How to Keep Score in Pickleball

How to Keep Score in Pickleball

Learn the essentials of keeping score in pickleball with our easy-to-follow guide. Elevate your game, understand the rules, and enhance your competitive edge.

Pickleball employs a straightforward scoring system that can be easily grasped. The game is typically played to 11 points, and a team must win by at least two points. The first team to reach 11 points with a two-point advantage wins the game. However, some variations exist, such as playing to 15 or 21 points in recreational settings.

Serving Team Starts with "0":

At the beginning of the game, the serving team's score is always "0." The serving team gets the opportunity to score points during their service, and they will continue serving until they lose a rally. When they lose the rally, the opposing team gains the serve and the chance to score points.

Scoring Points:

Points are earned only by the serving team. Each time they win a rally, they add one point to their score. The serving team keeps scoring until they commit a fault, the receiving team wins a rally, or they reach the winning score.

Switching Sides:

In pickleball, players switch sides after each game, as well as when the total points in the game reach 6, 8, or another pre-agreed number (in games to 15 or 21 points). This ensures fairness and equalizes potential differences between the court sides

Announcing the Score:

To avoid confusion during the match, it's essential to announce the score clearly before each serve. For example, if the serving team has 3 points and the receiving team has 5 points, the score would be announced as "3-5-1," indicating the serving team's score, the receiving team's score, and the server's position in the serving order.

Keeping Track:

To keep score accurately, you can use a simple scorecard or a digital scoring device designed specifically for pickleball. Alternatively, players often use the memory-aid method, where the server touches the scorekeeper's hand to indicate the server's position and score.


Keeping score in pickleball is a fundamental aspect of the game that enhances fairness and competition among players. Understanding the scoring system, announcing the score clearly, and using effective scorekeeping methods will ensure a smooth and enjoyable match for all participants. So, hit the court, keep those scores accurate, and have a smashing time playing pickleball!