How Do You Score Pickleball: A Comprehensive Guide

How Do You Score Pickleball: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you new to the game of pickleball and wondering how do you score pickleball? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of scoring in pickleball, whether you’re playing doubles or singles.

Scoring in pickleball can seem confusing at first, but once you understand the rules, it becomes a breeze. We will cover everything from the basics of how to earn points to the specific rules for both doubles and singles play.

Key Takeaways

  • Points can be earned when serving or winning a rally.
  • Only the serving team can score points in doubles pickleball.
  • In singles pickleball, serving diagonally and clearing the non-volley zone is important.
  • Designating one person to keep score and using a simple scoring system can help ensure accuracy.

How Do You Score Pickleball?

Are you feeling confused about how to score pickleball? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you! Scoring in pickleball can be a bit different from other sports, but once you understand the rules, it becomes quite simple.

In pickleball, you can only score a point when you are serving. The serving team can score points in two ways: when the receiving team fails to return the ball or when the receiving team commits a fault. A fault occurs when the ball doesn’t clear the net, lands out of bounds, or is volleyed from the non-volley zone.

The first team to reach 11 points wins the game, but there’s a catch. You must win by two points. If the score reaches 10-10, the game continues until a team has a two-point lead.

To call the score, the serving team’s score is always announced first, followed by the receiving team’s score. For example, if the serving team has 3 points and the receiving team has 2 points, the score would be called as ‘3-2, the serving team.’ The score is called before every serve, and it’s important to keep track of the score accurately to avoid confusion.

Doubles Pickleball Scoring Rules

Switching sides and serving in doubles pickleball is an exhilarating dance, where players gracefully shift positions and take turns sending the ball soaring over the net. To understand how to score pickleball in doubles, it’s essential to know the rules.

The scoring system in pickleball is straightforward, making it easy to keep track of points. The serving team is the only one that can score points, and they can only do so when they win a rally. A rally is won when the receiving team fails to return the ball properly, commits a fault, or hits the ball out of bounds. When the serving team wins a rally, they score a point and continue serving.

The team serving always starts on the right-hand side of the pickleball court, and the first server begins in the right service square. After the serving team scores a point, the server switches sides, and the receiving team switches sides as well. The server then serves from the left-hand side of the court. This rotation continues throughout the game, allowing players to experience both sides of the court.

The third number in doubles scoring represents the number of points the serving team has earned. For example, if the score is 6-4-1, it means that the serving team has won six points, the receiving team has won four points, and the serving team is currently serving for the first time.

Singles Pickleball Scoring Rules

Get ready to master the rules of serving in singles pickleball and elevate your game to the next level!

In singles pickleball, the serving rules differ slightly from doubles. The server must start in the right-hand service box and serve diagonally to the opponent’s service box. The serve must clear the non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, and land within the boundaries of the service box on the opposite side. If the serve fails to do so, it results in a fault and the server gets another chance. However, if the server commits two faults in a row, it leads to a side-out, and the opponent takes over as the server.

Switching sides and serving in singles pickleball is a crucial aspect of the game. After the first server loses the serve or commits a fault, the serve switches to the other player. The players then move to the opposite side of the court. The player who served first in the game will serve from the right-hand service box, while the other player will serve from the left-hand service box. This alternating pattern continues throughout the game, with players switching sides after every odd-numbered point.

Tips For Keeping Score In Pickleball

Now let’s dive into some handy tips for easily keeping track of your score during a game of pickleball.

Keeping score in pickleball is vital to ensure fair play and maintain a competitive environment. To make the process smoother, consider following these helpful suggestions.

Firstly, always designate one person to keep score. This person should be responsible for announcing the score after each point and ensuring that both teams agree on the count. By having a dedicated scorer, you can avoid confusion and prevent disputes during the game.

Secondly, use a simple scoring system. In pickleball, the scoring is straightforward. Each team has a score that starts at zero and increases by one for every point won. The first team to reach eleven points, with a two-point lead, wins the game. To keep track, use a whiteboard, a scorecard, or even just a piece of paper and a pen. Mark down the points after each rally to stay updated.

Another useful tip is to communicate with your partner. During intense matches, it’s easy to lose track of the score. By constantly checking in with your partner, you can confirm the score and avoid any confusion. This simple communication can prevent errors and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Lastly, be aware of common mistakes to avoid when keeping score. Some common errors include forgetting to announce the score, marking the wrong score, or incorrectly adding points. By staying focused and attentive, you can minimize these mistakes and keep the score accurate throughout the game.


In the end, by following these simple tips, you’ll feel confident and in control as you keep score in pickleball, ensuring a smooth and fair game for all players involved.

Keeping score in pickleball may seem daunting at first, but with practice and understanding, it becomes second nature. Remember, the objective is to reach 11 points, with a margin of two points to win the game.

As each team serves, the score will change accordingly. If the serving team wins a rally, they earn a point and continue serving. However, if the receiving team wins a rally, they gain the serve and the opportunity to score. It’s crucial to announce the score before every serve, making sure all players are aware of the current tally.

When the serving team reaches 11 points, the game isn’t over just yet. They must secure their victory by winning a rally. If they fail to do so, the game continues until one team achieves both the necessary score and winning rally. It’s important to pay attention and keep track of the score accurately, as any mistakes could lead to confusion and unfairness.

To make scoring easier, you can use a scorecard or a scoreboard specifically designed for pickleball. These tools can help you stay organized and ensure accurate scorekeeping throughout the game. Additionally, communication is key when it comes to scorekeeping. Make sure to collaborate with your partner and discuss any discrepancies to avoid misunderstandings and maintain a fair play environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any specific strategies or techniques to help improve my scoring in pickleball?

To improve your scoring in pickleball, focus on strategic positioning, communication with your partner, and precise shot placement. Work on your serve, return, and volley techniques, and practice controlling the pace of the game.

Can you explain the concept of “side out” in pickleball scoring?

When playing pickleball, ‘side out’ is when the serving team loses their serve and the other team gains the opportunity to serve. It occurs when a fault or a point is scored against the serving team.

What happens if there is a dispute over the score during a pickleball match?

If there’s a dispute over the score during a pickleball match, you can resolve it by referring to the official rules. Both players should communicate and come to an agreement, or seek help from a referee if available.

Is there a maximum number of points that can be scored in a single rally in pickleball?

No, there is no maximum number of points that can be scored in a single rally in pickleball. As long as the ball remains in play and both teams keep returning it, the rally can continue.

Are there any variations in scoring rules for different levels of play in pickleball?

Yes, there are variations in scoring rules for different levels of play in pickleball. These variations usually involve the number of points needed to win a game and whether or not a player must win by two points.

Abubakar Bashir
Greetings! I'm Abubakr Bashir, a professional writer with a passion for pickleball. I've set out on a quest to share my profound views, expertise, and experiences with the world through this platform with a quiver full of words and a heart filled with love for this thrilling sport. Pickleball isn't simply a game to me; it's a way of life. I'm completely enthralled by this sport, and I've committed my life to solving its riddles for the benefit of both newcomers and seasoned players. I want to open up the world of pickleball and make it more fun for everyone through my writing. My work here is intended to provide you the keys to unlocking your potential on the court, whether you're a novice hoping to understand the fundamentals or an experienced pro seeking advanced methods. Expect to learn about the subtleties of different playing styles, the skill of planning, and the secrets of Pickleball that you would not learn anywhere else. My intention is to uplift, educate, and amuse you while providing a window into the beautiful world of pickleball, which I treasure so much.
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