Are you looking to learn more about pickleball scoring rules for singles and doubles? Look no further!
This blog post will provide a comprehensive guide on how does pickleball scoring work in both singles and doubles. Plus, also covered: what are the differences between singles & doubles scoring in pickleball, and tips for improving scoring skills in pickleball.
We’ll explain the different rules that apply to each format, so you can better understand the game. By following these guidelines, you will be able to focus more on having fun and less on keeping track of your scores.
So let’s get started!
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Overview of Pickleball Scoring
Before getting into the simple pickleball rules for singles and doubles games, let’s first go over some general guidelines when it comes to Pickleball scoring.
All players must have their own scorecard, which helps keep track of each player’s individual points throughout the game.
Points are earned by either winning a rally (also known as “scoring a point”) or receiving an unforced error from your opponent (known as “forcing your opponent into error”).
A player must win by two points in order for them to win a game. If both players reach 11 points then whoever is leading wins regardless if they had two points lead or not!
Single Scoring Rule for Pickleball
In Singles Play, individual players compete against each other one-on-one. These matches consist of only three games instead of five like Doubles Play does!
Let’s examine how the pickleball singles scoring system and serving, works during single matches:
1. Pickleball Serving Singles
Players must serve the ball diagonally across the court to their opponent’s side of the court. The ball must pass over the net and land within the boundaries of their opponent’s service box. If a player fails to serve properly, they lose a point.
2. Pickleball Scoring Singles
It is played to 11 points and players must win by two points (except in championship play where games are played to 15 or 21)
A point is awarded if an opponent fails to return a legal serve or hits it out of bounds. If your opponent commits a fault, such as touching the net with their body/racquet, or if your shot lands on your opponent’s side after being hit back over the net.
A point is also awarded if your opponent fails to return the ball before it hits the ground twice.
Double Scoring Rule for Pickleball
According to, pickleball doubles rules, teams consisting of two people compete against each other; these matches consist of five total games.
Here is how the serving, and the scoring system works during double matches:
1. Pickleball Doubles Serving Rules
In double-scoring pickleball, the service must be made diagonally across the court. The serve must travel over the net, and land within the designated lines of both sides of the court in order for it to be valid. The server will alternate between serving from each side of their respective court per game.
2. Pickleball Scoring System
In double scoring pickleball, a team scores a point on every rally that they win, regardless if they served or not. A point is scored if either one or both members of an opposing team commit a fault, hit their shot into an out-of-bounds area. Or fail to return the ball over the net before it touches twice on their side.
If both teams are unable to return a shot before it touches twice on either side. Then no point will be awarded and play starts again with another service from whichever team served last.
Differences Between Singles & Doubles Scoring in Pickleball
Singles and doubles scoring in pickleball are two different ways of keeping score while playing the game.
In singles pickleball, one player serves the ball to the other side of the court. The opposing player then returns it, and both players take turns hitting it back and forth until one of them fails to return it correctly. The first person to score 11 points wins the game. In order for a point to be scored, the serving team must win at least two consecutive points after a serve.
In doubles pickleball, two players on each side of the court take turn serving and returning volleys until one team fails to return it correctly or hits out of bounds. As with singles pickleball, each team has to win at least two consecutive points after service before they can score a point.
You can also check out our blog on the difference between singles and doubles pickleball to get better knowledge.
However, with doubles scoring, each team must alternate who serves from their side during gameplay. Or else face losing their turn at serving for that round if challenged by their opponents on that ruling. The first team to reach 15 points wins the game (as opposed to 11 for singles).
Overall, singles and doubles scoring in pickleball can be a fun and exciting way to play the game. Each style of play offers its own unique challenge and can provide an enjoyable experience for all players involved.
Tips for Improving Scoring Skills in Pickleball
Before attempting to improve your scoring skills in pickleball, it is important to understand the basics of the game.
This includes being familiar with all the rules, regulations, and court dimensions that are used during a pickleball match. It is also significant to understand how points are scored, so you can better strategize your plays during a game.
Here, we have jotted down a few tips:
- Focus on fundamentals: Make sure your grip, stance, and swing are all correct to maximize power and accuracy.
- Develop a consistent stroke: Practice the same stroke repeatedly to develop consistency in your shots.
- Improve footwork: Quickly move around the court to get into position for each shot you take.
- Increase spin on shots: Utilize topspin or backspin when possible, as this can make it more difficult for your opponent to return the ball accurately or with power.
- Aim for strategic targets: Place shots in areas of the court that will be difficult for your opponent to reach, such as near the sideline or away from their body position at that time.
- Mix up your shots: Varying between different types of shots (e..g smashes, drops) can make it harder for opponents to anticipate where you are going next and gives them less time react correctly.
- Serve aggressively: Putting pressure on opponents during serve is key in pickleball, so try serving more aggressively than usual to gain an edge.
- Keep your composure: Maintaining focus and staying calm under pressure will help you make smarter decisions and more consistent shots during a game.
- Increase your game knowledge: Learn the rules, strategies, and nuances of the game to become a more well-rounded player.
- Practice with a partner: Working on drills and playing games with someone else is important to help refine your skills in a competitive environment.
In pickleball, the player who is not currently serving calls out the score after each point. This player should call out the score in a loud and clear voice so that all players can hear it.
A side-out in pickleball is when one team has the serve and fails to score a point, resulting in the other team gaining possession of the serve. This process is repeated until one team reaches the winning score. A side-out is also referred to as a change of service or a turnover.
In pickleball doubles, the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. Points are scored when either team wins a volley. A point is also won if an opposing player commits a fault (foul). The first team to score 11 points and have a lead of two points wins the game.
In pickleball, singles is scored using the rally point system. This means that a player scores a point each time they make a legal return of the ball and their opponent cannot successfully do so. The first player to 11 points wins the game, as long as they have at least two points more than their opponent (so it can be won by 11-9). If both players reach 10 points, then the game continues until one of them has two more points than their opponent (meaning they can win with 12-10).
Well, It’s a Wrap!
With the proper understanding of pickleball scoring rules for singles & doubles, the game can be enjoyed by everyone.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, adhering to the regulations is essential to playing pickleball correctly. Knowing which points count for each type of game will help ensure that everyone is playing fair, and having fun during the match.
With these rules in mind, we hope you have a great time playing pickleball!
I am the founder of BallSportsPro, a popular pickleball resource for players of all levels. I am a former professional tennis player, started playing pickleball in 2009 and quickly fell in love with the game. I launched BallSportsPro in 2018 to share my passion for the sport and to provide pickleball players with the latest news, tips, and gear reviews. Today, BallSportsPro is one of the most popular pickleball resources on the web, reaching hundreds of thousands of players each month. In addition to running the website, I also a regular contributor to Pickleball Magazine and a member of the USAPA Pickleball Ambassadors program.