Pickleball Scoring : Understanding the Scoring System in Pickleball
Scoring in pickleball can be challenging, especially for beginners. Here are the essential rules you need to know:
Games are typically played to 11 points: To win a game, you must be the first player or team to reach 11 points, with a 2-point margin over your opponent.
Only the serving side can score: Points can only be earned when serving. If the opposing side commits a fault, you receive a point.
Verbal score calling: Before serving, it is customary to verbally announce the score. This helps keep track of the game and ensures fair play.
Singles and doubles scoring: Scoring differs in singles and doubles pickleball:
a. Singles: The first number represents the server’s score, and the second number represents the receiver’s score. Both numbers can go up to 11 or higher, but remember that you need a 2-point margin to win.
b. Doubles: The first number is the serving team’s score, the middle number is the receiving team’s score, and the last number indicates the server number. The first two digits operate the same way as in singles pickleball, going up to 11 or higher. The third number is always 1 or 2 and indicates the serving player.
Switching service courts: After scoring a point, the serving team should switch service courts. In doubles, the serving team switches sides, while the receiving team stays in their positions.
Calling the score aloud: While not always required in non-tournament play, it is recommended to call the score aloud when serving. This promotes good sportsmanship and is part of the official rules.
Moving to the correct side of the court: As the serving team, you start on the right side of the court. If you score a point, you move to the left side (odd court). If you continue to score, you switch sides again. Only the serving side switches court sides, while the receiving side remains in their positions.
Side out and faults: When both server 1 and server 2 fault, it results in a side out, giving the opponents the opportunity to serve. Standing in the correct serving position is crucial to avoid faults, as being in the wrong position leads to losing the rally.
Remember to practice calling the score before your serve and familiarize yourself with the scoring system. With time and experience, it will become second nature to you.