Pickleball Scoring Rules: Everything You Need to Know!

Pickleball is an increasingly popular sport among people of all ages. But did you know that there are certain rules and regulations governing how points are scored?

This blog is here to give you an overview of everything you need to understand when it comes to pickleball scoring rules. Dive in and get ready for some fun facts!

Pickleball Scoring Rule
bhpix – Shutterstock

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Overview of Pickleball Scoring

We know pickleball scoring is quite confusing for new players. But once you get familiar with the pickleball scoring rules you will know that it is a logical and straightforward game.

The Pickleball Scoring is obviously different for both doubles and singles pickleball games. So, we are going to start with doubles pickleball scoring as it is the most commonly played, and then will let you know about singles pickle ball scoring.

In the end, we are sure you would have a basic idea of how pickleball scoring works exactly before you start playing on the field.

How Does Pickleball Scoring Work?

You should know how pickleball scoring works for singles and doubles games –

  • There is sequential scoring in pickleball system (1,2,3,4, etc.).
  • There are 11 pickle ball points for each game (in some tournaments, there are 15 or 21 points for each game)
  • There must be a difference of at least two points between the winning team and the losing team. To win a game with a score of 10 – 10, the winning team must get at least two more points, in this case, a total of 12 pickleball points.
  • It is only possible for the team currently serving to score pickle ball points.
Pickleball Scoring
Tempura – iStock
  • There is a minimum of two serves per team, one per player. Except for the very first serve of the game, which only gets one serve
  • In the absence of a successful return of the ball from your opponent, you score a point
  • Following a point, you and your partner switch sides and serve again
  • Your team continues to serve and score pickleball points until it misses a shot
  • It is mandatory for the server to state the score before serving

You can also check out our blogs related to basic pickle ball rules, and illegal pickleball serve, so that you get ample knowledge to play a smart game.

Why There Are 3 Numbers in the Score?

Pickleball scoring is different than other racquet sports which can be confusing sometimes. You must have seen that pickle ball scoring has 3 numbers when only two teams are playing. All three numbers are meant differently:

  1. The first number – Serving team’s current score
  2. The second number – the Receiving team’s score
  3. Number three – Current server – It is always the first or second server on a team that has the serve
why there are 3 numbers in the score

Let’s understand the example – Let’s assume the pickleball score to be 0-0-2. Here, the first number (0) is the serving team’s score, the second (0) is the receiver’s score, and the third number (2) is for the currently serving team.

How to Keep Track of the Score in Pickleball?

Always Be Calling (ABC) – Remember folks, before serving, calling out the score is crucial if you want to stay on top of scoring in pickleball. You should always call out your score to track before serving.

Hack 2 (For Doubles) – We can apply singles “even right, odd left” trick even in doubles pickleball game. Let me tell you how. You should note which player starts from the right. Keeping notes about the player makes you understand that for the rest of the match whenever the player is in right, the score would be even always.

Let’s take an example for better understanding.

We’re on a team, and you’re on the right, so you serve first. Firstly, you score one, followed by me serving and scoring one, and then the serve passes to the other team. With two points, we still have you on our right. With two points, we still have you on our right. This rule applies to all games as they progress.

Our score is an even number, so you will be on the right side of the court if you start on the right. In the same way, if I am on the right side of the court, then our score is odd. Is that clear? Keeping track of the score of pickleball is easy with this simple trick.

Calling Out the Score in Pickleball

If the server and the receiver are not in the correct position or are not ready to play, then any player should not call out the score. Instead of that, if the server or the receiver is delaying the pickleball game, then only you call out the score.

calling out the score in pickleball
Tempura – Shutterstock

To indicate that you are “Not Ready” to call out the score, you should give a signal. The signals are: (a) Raise your non-paddle hand or pickleball paddle above your head, and (b) Turn your back completely towards the pickleball net. These signals can be ignored after your game has started, so be aware of that.

In pickleball, the server has the right to call out the score, and the server’s partner calls out the score just for the remainder. The server’s partner can only call out the pickleball scores if the server is not able to call out the score at the proper volume that can be heard by everyone.

Check out our blog: what is the double bounce rule in pickleball?


Do you have to win by 2 in a pickleball?

Here in the pickleball game, the serving team usually are allowed to serve and score the points as they start first. The pickleball game is played with 11 points. In order to win, one team must win by two points, or play continues until any team wins by two points.

What are the 5 basic pickleball scoring rules?

The basic rules of scoring pickleball that players should know are – the pickleball game ends with 11, 15, or 21 points, in the non-volley zone serves cannot land, the balls should stay inbounds only, players should serve in baseline and their must be one bounce per side.

What are the faults in pickleball?

A fault occurs in pickleball when – a serve does not land within the confined receiving court. While serving the ball hit the net. The ball was volleyed before the bounce occurred on each side.

What is the 10-second rule in pickleball?

In pickleball, there is a simple, but important rule concerning each serve called the 10-second rule. According to this rule, the server has 10 seconds from the time the score is called to take their serve. Failing to serve within this 10-second window will result in a fault for the serving.

Well, It’s a Wrap!

Alright, folks, that’s it. We have provided detailed information for pickleball scoring rules. We hope you have learned the basics from this in-depth guide. Now, you just need a couple of sessions on the court and you are set to go.

If we have missed any pickleball scoring rules or any updates you know, please share them with us in the comment section.

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