Scoring in pickleball can be confusing. Here is a basic step-by-step guide to help you alleviate that confusion.
Let’s dive right in.
Understanding the Basics
- The first team that scores 11 points wins the pickleball match.
You must wind by at least 2 points.
- Only the team or player that is serving can score points
- The player on the right is always the first server.
- If the score is even serve from the right, if the score is odd, serve from the left.
- Points can only be scored by the serving team.
- 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.
- If the serving team wins, the player on the right side (even court) switches to the left side (odd court), While the receiving side does not alternate sides.
- At the start of the game, the serving team only gets one serve, so in this case, the player on the right calls “0-0-2”
- If the score is even, the player serves from the right service box, and if the score is odd the player serves from the left.
- When the server faults, they lose the serve and their opponent gets the ball.
Calling the Score
- In a doubles game, the server must call the score before a rally.
- It consists of three numbers in order (your score, your opponent’s score, and serving number).
- Example: if the serving team has scored 3 points and the receiving team has 5 points, the player on the right (even side) would say “3-5-1” indicating that they have 3, the opponent have 5, and they are on their first serve.
- In a singles game, you just announce two numbers (your score, and your opponent’s score).
To learn more about the basic rules check out: How To Play Pickleball: A Beginners Guide To Pickleball Rules
Reading and watching explanations can be immensely helpful, but I recommend just getting out to a court and playing. If you have public courts near you, you’ll find that almost everyone is super friendly and will guide you through most rules that you have trouble with. This is how you learn the fastest while building relationships. So don’t be afraid to get out there and mess up, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.