How To Score In Pickleball? Guide For You!

Will you be playing on a pickleball court soon and want to know how you can score to win a game? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about scoring when the ball is on your side of the court and strategies you can follow to win.

When starting as a beginner and learning the fundamentals of the pickleball game, it’s vital that you first know how to score in pickleball. Some joke that figuring out how to score points is more complicated than playing the sport. It’s obviously not the case, but it feels that way when trying to gain a few points over a skilled opposing team.

This guide will educate you on everything you need to know about how to score in pickleball. We leave no stone unturned and cover everything from what the numbers represent on a service court, how to keep score, and how to ensure you never lose track of the serving team’s score again.

Scoring Rules In Doubles Pickleball

Before going into detail, we’ll give you the Cliff notes answer if you are in a rush and want to play on a pickleball court near your home fast. Pickleball scoring rules dictate that the game must reach 11 points for there to be a winning team. When you keep score in pickleball tournaments, it goes up to 15 points. Only the serving team is allowed to score a point, and when this occurs, the scoring player must switch to the left side or the right of the court with their teammate, depending on their current position. To win a pickleball game, your opponent’s score must be 2 points less than yours.

Before discussing pickleball scoring, understanding the fundamentals of playing doubles pickleball is helpful. Therefore, the first topic to talk about is serving.

Serving in Pickleball

The serving team is the only one that can score, and the receiving team is on defense. Each of the players on the serving team gets one chance to score. We will explain further how this works.

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Once it’s your team’s turn to score, the teammate on the right side of the court gets the very first serve, and the left side player must wait their turn.

The first server will get more turns as long as they continue scoring. It doesn’t happen often, but the first server can keep going until they reach 11 points without giving the opposing team a winning point. But when the first server misses and their ball hits the net, the second server on your team gets a chance.

If the second player screws up, no serves are left, and it’s called a “side out.” It’s now the opposing team’s opportunity to become the serving team. Always remember that when a team scores because of a successful serve, players must switch positions with each other.

Prevailing By Two

According to the pickleball scoring rules, the only way to triumph is to be ahead by two points. So, for example, when the game is tied 10-10, it’s not sufficient to reach 11 points to get a victory. Instead, they need to rich 12 points. It works like this for both singles scoring and doubles scoring. The game cannot end until this pickleball scoring system is satisfied.

Calling The Score

Scoring numbers on the pickleball court is more complex than in other similar sports. Here is a sample of the current score of a random game – 9-5-2.

What Do The Above Numbers Mean?

  • 8 = Present serving team scores go first
  • 5 = Score of the other team goes second
  • 2 = Current server score

You should never forget the fact that the serving team gets their score called out in the first position. After that, the receiving team is in the middle, and the server number is last.

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Understanding the Third Number(Also Called Server Number)

The far-right number refers to the two players on the serving side. For instance, if the other team gets a “side out” called, now your team has a chance to score, and your opponents become the receiving team. The player on your team located on the right-hand side of the court gets to go first to increase your team’s score on the pickleball court. This means when you look at the board, the right-hand number will be a “1,” which means the first team server.

Once the serving team commits a fault, it’s your teammate’s turn to serve until they commit a fault, and it’s a side out again.

How To Keep Score In Pickleball

It’s not always easy to keep score in pickleball without losing focus on the game. A trick makes it easier, but here are a few things to know before we share it.

Speak out the current score before serving!

If you don’t call the score out, you’ll eventually lose track of the game’s progress. This mistake occurs often, and games must be restarted.

Besides being a bad habit, not calling out the score breaks the sport’s rules. If you are playing for fun, it’s not a huge issue, but if you compete in a tournament and forget to speak out the score, the referee will call it a fault.

The helpful trick that helps you keep track of the current score during a match is simple. All you need to do is understand that the person who begins the game on the right corner of the pickleball court is labeled the even player. This lets you know that every time this person is on the right, the score must be an even number.

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The same goes when a player is beginning on the left side. The score will always be odd.

Scoring in Singles Pickleball Games

Most of the rules and strategies for scoring are the same for singles and doubles pickleball games. The only part that’s not the same is when a “Side out” is called by the referee.

Instead of the next turn going to a teammate, the following serve after a player commits a fault goes to their opponent because there are no partners. The opponent’s side will hinge on whether the current score is even or odd.

So, don’t forget when you are up to play a singles match, locate yourself on the right side if the score is even or on the left side if the score is odd.

Summing It Up

We hope that after reading this guide, you can play your first match confidently, knowing everything you need to score in pickleball. Please note that these are only the most basic strategies, and you have much more to learn as you gain more experience, but this is more than enough to start getting a few wins under your belt.