11 Strategic Rules on How To Score Pickleball Efficiently

Reviewed by Ken Kochman
Last updated:
This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking our links.
How To Score Pickleball
How To Score Pickleball

Whether you’re playing with a buddy or going solo, we’ll uncover the secrets of how to score pickleball in both singles and doubles matches. So, grab your trusty pickleball paddle and let’s embark on a thrilling journey through the exciting world of pickleball scoring!

In this article, we’ll demystify the scoring system for both singles and doubles matches. By the time we’re done, you’ll be calling out the score like a seasoned pro, ready to conquer the pickleball court with confidence! So, put on your game face, because we’re about to serve up the juicy details of pickleball scoring!! 

First up, we’ll dive into singles matches and unveil the secrets of scoring in this one-on-one showdown. Ready, set, score!

1. How To Score Pickleball in Singles Matches

Welcome to the thrilling world of how to score pickleball in singles, where it’s just you against the world (well, almost). If you’ve been acing it in doubles matches, you might wonder what’s the big deal about singles. Well, my pickleball pal, get ready for a delightful twist! In this solo showdown, there’s no second server to lean on, but worry not, for we’ve got the ultimate secret sauce to make this scoring adventure smooth sailing!

2. The Server’s Position

In singles, you’re flying solo, and the server’s score determines where to serve. No need to feel like a lost pickle in a jar – it’s simple! If your score is even, you’ll serve from the right side of the court. And if it’s odd, you’ll dazzle your opponent from the left side. So, remember, even score equals right side, odd score equals left side. Easy peasy, lemon-squeezy!

3. How to Call the Score

How To Score Pickleball

Let’s talk pickleball language, shall we? In doubles matches, you call out three numbers when serving – the server score, the receiver score, and the server number (either 1 or 2). For example, you might hear something like “zero – zero – two” when the game starts. That means the first server is serving from the right side. But hold your pickle horses! The server number applies only for that turn. So, don’t get too attached – you’re not in a pickle marriage!

Scoring in Doubles Matches

Are you ready to kick it up a notch and double the pickleball fun? Get ready for the exhilarating world of doubles scoring, where teamwork and strategy take center stage. It might be a bit different from singles, but don’t worry – we’ve got your back, and together, we’ll make it as easy as munching on a slice of juicy pickle!

In doubles, you’re not flying solo; you’ve got a partner in crime, a pickleball buddy to share the serving duties and conquer the court with. It’s like a dynamic duo taking on the pickleball arena! But don’t be fooled, my pickleball pals, doubles pickleball scoring has its own set of rules and surprises.

4. Points on the Serve

When it comes to how to score pickleball, it’s the serving team that reigns supreme during the serve phase. It’s like earning a shiny gold star every time you ace your serve! So, step up to the service line with confidence, and get ready to serve and score like a pickleball superstar!

Now, here’s the fascinating part – during the serve phase, the receiving team is on the defensive. They can’t score any points until they successfully return the serve. It’s like trying to catch those speedy pickleballs with a fishing net – quite the challenge, right? So, my pickleball pals, as the serving team, it’s your moment to shine. Focus on your serves, hone your technique, and aim for the perfect placement to keep your opponents on their toes. Remember, serving is not just about power but also about strategy, finesse, and a dash of pickleball wizardry! Keep serving like a pro, and those points will start racking up like magic. Get ready to make a splash on the scoreboard, and let the pickleball games begin!

5. Rotating Sides

Only the serving team has the privilege to switch sides after scoring points. It’s like a well-choreographed routine that keeps the game flowing seamlessly. So, no need to bust out a pickle twirl unless you’ve just scored a point!

Now, here’s the fun part – the receiving team stays put like loyal pickleball fans, cheering you on from their end of the court. As the serving team, you’ll get to showcase your skills from both sides of the court, strategizing your moves like a true pickleball tactician. So, glide, spin, and rally like a pickleball pro as you rotate sides and keep the game in motion. It’s the dance of doubles scoring, and you’re the star of the show!

