making them cooperative or playing them in an up and down the river format!

1. The Warm-Up


Loosen up your student’s muscles and get them hitting right away with a pickleball warm up. Students partner up and practice hitting dink shots back and forth over the net. After they hit 10 shots in a row, move on to volleys. Volley the ball by hitting the ball in the air. After 10 in a row, move your students back to the baseline to have a full court rally down the line with their partner.

2. Skinny Singles


In skinny singles, players play on half of the court and compete against the player across from them. Players alternate feeding the ball in play and rally until one player wins the point. If either player hits the ball on the other side of the court, the ball is dead. Once one player reaches 11 points, they yell out “Eleven” and all groups rotate at once. Players who are leading once time is up move up a court. Players who did not win move down a court. Since the court is cut in half, this game encourages players to come to the net and volley. Remember, players must be outside of the no-volley zone in order to hit a volley!

3. Dingles


This game is very similar to Skinny Singles, but there’s an added twist! Instead of playing individually, players are now on a team. Both players feed the ball at the same time and play out a singles point with the player across the net. Once one ball is dead and a player has lost the point, the ball that is still in play becomes a full court point. All four players continue to play the 2nd ball until the point is won. Players must win both points to collect one big point. The first team to collect 3 big points, wins!

4. See Ya


This game practices the dink shot and volleys. Players feed the ball around the no-volley line and rally back and forth using the full court until one player wins the point. The player who lost rotates out and their partner comes in and feeds a friendly ball to start the next point. Gameplay continues until someone knocks out 5 players in a row!

5. King of the Court


This is a competitive game that your students will love! Challengers line up on one side of the court, while the champion is on the other side. Challengers must win two points in a row to take the champion’s spot. If a challenger loses a point, they go to the end of the line and the next challenger feeds the ball. Switch the game up and play out doubles points with more players!

Related Blogs:
Teaching Pickleball Skills and Gameplay [Video]
4 Great Indoor Middle School PE Games by Peter Boucher
4 Simple Small-Sided Badminton Games

Related Equipment:
PaddlePro™ Portable Net System: The regulation portable pickleball net that’s easy to set up and store!
Ace Chase Set: Players are chasing after triple points by hitting a poly spot!
PaddleZlam: A strategic paddle game boasts three ways to score!

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