Pickleball is a great way to both socialize and get in a competitive yet fun workout. But who wants to compete without keeping score? This is a brief introduction on how to keep score in Pickleball.
Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. Since doubles is played more often and has nearly the same rules as singles, we will talk about doubles scoring first.
Pickleball is usually played to eleven points.
Every rally begins with a serve. Before each serve, the server should call out the score by saying his or her team’s score first, then the opposing team’s score, and then his or her server number, which may either be one or two. In doubles, each player on a team has a chance to serve.
Only the serving team can score a point by winning a rally. The player in the right service court will always serve first for a team. If the serving team scores a point, the two players switch places so the first server now serves from the left service court. The serving team will continue switching places until they loses a rally or faults. When the serving team loses a rally, the second server will now serve from his current position. Once the serving team loses another rally, the opposing team now has two chances to serve.
Here is an example:
1. The score here is 4 to 3 with the serving team in the lead.
2. The first server is still serving.
3. The score is called out as “4, 3, 1”.
4. The serving team loses a rally or faults, so now the second server will serve from the correct position and call out the score as “4, 3, 2”.
5. The serving team wins the rally, so the serving team will switch places.
The second server will call out the score as “5, 3, 2” and serve.
6. The serving team loses the rally this time, and now the opposing team has two chances to serve.
7. The first server on the opposing team will call out the score as, “3, 5, 1”
Exception at Beginning of Game
The only exception to both players serving is with the very first server of a game. The very first server of the game still serves from the right service court, but he or she starts as the 2nd server to not give the first team serving an unfair advantage. The very first score of the game is called out “0, 0, 2.” or can also be called, "0, 0, Start". This means that as soon as the serving team loses a rally or faults, the other team gets to serve.
In singles play, each player only serves once. Once a player loses the rally, it is sideout. It is only necessary to call out the score during singles and not the server’s number. It is important to keep track of which service court you serve from. If your score is an even number, you should be serving from the right service court. If your score is odd, you should be serving from the left service court.
Pickleball is an easy game to pick up, even the scoring is nice and simple.