How to Keep Score in Pickleball Singles & Doubles?

Pickleball is an interesting game that interests many players, but what confuses the players in the complex scoring system of the Pickleball singles and doubles matches. The position changes of this game also seem complex, compared with the tennis game. Also, between the position changes and calling off the scores, there are a lot of things that the players have to keep track of. This guide will help in simplifying the process of keeping the score of the game simple.

The Basics of Pickleball Scoring

How to Keep Score in Pickleball Singles & Doubles
Photo: Michael & Sherry Martin/Flickr

In the Pickleball game, the points can be scored only by the serving team. If the serving team hits an Ace or if the receiving team commits a fault, then the serving team will score a point. If the serving team commits a fault, points will not be awarded for them, but the server will lose his serve. If the fault is committed by the serving team, then the server will lose his serve, but will not lose any points. The server will then move to the second player (in a doubles match) or it can be a side out as well (in a singles match) and the service will switch to the opponent team.

In a regular match, a player should score 11 points and win by 2 points. If the game is tied at 10-10, the next team or the player who scores the winning point, along with an additional point will win the match.

Also Read: How to Play Pickleball: A Beginners Guide to Pickleball Rules

Calling the Score

Calling the score is a confusing part of the doubles Pickleball game. But with simple understanding, it can be made easy and less confusing. In the doubles match, the serving team will call the scores as a series of three numbers, for example, 3-2-1.

The first number is the score of the serving team. When a team serves, it calls its score first. The second number is the score of the receiving team. The last number denotes the serving position. If a player is the first person to serve, then he will call 1. Similarly, if he is the second person to serve, then he would call 2. 

The serve number (1 or 2) denotes the service turns only. The player on the right side, when the team gets the serve back will be the first server, for that particular service turn. Maybe the next time when the team gets a serve back, it can be the same player or the other player on the right end, and he will still be the first server for that service turn. He will have to call out the service position as 1 with the scores. Players should not assume that the player has to keep the same server number throughout the game.

When the first serving team starts the game, only one player gets to serve and fault, before a side-out is announced and the serve switches to the opposite team. In a doubles match, both the players are allowed to serve before the serve goes to the opponent’s team. Both the players switch sides every time the team scores a point. But they don’t have to switch sides when the opposing team scores a point. 

It can be noted that when the score of the team is even, the player who served first will be on the right or the even side of the court. Similarly, when the score is odd, he will be on the left or the odd side of the court.

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Keeping the Scores of a Doubles Pickleball Match

The player on the right side of the court serves first always. This rule is the same if the team has got their chance to serve first at the start of the game, or when they have just got the serve after their opponent’s side out. 

  • When the game states, the player on the right side of the court serves the diagonally opposite court.
  • If a point is scored, he moves to the left side and serves to opposite court diagonally. 
  • If the serving team wins the serve and scores a point, the players of that team will switch positions. This will continue as long as the serving team scores the game. 
  • The players on the serving team will not alternate sides unless a point is scored by them.
  • The players on the receiving team will not switch positions when the serving team scores points. 
  • The first server will continue to serve until their team loses a rally by committing a fault. The server will then pass to the second server of the team.
  • He will continue to serve until they lose and a side-out is announced. 
  • The server will then move to the other team and the player on the right side of the opponent team will serve first.
  • This pattern will continue throughout the game.

Keeping the Scores of the Singles Pickleball Match

  • The scoring system in the singles Pickleball match is similar to that of the doubles match, except that there is no second server. 
  • The serves are performed always from the right side of the court when the score is even.
  • The player should serve from the left side of the court when his score is odd.
  • It is the score of the server that determines their serving positon. The scores of the opponent team have nothing to do with the serving position. 
  • But the receiver lines up either on the right or the left side of the court according to the score of the server.
  • Scores are called simply as the server score and the receiver’s score.

Verdict

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.

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