How to Mastering the Art of Scoring in Pickleball?


Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding how to score in pickleball is crucial to enjoying the game and competing effectively. In this article, we will delve into the rules of scoring in pickleball, explore various scoring techniques, discuss the pros and cons of scoring strategies, and address frequently asked questions to help you become a scoring maestro on the pickleball court.

Scoring in Pickleball

Rules of Scoring in Pickleball:

To score effectively in pickleball, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the rules. Let’s explore the basic scoring rules:

Scoring System:

Pickleball follows a rally scoring system, meaning that points can be won by both the serving and receiving teams.

Initial Serve:

The serving team initiates the game with an underhand serve from the right-hand side of the court, aiming diagonally across to the opponent’s service court.

Point System:

Only the serving team can score points. If the serving team wins the rally, they earn a point. If the receiving team wins the rally, they gain the opportunity to serve.

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Scoring Points:

Points are scored when the opposing team commits a fault or fails to return the ball before it bounces twice. The first team to reach 11 points (with a 2-point lead) wins the game.

Switching Sides:

After the first game, players switch sides of the court to ensure fairness and account for any court conditions that may affect gameplay.

Scoring Techniques in Pickleball:

Scoring effectively in pickleball requires employing a range of techniques. Here are some scoring strategies to consider:

Placement Shots:

Aim to place your shots strategically, targeting areas of the court that are difficult for your opponents to reach. This can create opportunities for scoring points by forcing your opponents into defensive positions.

Dinks and Drop Shots:

Utilize soft shots, such as dinks and drop shots, to force your opponents to move forward and make challenging returns. These shots can be particularly effective near the kitchen (non-volley zone) line.

Power Shots:

Employ powerful shots to overwhelm your opponents and force errors. Be mindful of using power shots sparingly, as they can be risky and lead to unforced errors if not executed accurately.

Communication and Teamwork:

Effective communication and teamwork between partners can enhance scoring opportunities. Strategize with your partner to exploit weaknesses in your opponents’ game and coordinate your shots and positioning.

Pros and Cons of Scoring Strategies

Different scoring strategies in pickleball have their own advantages and drawbacks. Let’s examine the pros and cons of various approaches:

Placement Shots:

  • Pros: Placement shots can create confusion and force opponents into defensive positions, increasing your chances of scoring points.
  • Cons: It may require advanced court awareness and precision to consistently execute accurate placement shots.

Dinks and Drop Shots:

  • Pros: Dinks and drop shots can disrupt your opponents’ rhythm, forcing them to move forward and potentially leading to errors.
  • Cons: These shots require finesse and control, and mistimed or poorly executed shots may result in easy returns for your opponents.

Power Shots:

  • Pros: Power shots can be intimidating and put pressure on your opponents, potentially resulting in forced errors.
  • Cons: Power shots require excellent technique and timing; otherwise, they can lead to unforced errors and give your opponents an advantage.

Communication and Teamwork:

  • Pros: Effective communication and teamwork can lead to well-coordinated shots, exploit opponent weaknesses, and increase scoring opportunities.
  • Cons: Poor communication and coordination may result in confusion, missed opportunities, and unforced errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can both teams score points in pickleball?

Yes, pickleball follows a rally scoring system, allowing both the serving and receiving teams to score points.

What happens if the game reaches a tie at 10-10?

In such cases, the game continues until one team gains a 2-point lead. The first team to reach a score of 12 points with a 2-point lead wins the game.

Do you have to win by two points in pickleball?

Yes, to win a game, a team must have a 2-point lead over their opponents. This rule ensures a clear victory and prevents games from potentially continuing indefinitely.

Can you score points when you’re not serving?

No, only the serving team can score points in pickleball. If the receiving team wins the rally, they gain the opportunity to serve.

Scoring in Pickleball


Scoring effectively in pickleball requires a combination of skill, strategy, and understanding of the rules. By familiarizing yourself with the scoring system, implementing scoring techniques, and considering the pros and cons of different strategies, you can enhance your scoring abilities on the pickleball court. Remember to practice, communicate with your partner, and adapt your tactics to different opponents. With time and experience, you’ll become a formidable scorer in this exciting and fast-paced sport. Enjoy the game and happy scoring!.


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