Pickleball Scoring Rules For Dummies

What if I told you that there was a sport that was fun, easy to learn, and could be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities? That sport is Pickleball. And while the scoring rules may seem a little daunting at first, don’t worry – I’m here to help.

In this blog post, I’ll break down the pickleball scoring rules in a simple, easy-to-understand way. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you can be sure that you’re playing the game correctly.

Why is pickleball scoring important? Well, for one thing, it’s the way that points are awarded and the game is won. But more importantly, understanding the scoring rules can help you improve your gameplay. By knowing how to score points and win games, you can develop strategies that will give you an edge over your opponents.

So what are you waiting for? Start reading and learn how to score like a pro!

Pickleball Scoring Rules For Dummies

How do you win pickleball score?

Do you know how many points are needed to win the pickleball game?? 

The first player or team getting 11 points within a 2-point margin (Having at least 2 points more than the other side) is the winner. Only the serving side can win the points and it is caused by the other side faulting.

Any error, forced or unforced on the part of a pickleball player is called a fault. Bad foot placement or volleying in the non-volley zone is an example of unforced error.

 Missing the ball on a return serve because your opponent hit it hard is an example of a forced error. 

The scoring system of pickleball is different from the other games. We need to score a total of 11 points (mostly in all pickleball tournaments) to win a game.  You need to score a higher number of points, such as 15 or even 21, or a best 2 out of 3 styles in the 11-point format. You may find it difficult to remember the tournament scoring in the beginning.  

But in the Rally scoring method, each score is earned after each rally, regardless of which team has served the ball. This helps to win a point on offense and defense mode making the game more interesting.

Also Read:  Pickleball Singles Rules: Everything You Need to Know

Pickleball Scoring: Breaking Down the Two and Three Numbers

Depending on whether you are playing singles or doubles, you can call the score of a game with either 2 numbers or 3 numbers.

Singles Pickleball Scoring aka 2 Numbers

The common way of scoring method used in a pickleball tournament is ”2 number score”. The server score is the first number mentioned in the scoreboard. The receiver number is mentioned as the second number in the scoreboard. These numbers can go to 11 points. sometimes the numbers will go beyond that too, as the winning score must have a difference of minimum 2 points.

For example, if the score is 6-10 in singles pickleball, This means the server has a score of 6 and the receiver has a score of 10. The receiver can’t score more in this position as only the serving player can score points. In this example, the server is 4 points away from winning, while the receiver is only 2 points away.

Doubles Pickleball Scoring aka 3 Numbers

The double pickleball game scoring may look confusing as they are dealt with three numbers not 2. The double scoring may look difficult to understand but after a few games of playing, you may trace how to calculate scores in number 3 pickleball score. 

 In a three-number pickleball score, the serving time score is always mentioned in the first number of the scoreboard. The receiver team that is the team playing opposite to the server team score is mentioned as the middle number. Serving number is the last number mentioned as the last number in a 3 pickleball score.

The first two numbers scoring system is always the same like the singles pickleball, that is the score may go maximum as two points difference is needed in between the players point.

What is a server number in pickleball?

Either 1 or 2 will be the third number which is also known as the server number. 

For example, you are on the right side and given the chance to serve. Then you will be the server 1.if you have any fault in your side during your serve, then the serve will be automatically passed to the opposite team that is server 2.

You will be on the left when your team gets a chance to serve next time. It means you are server 2 and your partner is server 1. The common beginner mistake  people think is that the server number will be the same throughout the match. But the real fact is, it keeps changing every time after a serve.

Also Read:  Pickleball Singles Rules: Everything You Need to Know

Serving chances keep changing every time to the opposite playing team when there is any fault on the serving side. During the serve, the server needs to move to the right side of the court when serving. Their partner is named as server 2 .

Calling a pickleball score Aloud

All the beginners think that they will have a big scoreboard mentioning the current score in glowing lights or bolden letters. It will be great if we have them, but they may be available in some serious tournaments that too just flimsy plastic numbers to keep score on a net post.

 Instead, you need to call out the score louder when you serve. This is not required in a big-level tournament. USA Pickleball’s official rule (4.A.1) mentions that more or less accepted rules for playing as calling the score before serving. 

But many big tournaments may not require it and adhere to rules around calling the score that may result in a fault, such as calling the serve while serving. In other matches, before calling the score result like serving the ball results in a replay. The score has to be announced before the player serves the ball.

It’s better to make a habit of calling the score before serving, to avoid the risk of faulting to maintain the court etiquette. 

 You have to mention it as “0,0” if the single game has just begun. Mention the score as “0,0,2” has to be mentioned if it is a doubles game. 

Moving after a point is scored

Do you know which side of the court we need to move after a point is scored? In pickleball, the entire game you will not be standing on the same side. You have to move from one side of the court to another and it is not a random move.

When the double pickleball game begins with your team serving, then you will be standing on the right side of the court. Then after scoring a point, you need to move to the odd court. After scoring points, again, you need to switch sides again. Repeat this and keep changing the place on either side when you score a point during serve.

Also Read:  Pickleball Singles Rules: Everything You Need to Know

If you score a point, you need to switch sides and even positions on the court in doubles to denote whether the score is even or add. Court sides should be switched only by the serving sides. The receiving side player will be in the same position.

What happens when servers 1 and 2 are at fault?

Granting your opponents, the opportunity to serve is known as side-out. Just imagine 3 outs in a baseball game where the batting and pitching time switch.

The following digits 1,3,5,7,9 or 11 are odd-numbered scores in pickleball. The even-numbered scores are 0,2,4,6,8,10. As you and your opponent have a score of 0-0 and 0 is an even number that is why we always start on the right side of the court.

When playing a pickleball game you need to stand in the correct serving position so that you can remember your score even if you forget to recall them.

The first server begins on the right side in a double pickleball game, so whenever the team scores even the first server will be on the right side of their court. When the team’s score is odd, the players will stand on the left side of the court.

Standing in the right position is very necessary in a pickleball game to avoid a fault. Loss of the rally automatically happens when you lose the rally if you are in the wrong position. This may prevent you from winning the game.

Scoring basics to remember

Note you can’t rely on other players or even you’re playing partner (in a double pickleball match) to call your score when you are serving. Before you serve, it’s your responsibility to call the score without fail.

While getting started, it’s okay to forget sometimes during your initial stages but the more frequently you do them, the more it will be ingrained. The more you practice, the easier it is to call out the score!