How Does Scoring Work In Pickleball?

pickleball scoring rules

Similar to many other sports, a team scores in pickleball when the opposing team commits a fault, such as hitting the ball out of bounds or into the net. However, only the serving team is able to score a point in pickleball. Read on to learn about how scoring works in pickleball.

Serving In Pickleball

pickleball serving rules

To begin a pickleball rally, the player on the right side of the court serves diagonally across to the opposing team. If the serving team scores a point, the two players on the serving team switch sides, and the same player continues to serve, but this time from the left side. This player will continue to serve and switch sides with each serve until the serving team commits a fault. Once this occurs, the other player on the team will serve, starting on the right side, and the same process will occur. After the serving team commits a second fault, the chance to serve is passed over to the other team, and both players have the opportunity to serve in the same fashion.

Service Side In Pickleball

The score helps to determine what side of the court pickleball players should be on. When a team’s score is even, the player that served first should be on the right side of the court. Conversely, when the team’s score is odd, the player who served first should be on the left side of the court.

Calling the Score

pickleball Call out rules

Before each serve, and once all players are in position, the player serving should properly call out the score of the match. To do this, the player will call out three different numbers. The first of the numbers called is the score of the serving team. Following this number, the score of the receiving team is called. The last number called in the sequence is the number of the server (only applicable for doubles matches). For example, if the first player to serve for a team is up to serve, and their score is six while the opponent’s score is four, that player would say “6-4-1.”

First Server Exception

To begin a pickleball game, the player on the right side of the court will be the first to serve to the opposing team. However, since the team that serves first is at an advantage, the opportunity to serve is passed to the receiving team instead of the other player on the serving team after the serving team commits its first fault. Since the serving opportunity is passed directly to the receiving team after the serving team’s initial fault, the first server in the game is actually considered the second server and will call “0-0-2” to begin the match.

Pickleball Singles Match Scoring

The scoring system for a singles match closely resembles that of a doubles match, except there is only one player per team instead of two. If their score is even when a player comes up to serve, they will serve from the right side of the court and then from the left side if their score is an odd number. The receiving player will line up diagonally across from the server on the court to return the serve. When calling the score in a singles match, the server will call their score, followed by their opponent’s score.