Learning how to score in pickleball, or any game for that matter, can intimidating. I remember my first game and worrying about taking too much time and asking too many questions.
I immediately found out that new players are welcome with open arms to the game (at least where I was playing), and they helped me get through the match and perfect the rules of scoring.
So I would like to preface this article with this…
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO JUST GET IN THERE AND LEARN AS YOU GO.
But just so you’re a little more prepared here’s a breakdown on how to score in Pickleball.
The Basics of Pickleball Scoring
In Pickleball as in other racket sports, Only the serving team can score.
If the serving team faults, or serves out of bounds the other team gets no points, but the 1st server loses the serve and the 2nd player gets a chance ( in a doubles game)
In a singles game, if the server loses his/her serve the serve switches to the other player.
Check out: Legal Vs.Illegal Pickleball Serves
Calling the Score
Calling the score is a confusing part of the doubles Pickleball game. The best way to explain this is by an example.
SERVING TEAM MEMBER 1: “0-4-1”
This means that the team that person is on has a score of 0 while the other team has a score of 4. The “1” at the end indicates that he is the 1st player to serve on that team.
They play the rally and lets say they win
SERVING TEAM MEMBER 1: “1-4-1”
Since the serving team won they are awarded the point which means now they have 1, serving to the team that has 4 and they STILL are on the 1st player serving.
Now let’s say they lose this rally.
SERVING TEAM MEMBER 2: “1-4-2”
Now as you can see, since the server (player 1) lost the serve, he gives it to the next (player 2).
Player 2 calls the amount of points they have (1) to the points of the team they are serving to (4) and they are server (2)
Are you following?
Here’s a recap…
The first number is the score of the serving team.
The second number is the score of the receiving team.
To learn more about the basic rules check out: How To Play Pickleball: A Beginners Guide To Pickleball Rules
We would like to conclude with a small tip that helps players to recall their score and the position of the players in the match. The tip is to memorize the player and the partner’s starting positions and also memorize the player who is lined up diagonally across from them. As long as the player knows where to start the game, they will be able to figure out their score, based on their positions. This simple tip can help players play the game with peace. If you would like to learn more, check out the IFP Rulebook