Pickleball Scoring Rules: Mastering Game With Winning Strategies

There is always a question about how Pickleball scores and which rules are important for players. There are different ways to score in singles and doubles – even though the cadence varies little. It’s generally easy to understand the rules of Pickleball. It is common for players, especially beginners, to have difficulty understanding pickleball scoring rules. To play the game effectively, it’s essential to understand the scoring rules. This article aims to explain the pickleball scoring rules, how to score, and the pickleball score. Here you can learn about Pickleball serving rules & kitchen rules.

Score in Pickleball

There are 11 points in the game, and the winning team must win by two points. A team that reaches 11 points with two-point first lead wins. A round continues until one team wins by at least two points if the score is tied at 10-10.

Serving teams’ scores are announced first, followed by receiving. The score will be “3-4” if the serving team scores three points and the receiving team scores four.

Pickleball scores are based on 11 points. There are times when it reaches 15 points in tournaments. Points can only be score when your team is serving; when you do, you switch positions with your partner. 2 points must also be achieved to win.

Pickleball Scoring Rules

A pickleball court measures 20 feet by 44 feet, the same size as a badminton court for doubles. The net is 36 inches high at the edges and 34 inches tall at the centre.

A few simple rules ensure Pickleball is played moderately and safely. To serve underhand, players must hit the ball below their waist. The player must also allow the ball to bounce before returning it and stay behind the baseline when serving.

How to Score in Pickleball

Pickleball scoring is easy to learn once you get the hang of it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand how Pickleball’s scoring system works:

  1. The game begins with a serve hit underhand and across the court to the opponent’s service area.
  2. Receiving players must bounce serves before returning them.
  3. A team can score points once the ball is served.
  4. Only one team can win points: the one that serves or receives.
  5. A point is a score when the opposing team fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds.
  6. The ball is considered “in” if it lands on the line.
  7. The winning team must win by a margin of at least two points in games played to 11 points.
  8. Players switch sides at the end of the game, and the next round begins.

Scoring in Pickleball for Single

It is relatively easy to score in a singles game. The server always serves diagonally to the opponent’s service zone. A player who scores 11 points and has a 2-point lead wins the game.

Single pickleball games follow the same rules as double pickleball games. However, there is only one player on each side of the court. The player who serves first serves from the right side of the court, and the serve switches to the left after the first serve. Players serve from either side when players are on the odd or even side of the court.

There is no difference in the scoring system between single and double games. When a rally is won, the serve continues to the same player until they lose.

Pickleball Scoring Rules
Credits: Getty Images/USAPA

Pickleball Scoring Rules for Double

The game is play to 11 points in doubles, with a 2-point lead needed to win. A doubles team consists of two players, and the team serving serves from the right side of the court.

Depending on who wins the serve, the game begins with the player on the right side of the court serving first. To serve underhand, the server must hit the ball diagonally into the opponent’s service zone.

Pickleball rules and scoring

Here are the following rules about scoring in pickleball.

Receiving Side vs. Serving Side

We must first understand receiving and serving sides before diving into scoring rules. The players on the serving side serve at the beginning of each game ball, and the receiving side must return it. The serving side switches each time they win a point, and that is the players on the serving side who serve at the beginning of each round.

Left Side and Right Side

In pickleball, the pickleball court has two sides: the left side and the right side. At the start of the game, the serving team’s score is always zero,  The player on the right side serves the ball first, and the server number moves to the left. As long as the serving team wins the point, they continue to serve, but if they lose, the serve passes to the opposing team.

Committing a Fault

Pickleball’s receiver’s score is always the first number listed on the scoreboard. A player who commits a fault during the game loses the rally, and their opponent is award a point. Faults can occur when the ball goes out of bounds, fails to clear the net, or the player steps into the non-volley zone (the area near the net where you can’t hit the ball).

Also Read: Top Pickleball Spin Serves | Legal Or Illegal In 2023

Receiver’s Score

The receiver’s score is always the first number listed on the scoreboard. When the score is 4-2, the receiver’s score is 2. It can be confusing if you’re not use to this format, so keep this in mind.

Score is Odd

Players on the serving side serve from the right-hand court when the score is odd (e.g., 1-0, 3-2, 5-4). Other player serving side serve from the left court when the score is even (e.g., 0-0, 2-2, 4-4).

Players on the Serving Side

The players on the serving side must remain in their respective courts until the ball is served. The players can move around the court once the ball is in play.

The rally ends with a point scored, and the serve continues.

Losing the Rally

In pickleball, you must win the rally to score a point. The serving team becomes the serving team if they lose the rally. The players on the serving team switch sides of the court, with the right-handed player moving to the left and the left-handed player moving to the right.

If the score is odd, the player who served the previous point will serve again from the opposite side. A player serving from the same side of the court will serve again if the score is even.

Faults and Receiver’s Score

A player commits a fault when failing to follow the game’s rules. The following are some common pickleball mistakes:

  • A ball that has hit out of bounds
  • Returning the ball under the net without success
  • When a player steps into the non-volley zone (the area around the net where the ball cannot be struck), he or she violates the rules.
  • Any body part or paddle that touches the net
  • Serve on the wrong side of the court
  • When the receiver is not ready, you serve them

An opponent’s point is scored if a fault is committed, with the serve going to the opposing team.

Read about Serving Rules : Latest Guidelines About Pickleball Serving Rules 2023

Final Words

So to score good points, you have to follow the rules and regulations you will score well.  I hope this article helped you understand some of the basics of scoring in pickleball. The tips I mentioned above will make it much easier once you use them. I know it will be difficult at first, but once you start using it, it will become much easier.

How does scoring work in pickleball?

Only the serving side is allowed to score; the receiving side is not allowed to score. The player on the right side (even the court) serves first to the court diagonally across from it. If a point is scored, the server shifts to the left (odd court) and serves to the court that is sideways across from them.

What are the 5 rules of pickleball?

The game of pickleball has five basic rules: the ball must stay in bounds, there should be one bounce per side, serving must be done from the baseline, the serve cannot land in the no-volley zone, and the game must terminate at 11, 15, or 21 points.

What is the max score in pickleball

There are 11 points in pickleball, and you must beat your opponent by 2 points. For a team, the player on the right service court is always the first to serve. It is only when your team serves that you can score points