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Navigating the Rules of Rally Scoring
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Navigating the Rules of Rally Scoring

Rally scoring is gaining some traction in major tournaments for a few reasons. This likely will continue to gain popularity so it is helpful to understand the basics of it! 

Rally Scoring Unleashed:

Rally scoring in pickleball is a method where points can be scored by both the serving and receiving teams, a departure from traditional scoring systems. Unlike conventional methods, where only the serving team can accumulate points, rally scoring ensures that each rally has the potential to impact the score, injecting an element of dynamism into the game.

Choosing a Side:

At the beginning of the game, players pick a side and remain there throughout. After scoring a point, there is no rotation to the other side of the court. If the right side is chosen, that player will consistently serve from that side, while their partner serves from the left. The right-side player serves on even-numbered scores, and the left-side player serves on odd-numbered scores.

Switching Sides and Freeze:

Between each side-out, the serving team alternates, in contrast to traditional scoring where each teammate serves before the opposing team gets a chance. A unique aspect, the "freeze," occurs when a team reaches game point, typically at 20 points. At this juncture, the scoring briefly reverts to traditional, allowing the team to score only when serving. The opposing team continues rally scoring until reaching 18 points, and then it transitions back to traditional scoring until a team secures victory with a two-point lead.

Advantages of Rally Scoring in Pickleball:

  1. Increased Intensity:

    • Rally scoring elevates the intensity of each point, as every rally becomes a potential game-changer.
  2. Shorter Game Duration:

    • The dynamic nature of rally scoring often results in shorter game durations, enhancing accessibility and engagement for players and spectators.
  3. Equal Opportunities:

    • Every player has the opportunity to serve, ensuring that the game's outcome isn't solely reliant on the serving abilities of a single individual.


Rally scoring in pickleball enhances the excitement and inclusivity of the sport, fostering a level playing field for all players. Its unique scoring approach, coupled with the rotational serving system, has fueled the rapid growth and popularity of pickleball globally. Whether you're a seasoned player or new to the sport, a deep understanding of rally scoring nuances adds to the enjoyment and strategic depth of this dynamic and fast-paced game.


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Take a look at the details of traditional scoring in this article

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