6. The First Server Exception

Ah, the first server, the one with the honor of starting the pickleball party! Here’s a fun twist: only one player serves on the first turn. And when they serve, they’re designated as the second server for the game. Say “0-0-2” at the start to be fair and square. Remember, my fellow pickleball pals, it’s all about the pickleball fairness in this game!

7. Positioning and Accuracy

Time to channel your inner pickleball ninja! When the score is even, you stand tall and proud on the right side. And when it’s odd, you’re like a pickleball star shining on the left side. Remember, accuracy is key – call out that score with confidence, and you’ll be scoring like a pickleball champ!

8. Timing Your Serve

Timing your serve in pickleball is an art that can elevate your game to pro-level status! Just like waiting for the perfect moment to catch the juiciest pickle in the jar, serving at the right time can make all the difference between scoring a point and missing the mark. It’s all about finding that sweet spot and channeling your inner pickleball ninja!

So, how do you master the art of timing your serve? Take a deep breath, my pickleball enthusiasts, and get ready to unleash your winning serve like a pro! Count to three in your head, let the anticipation build, and then strike with precision and power. Remember, it’s not just about how hard you hit the ball, but also about placing it strategically to catch your opponent off guard. With practice and patience, you’ll serve like a pickleball maestro, leaving your opponents in awe of your impeccable timing and pickleball finesse!

9. Utilize the “Kitchen” Smartly

Welcome to the “kitchen,” folks! No, it’s not where we cook pickles, but it’s just as exciting. This non-volley zone near the net is where the magic happens. It’s like the VIP section of the pickleball court. Be patient, wait for the right moment, and when the opportunity strikes, step into the “kitchen” and unleash those winning shots!

10. Stay Agile and Flexible

When it comes to how to score pickleball points, staying agile allows you to move swiftly to position yourself for that perfect shot. Whether you’re serving, receiving, or rallying with your partner, being nimble gives you the edge to seize opportunities and outmaneuver your opponents. As the game unfolds, you’ll encounter various situations that require split-second decision-making, and that’s where flexibility shines. Be willing to adjust your strategy, change up your shots, and embrace unpredictability with a smile. The health benefits of Pickleball are also in your favor! Remember, agility is the name of the game when it comes to scoring pickleball points, and as you stay light on your feet, you’ll leave your opponents mesmerized by your pickleball prowess! 

11. Mind Your Faults

Oh, pickle faults – the slippery banana peels of pickleball! You want to avoid them like the plague. Faults happen when the pickleball touches any part of the non-volley zone, goes out of bounds, doesn’t clear the net, or is volleyed before a bounce on each side. Keep your pickleball skills sharp, and you’ll steer clear of those pesky faults like a pickleball maestro!

Play with Sportsmanship and Fun

Last but certainly not least, remember the golden rule of pickleball – have fun and play with sportsmanship! It’s not just about scoring points and winning (although that’s pretty awesome too). It’s about the joy of playing, the thrill of the game, and the camaraderie with your fellow pickleball pals. So, cheer on your opponents, high-five your teammates, and let the pickleball laughter fill the air!

Bottom Line

Congratulations, my pickleball scoring wizards! You’ve mastered the “11 Strategic Rules on “How To Score Pickleball Efficiently”, both in singles and doubles matches. From serving positions to the first server exception, you’re now armed with the pickleball knowledge to rule the court like true champions!

But hey, the pickleball adventure doesn’t end here. There’s always more to explore in the world of pickleball. Check out this article on “Doubles Pickleball Strategies” to keep your score always being called out first!

Happy pickling!

Photo of author


Brenton Barker is not just another Content Creator; he's a sports aficionado, a strategist, and a mover and shaker in the field. With a keen focus on sports, he knows how to grab the attention of fellow enthusiasts. His role as a former Head Advisor to the Japanese Government Sports Institute adds an extra layer of credibility and expertise to his writing. Brenton excels in crafting content that drives conversions, enhances SEO, and generates leads. While he may not have other roles currently, he has graced stages as a Keynote Speaker at the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency and Tennis Australia International Coaching Workshop. When Brendon speaks—or writes—people listen.

Leave a Comment