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Pickleball Scoring Guide

Pickleball Scoring Guide

New and experienced players are always curious about how scoring works in Pickleball and which rules are the most important for Pickleball. Playing singles and doubles means that there are different ways for scoring to work - although it’s really just a difference in cadence. We have created a Pickleball scoring guide for you to use as you progress your game. Learn the rules for serving, how to call the score, and singles vs doubles Pickleball scoring.



Pickleball Scoring Guide

  • Points to Win: Pickleball is played to 11 points, and you must win by 2 points.

  • Player Position: The player on the right service court will always serve first for a team.

  • Scoring Points: You can only win points when it is your team’s serve.

Pickleball Doubles Scoring & Rules

  • You can only score a point when your team is serving. If you are on the receiving side, you can’t score a point. This is much like other sports where the serving team is the only team that will accumulate points.

  • The first serve is served by the player on the right side of the court, or what we call the even court. The server serves underhand, diagonally to the opposite court.

  • If the serving side wins the point, the server moves to the left court, the odd court, and serves diagonally again.

  • To start a game, the first team to serve will start as the #2 serve, meaning it will be a team sideout if they lose the rally. This only happens on the first serve of a game.

  • The server continues to serve from right to left each time that they score a point.

  • Players on the serving side are the only players who alternate right to left, and you only alternate when you score a point. The receiving side does not alternate sides.

  • When the first server loses the rally, the serve passes to the second server on the team. Players stay on the side they were when the point ended and the server serves from that side.

  • When server two loses the serve, it is the other team’s turn to serve and try to win some points. The player on the right serves first. This same pattern continues throughout the game.

  • The server number (1 or 2) applies for that service turn only. Whoever is on the right side when the team gets the serve back is the first server for that service turn only. The next time that the team gets the serve back, it might be the other player that is on the right and is therefore the first server for that service turn only. Beginning players often mistakenly assume that the player keeps the same server number throughout the game.

  • For the very first serve of the game, only one person from that team serves. The first score that is called in pickleball is 0-0-2. The “2” means that the second server starts the game, and when the serving team loses a point, the serve goes to the other team. This minimizes the advantage of being the first team to serve in a game.

How to Call the Score in Pickleball

The score is always called by the person serving, saying three numbers.

  • Number One: Serving Team’s Score

  • Number Two: Receiving Team’s Score

  • Number Three: Server Number (either 1 or 2)

  • We like to remember it as: me, you, who

Pickleball Singles Scoring & Rules

  • You can only win points when you are serving.

  • When the server's score is even, you serve from the right side. When the server's score is odd, you serve from the left side.

  • If you are serving, you call your score first: server score, receiver score.

  • The first person to 11 wins the game. You must still win by two!

Pickleball Necessities

Two Pickleball Paddles + Three Pickleballs + 1 Court Bag

Recess has everything you need to get started with pickleball. Grab a Recess Set today!

If you’re looking for a little more details on Pickleball Scoring, check out USA Pickleball’s Scoring page with the official scoring information.

Are you interested in improving your Pickleball singles game? Check out these top 10 Pickleball Strategies For Playing Singles

Are you interested in improving your Pickleball doubles game? Check out these top 10 Pickleball Strategies For Playing Doubles

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