Pickleball is a fun sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It is played on a court with a net, paddles, and a plastic ball with holes. The rules of pickleball are simple, but the scoring system can be confusing for some people.
|What Is Rally Scoring in Pickleball|
Right now, pickleball uses a scoring system called “side out scoring.” This means that only the team that is serving can score a point. If the serving team loses the rally, they lose their serve and the other team gets a chance to serve and score.
Some people in the pickleball community have suggested changing the scoring system to “rally scoring.” This means that every rally counts as a point, no matter who is serving. The first team to reach a certain number of points wins the game.
There are pros and cons of using rally scoring in pickleball. Some of the benefits are:
(1) the games are faster and more exciting;
(2) the games have a more predictable duration, which makes it easier to promote the sport on TV and attract more fans;
(3) the scoring is simpler and easier for beginners and newcomers to understand;
(4) the ratings of players are more accurate because every point matters; and
(5) the sport is more suitable for betting, which some people think is important for growing the sport.
Some of the drawbacks are:
(1) rally scoring changes the balance between the serving team and the receiving team, so it might affect the nature of the game and/or lead to unfair results;
(2) many sports only allow you to score when you are on “offense” (i.e., serving), so it might be confusing if you can score when you are on “defense” (i.e., receiving);
(3) it might be confusing to change the scoring system after so many years of using side out scoring;
(4) it favors the weaker team by making it easier for them to come back (assuming that side out scoring is used for the final point (as explained below)); and
(5) it reduces or changes the strategy of pickleball (for example, there might be less reason to change positions on the court and, as a result, no need to switch back to your original positions).
More studies are being done to compare different scoring systems for pickleball. However, some events in Major League Pickleball will use rally scoring to test how it works.
How does rally scoring work in pickleball?
Rally scoring is a way of keeping score that makes every point count, no matter who serves. Some big pickleball tournaments use rally scoring to make the games more exciting and faster. Here is how it works:
Before you start the game, you need to decide who will serve first and which side of the court you want to play on. You can use any fair method to choose, like flipping a coin or playing rock-paper-scissors. Once you pick your side, you have to stay on that side for the whole game, unless you take a time out or switch ends when one team reaches 11 points.
The team that serves first will start the game from the right side of the court. The serve must go diagonally across the net to the other side. If the serving team wins the point, they get to serve again, but this time from the left side of the court. The serve keeps switching between the right and left sides until the serving team loses a point.
If the serving team loses a point, the other team gets to serve and also gets a point. Unlike regular scoring, there is no second server in rally scoring. So, you don't need to keep track of who is serving first or second on each team. You only need to remember two numbers: the score of the serving team and the score of the receiving team.
To know which side of the court to serve from, you just need to look at the score of the serving team. If it is an even number, like 0, 2, 4, etc., then you serve from the right side. If it is an odd number, like 1, 3, 5, etc., then you serve from the left side. For example, if the score is 0-0 and the receiving team wins a point, they also get to serve. The score is now 1-0, so they serve from the left side.
When one team reaches 11 points, both teams switch ends of the court. This helps to balance out any advantages or disadvantages caused by factors like wind, sun, or noise.
The first team to reach 21 points wins the game, but they have to win by at least 2 points. For example, if the score is 20-19, then the game is not over yet. The team with 20 points has to score another point to win by 2 points. However, there is one catch: after 20 points, you can only score when you are serving. So, if you are receiving and you win a point, you don't get a point. You only get to serve.
There is another rule that applies when one team has 20 points and the other team has less than 18 points. In this case, the team with less than 18 points cannot score more than 18 points until they are serving. This means that they have to win at least 3 rallies in a row to catch up with the other team.
So, that's how rally scoring works in pickleball. Remember these key points:
- You stay on your side of the court for the whole game (unless there is a time out or an end change).
- A point is scored on every rally (except after 20 points).
- The team that wins the rally gets a point and gets to serve (or keeps serving).
- The serve switches between right and left sides based on the serving team's score.
- The teams switch ends when one team reaches 11 points.
- The first team to reach 21 points wins (win by 2 points).
- After 20 points, you can only score when serving.
- If one team has 20 points and the other team has less than 18 points, then the other team's points are frozen at 18 until they serve.
I hope this helps you understand rally scoring better. Have fun playing pickleball!