How To Score In Pickleball: Every Beginner Needs To Know This

In summer 1965, three dads did something interesting for their kids. Well, who knew something like that would be this famous. Pickleball is a combination of some racquet-based sports. 

The pickleball court size is similar to the badminton court, using a modified tennis net and playing with a paddle pair. Though it started as some homemade sport with a handmade paddle pair, it evolved and became more popular around the US, UK, Canada, and France over the years. 

In 1984 Pickleball got its first rulebook. The United States Amateur Pickleball Association, also known as USAPA, published the first rule book. The year also provided an engineered paddle for pickleball. 

So how does this interesting game’s scoring system work? Well, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about scoring in Pickleball. Just read ahead. 

Why is it called pickleball?

Isn’t it interesting that something called Pickleball is not even related to pickle? The origin of the name Pickleball has a debate of two stories. One of the three dads is Joel Richard, whose daughter once had a dog named “Pickle.” The dog had a habit of taking balls off the court. 

The other story comes from Joel Pritchard’s wife, who started calling it from a pickle boat perspective. 

Basic Pickleball Rules

The rules of Pickleball isn’t rocket science. There are only five basic rules for playing Pickleball. Here’s some brief information about them.

  • Singles and doubles are available in Pickleball. Just like badminton or tennis, you can play single or team up with a partner.
  • Like every other racquet-based game, Pickleball follows a scoring system. The first team reaching 11 points with a 2 points advantage is considered the winner.
  • The serving system follows tennis serving. The rule only allows upperhand swinging motion from outside the baseline of the court.
  • After serving, the ball has to complete two bounces on each side of the court. After that, you can hit the ball without bouncing.
  • The last rule is No Volley Zone. There’s a 7 feet zone on each side of the net. The rule is you can not hit a ball in that zone without the ball bouncing before.

How To Score In Pickleball

Pickleball vs Paddle Tennis

Well, reading this far, you might start to wonder how this whole thing works. In this section, we’ll guide you through the entire idea of scoring in Pickleball. So don’t stop, keep reading.

As you already know, you can play pickleball in two ways, singles, and doubles. Though the scoring system of both ways is identical with some exceptions, still we’re going to explain both in separate sections.  

Doubles Scoring

Four players play in a doubles match, with two on each side of the court. The standard size of a Pickleball court is 44 ft. long and 20 ft. wide. The 7ft. From each side of the net is Non-Volley Zone. The centerline divides the 20ft wide into two 10ft service area. In doubles, two-player plays from two service areas. Here’s how the scoring system of doubles work in Pickleball works.

  • Only the serving team can score. The receiving side has to earn a serve first.
  • At the beginning of the game, the player on the right side serves diagonally to the opponent side.
  • After a fault from the serving side, the receiver side becomes the serving side.
  • If the serving side scores a point, the players of the serving side exchange their positions. On the other hand, the receiving side remains the same in their positions.
  • When a point is scored, the other player of the serving team serves next.
  • If one of them commits a fault, the serve goes to his partner. But if his partner also loses the serve, it goes to the opponent team.
  •  The server score, the receiver score, and the server no. 1 or 2 are the standard calling procedure. If the serving side score is 6 and the receiving side score is 5, and the second server is serving, then the calling should be like 6-5-2.
  • At the beginning, the score is 0-0-2. 
  • The player doesn’t have the same server number throughout the game. It refers to the servers turn only. So don’t make mistakes of assigning one player with a specific server number.
  • The starting score 0-0-2 means that the first serving team will get only one serving. This rule was introduced to keep the starting team from getting more advantage. If the serving team makes a fault in the first serve, the opponent receives the next serve. So, the 2 stands for the last server of the starting team.
  • The first server will be on the right side when the team score is even, and on the left side, the team score is odd. This system keeps players in check for any misposition or inaccurate score calls.

Singles Scoring 

Two players facing from two ends are always exciting to watch two-player giving their all on the court. The scoring in singles is identical to the doubles. So, if you understand this far, then just follow through with the exceptions. 

  • The apparent rule of singles is there’s no second server.
  • After the first point, the server changes his position to the left.
  • The position of the receiver is diagonal to the server. So if the server’s point is even and the server will be on the right side, and diagonally, the receiver will be the left.
  • In singles, only scores consist of only two digits as there’s no server number. First, the server’s point, then the receiver’s point. Example: 5-3.

Is pickleball a rally score?

No. though the other racquet based games already started rally scoring. Pickleball remains with the classic scoring system. So, in terms of scoring in pickleball, you still have to win serve first then serve to score.

Final Words

In summary, if you’re familiar with tennis or badminton, then the scoring system you already know the half of Pickleball scoring. We hope the article has done the rest.

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