OMG! Scoring in pickleball CAN be one of the most confusing aspects of the game (if you forget about the no-volley-zone and third drop, etc.)

Seriously, scoring is confusing at first, but we hope this article will help you understand what is it all about.

First Things First

This is all about doubles scoring because that is what we will be playing at Holy Family. If you understand the scoring in doubles, singles will be much easier. So let’s get to it.

Only the serving team can earn a point. The receiving team cannot score. This applies to both singles and doubles. The serving team wants to win the rally to score points and the objective of the receiving team is to win the rally(s) and induce a “side-out” so they can serve and, ultimately, add to their score.

Serving Order

When the game begins, the player on the right side of the court serves first. That player will always be on the right side when the team score is even. Each time the server’s team wins a  point, the server moves to the opposite side to serve the ball. If the serving team loses the rally, the other team member serves. So each team gets two serves before giving up the ball (which is called a “side-out”.) However, there is an exception to the two-server rule. The team that serves first only gets one serve – don’t worry, it’s just how the game is played. When there s a side-out, the new serving team starts on the right side to serve.

Announcing the Score

It is required by rule, to call out the score BEFORE every serve. The score is called by Serving team score, receiving team score and server number. If a side-out has occured with not points being earned at that point, the server would call 0-0-1. If the server wins a point the next time it would be 1-0-1. When the server loses the rally the serve goes to the partner. The partner would call the score as 1-0-2. If the second server loses the rally, a side-out occurs. At that point the new server would call the score as 0-1-1…. It takes getting used to but you will catch on VERY quickly.

If you have any questions regarding scoring, feel free to fill out our contact form to submit your question.