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Scoring in Doubles Pickleball
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Scoring in Doubles Pickleball

The Basics of Pickleball Scoring

Before we dive into the specifics of scoring in doubles pickleball, it's important to understand the basics of scoring. Games are typically played to 11 points, and a team must win by two points. Points are only awarded to the serving team, and each game consists of a series of rallies, with points awarded for winning each rally.

Scoring in Doubles Pickleball

In doubles pickleball, each team has two players, and each player serves for an entire rotation. The first serve is always made from the right-hand side of the court, and the serving team must win the rally to score a point.

Once the serving team scores a point, the next serve is made by the same player, but from the left-hand side of the court. If the serving team wins the rally, they score another point and continue to serve alternating which side of the court they serve from. If the receiving team wins the rally, the second player on the serving team then starts serving following the same patter. Once the receiving team wins the rally again, they take over the serve and serve from the right-hand side of the court.

The serving team continues to serve (alternating sides of the court they serve from after each point they score) until they lose a rally, at which point the second partner on the team starts serving. Once they lose another rally the receiving team takes over the serve. This process continues throughout the game, with each team taking turns serving and trying to win rallies.

You probably hear people playing pickleball and calling out three numbers when stating the score. This can be confusing at first. The format for saying the score in double is as follows...

First number (the serving teams point total) - Second number (the receiving teams point total) - Third number (the server number)

The third number is usually the most confusing. This number will always either be a "1" or a "2". If your team is serving and you are on the first person serving since taking over the serve the third number when calling out the score would be "1". Once the receiving team wins a rally and you switch to your second server, the third number you call out on the score would be "2". Then when the receiving team wins the rally again and takes over serving they would start on their first server which would be "1" for the third number when calling out the serve. 

The only exception to this is the first serve of the game. The team starting to serve first starts on the second server. Meaning once they lose a rally, the serve switches to the other team (as opposed to their partner getting to serve it). 

Hopefully, this helps you better understand how scoring works in pickleball! 

 

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