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How To Score In Pickleball And Never Lose Track Again!

How To Score In Pickleball And Never Lose Track Again
Written by Alex

The scoring system in Pickleball might be one of the most baffling aspects of the sport especially when you are still in your early phase.

Not only do you have to learn the techniques and various rules but you also have to keep track of scores which could be so overwhelming if the secession gets quite heated.

Because in one situation you would be grinding to attain the crucial point and in the other you would lose count, leaving you in an awkward and undoubtedly embarrassing situation.

But then again, as long as this article remains, you won’t have to worry about running into such situations because after reading it you will be taught How To Score In Pickleball And Never Lose Track Again, here is how.

Basic Terminology Of Pickleball Scoring System

Before we dig in on how you should be able to track your score in Pickleball, let’s dig in on the basics.

I. Scoring

In Pickleball, only the serve is allowed to score and the serve must be hit from the baseline in an underhand fashion all while adhering to the double bounce rule. Before serving, the player must announce their point as well as their opponents, otherwise, it results in a breach of etiquette. 

For example, if team A has scored 5 points while the opposing team has scored 4 points, before the serve, the serve must announce their score such as 5-4 before serving the ball across the net.

Keep in mind that only the server can score a point which implies if the serve commits the fault they must give up their serving privileges resulting in the other team serving firsthand.

II.Score Cap

As per USAPA (United States Pickleball Association) in a single game of pickleball, the maximum score can reach up to 11 points and in order to win, each team must lead with an additional two points in order to conclude the match for victory.

However, the game’s maximum score capacity could be changed up to 15 or 20 points, depending on the settings it is usually played out.

III. Double Scoring System

Up until now, things might seem simple and straightforward, however, once you change the settings to duos format, things might seem a little bit confusing in terms of scoring callouts. 

For starters, each team has to call individual numbers at a time, their team score, their opponent’s team score as well as the player that is currently serving in a team. Since there are two players per team, once server rotation occurs, you must change the number to the person that is serving.

In order for you to better understand, here is its breakdown,

Team A scored 3 points while Team B scored 6 Points and the first person was serving, the call out before the serve would be 3-6-1. If the teams are switched and the second person in that team is serving then the call-out would be 6-3-2.

Moreover, things even get more complicated once you are required to keep track of winning points because each player has two chances to serve once they win a point. If player 1 wins a serve, they are supposed to change sides and act as player 2.

If by any chance player 1 loses a point, side out initiates and player 2 has to serve without changing their sides, respectively.

The 20-foot wide court is divided into two segments measuring up to 10 feet each known as the even and odd side. If the score is even, then by default the right-side player has to serve, however, if the score is Odd, then the left-side player has to serve.

What’s The Purpose Of Score Call Outs?

Now you would be wondering, why do I have to go through such an elaborate scoring system and call out before each serve, what could be the significance behind it? Well, there are a couple of fundamental reasons behind it.

1. To Eliminate Confusion

When things get heated in the court, it’s perfectly understandable that some form of argument could arise whether it relates to something as important as the score itself. The call-out system ensures both teams agree to a specific checkpoint in the game before proceeding. 

If there are any doubts or confusion relating to any form of fault or penalty, it could be talked about beforehand. Without such an important rule, players would have a hard time keeping up with the score which could also lead to unwanted arguments and toxicity.

2. To Maintain The Essence Of the Game

While you aren’t liable to keep track of the score unless and until you are confident that you would remember it precisely, without a proper call out, it would make a player seem inconsiderate or downright rude, which is a behavior pretty much frowned upon in the court.

Henceforth, to maintain the essence of the game and act as a gentleman, you must always call out the score in an appropriate fashion before serving. Additionally, it also makes you look like a professional on the court, so at the end of the day, it’s basically a win-win situation for everyone.

3. Competitive Rules Implementation

However, in competitive formats, players are required to call out the score as not doing so would result in a penalty and if you keep on forgetting the call out, it would result in a fault. So make sure you adhere to the rules.

How To Score In Pickleball And Never Lose Track Again

Here is how you could make the whole scoring system much more seamless.

1. Hire A Referee

This might feel like a massive stretch but hiring a referee or a coach that could overlook your game especially if it’s a competitive one could make the scoring system seem more seamless.

In addition to that, they will also ensure every possible rule and regulation is followed strictly to make it seem more fair and balanced.

If that is out of the budget, try to pick your teammate who is sitting on the bench or a stranger who is simply spectating the game, so they could act as a referee and sort out your scoring system for the game, in that way, you would be able to track the score system without facing any form of confusion.

2. Use ScoreBoards

If the above-mentioned strategy doesn’t feel feasible, try using a scoreboard and chalk so that you can write up the score after each winning point. This is by far the most surefire method to keep track of your score without having to worry about losing track or facing any form of argument with the opponent across the net.

The best part is, it barely takes a second whenever you score a point but you may have to rely on the scoreboard.

3. Scoring Accessory

If you cannot be bothered to bring a scoreboard into the court, using your smartphone or a table might do the trick by writing down the score after each point is won. As an added bonus, you would be able to keep track of scores that are even a month old, so you could improve your game by comparing each match conclusion with each other. This might be an amazing tip for anyone who wants to become a Professional in Pickleaball.

And That’s A Wrap

To maintain great sportsmanship and keep the flow of the game seamless, calling out the score before each serve can be fruitful because it eliminates the room for ambiguity in the long run.

Moreover, it is also the best practice because in this way you could seem professional and a true gentleman who likes to show passion in the game.

With that being said, I am hopeful that this article has helped you How To Score In Pickleball And Never Lose Track Again. Feel free to spread it with your peers and let me know what they think about it in the comment section below.

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

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