It is essential to understand pickleball rules and scoring and the different types that exist. Why do beginners, in particular, get so concerned about the scoring? A pickleball game ends at 10 or 11 points.

We should understand the existing types since we are learning about the scoring rules of Pickleball. We should know what kind of scoring for Pickleball is. Pickleball is played under Single Rules and Double Rules

Pickleball Double Rules | Player Guide for Double Pickleball 

In the double pickleball rule, each team gets two serves—one serve per player. The team that starts the game gets the first serve. As a result, whatever game you are playing to start, the correct score would be 0-0-2 points for the team serving first and 0 points for the opposing “receiving” team.

If the starting team loses the point, the opposing team gets a chance to serve. Each service will begin on the right side of the pickleball court when starting a game. The serving player shall serve the ball to the receiving team on the right side of the court.

After the first team is out, each team will have two opportunities to serve in doubles. And every serve shall be made from the right side of the court. If the serving team wins a point from the opposing team, the winning team will serve again, and so on, until they lose in the end. At that time, player 1 (the winner) and his partner will switch sides of the court. Player 1 will then serve diagonally, and if he wins the point, he will switch sides of the court again. Note that only the winning or serving team can change sides of the court, not the receiving or losing team.

Pickleball Scoring Rules Doubles

Player 1, also called server #1, will continue to serve until the receiving team wins a point or until the serving team commits an error. When the opposing team wins a point from the serving team, server #1 will lose their turn, and the opposing team, now server #2, will have the opportunity to serve.

Server #2 will continue to serve until their team loses a point or commits an error. In doubles, if both partners on a side lose their serves, that side is out, and the opposing team then serves.

In a pickleball game, the correct position of the player serving is critical. The proper player must serve the pickleball to the right side of the court, and the receiver must also return it to the right side.

  • If the score is tied (2, 4, 6, 8, 10), server #1, the player who started the game must be on the right side of the court and serve to the right side.
  • If the score is an odd number (1,3,5,7,9, etc.), the player who started on the right side must now be on the odd/left-hand side of the pickleball court.
  • To understand the scoring rules of Pickleball it uses three digits. For example, (1-0-0) The first number is the serving team’s score. The second is the score of the receiving team. The third shows which scores belong to which teams. Zero is the score for the receiving and serving teams. And 1 is for the second serve since the game starts with the serving team having one serve.

If any player is found in an incorrect position, whether on the receiving or serving team, that foul shall be counted, and the offending team will lose their serve according to the pickleball rules for scoring.

Pickleball Single Rules | Player Guide for Singles Pickleball

The rules of single pickleball are similar in some ways to doubles pickleball – such as rules for serving, non-volley zone/kitchen area, baselines, etc. The same restrictions apply in singles as in doubles for the scoring in Pickleball.

Single Pickelball Rules

In singles Pickleball Rules,  each player has only one serve. There is no third number in singles pickleball – there will only be two numbers, one for the server and one for the receiver.

In single Pickleball Rules. How is Pickleball Played?

The position of the player is essential in single pickleball rules. When playing, the player must make their first serve to the right side of the pickleball court. If the serving player wins the point, they keep the serve and switch sides, serving now to the other side of the court.

Pickleball Single Rules

The serving player shall serve diagonally and hold serve until losing the serve or committing a fault. If the serving player loses the point, the opposing player can serve.

Just as in doubles, the position of the player returning serve is essential. The server must serve to the correct side of the court, and the receiver must return to the right side. The proper side of the pickleball court is determined by looking at the pickleball score:

  • If the server’s score is even (2, 4, 6, 8, 10), they will serve to the right side of the court, and the receiver will return to that same side.
  • If the server’s score is odd (1,3,5,7,9), they will serve to the left side of the court, and the receiver will return to that side.


The sport of pickleball is gaining popularity globally. Players need to understand the rules, especially around scoring. Singles games are played to 11 points, with a winning margin of at least 2. Doubles are played to 11 points, with the winning team at least 2 points ahead.

pickleball scoring

Players must closely follow these rules to avoid losing points or being disqualified. A player can also gain a tactical edge using advanced positioning strategies like stacking in doubles. Mastering the scoring rules is crucial for any player to enjoy pickleball and develop their skills through dedicated practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the scoring rules for Pickleball?

You can play pickleball in both singles and doubles, with slightly different scoring rules. In singles, games are played to 11 points, and you must win by 2 points. In doubles, teams play to 11 points and must win by 2. Only the serving team can score points. The serve must be underhand.

What is the best way to win a point in pickleball?

According to the Scoring rules of Pickleball, A pickleball point is scored when the opposing team makes an error – hitting the ball out of bounds, failing to clear the net, or volleying from inside the non-volley zone near the net.

How do you define the non-volley zone in pickleball?

Players are not allowed to volley the ball in non-volley zones, often known as kitchens, which are 7 feet on either side of the net. The only way for players to hit a bouncing ball is to enter the kitchen.

In pickleball, can you hit the ball after it bounces?

Before volleying, the ball must bounce once in the receiving court after the serve. Players can then volley the ball either before or after it bounces.

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