In pickleball, the only way to score points for you and your team is first by serving the ball. That means you can’t score any points when you receive the ball from the other team. Scoring in pickleball is a game of patience and keeping up with your opponent until they mess up on a shot, or you can take advantage of their placement on the court via a well place hit.
So, how are points scored in pickleball games? How do you keep track of the score in pickleball? What happens if the ref or player calls out the wrong score during a match, and what are the three numbers in a pickleball score mean? Finally, what are the five basic rules, the four faults, and the ten-second rule in pickleball?
For all these answers on scoring, keep reading for the complete breakdown of how to score points in pickleball.
How Are Points Scored in Pickleball?
Pickleball players use side-out scoring, as in the case of racquetball, where only the serving side can score. One point is awarded every time the receiving team commits a fault, but no side earns a point if the serving team commits a false one.
How Many Points Do You Need to Win a Pickleball Game?
The minimum number of points you need to win a game of pickleball is eleven. The winning team must win the game by two points, however. For instance, if the score is 11-10, then the team that got eleven must, at least, get the score to 12-10 to win.
How Do You Keep Track of the Score in Pickleball?
If you have ever sat at a pickleball game and tried keeping score, you may wonder why the scores seem to change at every serve. The scoring basics are as follows: The score always starts with the serving side first, then goes to the receiving side score. With that being the case, you will sometimes hear the score flip depending on which team serves during a match.
So, if you are serving and have three points to your opponent’s two points, the first number is the server’s score (three), followed by the receiver’s score (two). When it is your opponent’s turn to serve, the score will go two (the serving team’s score), followed by three (the receiving team’s score).
What Happens if The Wrong Score is Called in Pickleball?
According to the official rules of pickleball section 4. k, a few things happen if a wrong score announcement happens.
- If a player thinks the score is wrong, they can stop play to ask for a correction before a serve. If the serve happens, they will play it and review the score correction before the next.
- If a player asks for a score correction and the score is correct, they receive a fault. Along with that fault, a player who stops the game to ask for a score correction will receive a fault if the ball is in play.
Finally, it is essential to note that these rules are more for professional games to follow. These rules tend to be more lenient if you are playing a casual pickup game of pickleball with friends. If a player calls for a score correction before returning a serve and the score is correct, it is up to both players to determine if there is a fault.
What are the Three Numbers in a Pickleball Score?
Unlike singles pickleball, where you will only hear two numbers when the score is called, you will hear three numbers when playing doubles pickleball. The first number is the first team, or the serving side score. The second number indicates the opposing team or the receiving side’s score. The final number is the server number, which will indicate which server is serving, either one or two, meaning the first or second server in the team serving.
What are the Five Basic Rules of Pickleball?
While the official rulebook is lengthy, you only need to remember five rules. The rules below give you an idea of the fundamental laws of play.
- Keep the ball in bounds.
- There is only one bounce per side.
- Serve only from the baseline.
- Your serve can’t land in the non-volley zone (NVZ) or kitchen.
- The game ends at 11 or 15 points, depending on your preference.
What are the Four Faults in Pickleball?
There are several ways to fault in pickleball, but there are four main ones that you should know. The first is hitting the ball out of bounds. If the ball lands outside the sidelines of the pickleball court, it is out of bounds. The second is hitting the ball into the net. This rule is a little tricky since the ball can still clip the top of the net, and as long as it bounces into the opponent’s court, it is still in play.
The third rule is not adhering to the two-bounce rule. During the first two shots, that is, the first serve and the return of the serve, the ball must be allowed to bounce; If not, it’s a fault.
And finally, there are the kitchen faults that make up the fourth fault. If the ball is volleyed from the non-volley zone (NVZ) or kitchen, or if the player touches the kitchen line or steps into the kitchen right after volleying the shot, it is a fault. However, if the ball bounces first, it is considered fair play.
What is the Ten Second Rule in Pickleball?
The ten-second rule is a way to ensure that the game progresses without delay. Once the score is called, the server has ten seconds to serve. Failure to do so during this time is a fault.
Conclusion: How to Score in Pickleball
While the pickleball scoring rules may seem complex, they are relatively easy to follow once you know a few things. Beginners in pickleball will soon find that they can also keep score easily. There are five simple rules to follow, and the game ends when the players reach 11.
The pickleball score alternates depending on who is serving. Doubles scoring differs slightly from singles scoring in that a third number goes after the score. The only way to score in pickleball is for the opposing player or team to commit a fault.
Finally, there are four primary ways to commit a fault during a match. These faults include hitting the ball out of bounds, hitting it into the net, not letting it bounce on the serve and return, and finally, volleying the ball from the kitchen.