Keeping score in pickleball doubles can be confusing for beginners, but with practice, it becomes easier. The main components of the score are the serving team’s score, the receiving team’s score, and the server number (1 or 2). Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand how to keep score in pickleball doubles:
Determine the starting server: At the beginning of the match, one player from each team is designated as the starting server. This can be determined by a coin toss or another method agreed upon by both teams. The starting server for each team is designated as “Server 1.”
Start with zero points: At the beginning of the game, both teams start with a score of zero.
First service: The first service of the game is unique because only one player from the starting team serves. After this, both players on each team will serve until a fault is made.
Scoring: Points can only be scored by the serving team. When the serving team wins a rally, they earn a point. If the receiving team wins the rally, no points are awarded, and the serve changes to the other player on the serving team or the other team if both players on the serving team have already served and committed a fault.
Announcing the score: Before each serve, the server announces the score in the following order: serving team’s score, receiving team’s score, and server number (1 or 2). For example, if the serving team has 4 points, the receiving team has 3 points, and the current server is Server 2, the server will announce “4-3-2.”
Server rotation: When the serving team commits a fault, the serve passes to the other player on the team (from Server 1 to Server 2 or vice versa). If both players on the serving team commit a fault, the serve passes to the receiving team. The receiving team then becomes the serving team, and the player on the right side of the court (from the perspective of the new serving team) serves first.
Change sides: In a game played to 11 points, teams switch sides when one team reaches 6 points. In a game played to 15 or 21 points, teams switch sides when one team reaches 8 or 11 points, respectively. This helps ensure that both teams have equal playing conditions, considering factors such as sunlight or wind.
Winning the game: A team wins when they reach 11, 15, or 21 points (depending on the agreed-upon winning score) with a lead of at least two points. If both teams reach the winning score with only a one-point difference, play continues until one team has a two-point lead.
By following these guidelines, you can accurately keep score in pickleball doubles and enjoy the game with a better understanding of the scoring system.