Pickleball Rally Scoring: How It Works

Pickleball is currently growing rapidly in various countries. Maybe beginners still don't know more about changing rules, abolishing serve permits, or adding a score on a fall serve. Don't underestimate it! One thing you also need to know is the pickleball rally scoring.

What Is Rally Scoring?

Pickleball has two options for scoring in pickleball one of them is Rally scoring. in rally scoring, points are scored every time a pickleball team won a rally. These points can be earned by the serving or receiving team in pickleball. However, nowadays pickleball games are played with a side-out score (traditional scoring), meaning the points can only be earned by the serving team.

Rally Scoring: What Is Rally Scoring & How it works

How Does Pickleball Rally Scoring Work?

After understanding what rally scoring means, next is an explanation of how rally scoring works. In rally point scoring, the team of pickleball players who have won the rally will be awarded points and are included in the returning team. Technically, there are several ways to apply rally scoring. Here is the explanation:

  • Rally scoring is a system of scoring used in the game of pickleball. It is a modern, fast-paced, and exciting way of playing the sport that is rapidly gaining popularity. Unlike traditional scoring systems where only the serving team can score a point, rally scoring allows both teams to score a point on each rally, making the game much more balanced and enjoyable for all participants.
  • In rally scoring, a point is awarded to the team that wins the rally, regardless of who served. The game continues until one team reaches 11 points, with the winning team having to win by a margin of two points. For example, if the score is 10-9, the game will continue until one team reaches 12 points. If the score reaches 10-10, the game enters a tiebreaker where the first team to reach a two-point lead wins the game.
  • One of the most significant benefits of rally scoring is that it keeps the game moving at a quick pace. As both teams have the opportunity to score a point on each rally, there is a constant back-and-forth between the two sides, keeping players engaged and on their toes. Rally scoring also puts more pressure on the receiving team, as they have just as much of a chance to score a point as the serving team. This creates a more balanced playing field, making the game more exciting for both teams and reducing the chance of one team dominating the game.
  • To play pickleball using rally scoring, it’s essential to keep in mind a few key rules when hitting the ball. This includes using an underhanded serve, avoiding volleying the ball in the kitchen, and making sure to keep the ball within the boundaries of the court. Also, keeping track of the score in a rally scoring game can be a bit different, and you can learn more about it here.
  • Another important aspect of rally scoring is teamwork and communication. Since both teams can score a point on each rally, it’s crucial for players to work together and coordinate their shots. This involves communicating with your partner, discussing strategy, and making sure you are both on the same page. Good communication can help to increase your chances of winning the game and make the experience even more enjoyable.
  • Rally scoring also promotes an aggressive playing style, as players are encouraged to take risks and make challenging shots. This creates a more exciting game for both players and spectators, as it requires a higher level of skill and athleticism. Additionally, rally scoring allows for comebacks, as a trailing team can quickly turn the tide of the game and score several points in a row to close the gap. This creates a more unpredictable and dynamic game that keeps everyone on the edge of their seat.

Benefits and Drawbacks in the Actual Pickleball game

Playing pickleball is fun! Especially if you already understand all the scoring rules, including rally scoring. Rally scoring is a method or way of earning points in a pickleball match. Any team of players will be able to win rallies and earn points. When the team serving will result in points, then the players will serve alternately until they lose points.

Of course, rally scoring has great benefits for you. Here is the explanation:


  • Faster game

When you play pickleball, using rally scoring will make the game go much faster. This of course benefits the players. When the pickleball field becomes crowded, the game will rotate faster and more pickleball players can get together to play pickleball.

  • More interesting game

This fast-paced game will make people more interested in watching it on many media, including on TV. This will make the popularity of pickleball even more obvious and fun-looking.

  • More Consistent Game Duration

The rally scoring games will give you the advantage of a more consistent game duration and you can predict the given time. An example would be When a game starts it would normally take around 20 minutes, then after that using rally scoring, doing so would shorten it by around 20% or result in around 5 minutes.

  • More predictable rally scoring

The use of rally scoring will be easier for you to guess, which this system benefits players in remembering which side of the field must serve to finish.

Even though it has such great benefits for the game of pickleball, rally scoring also has drawbacks that you should know too. Here’s the explanation:

double pickleball
Traditional Scoring


  • Need Change In Strategy

Even though it looks normal for a game, this is not a profitable thing. Some opinions from pickleball players say that rally scoring is not the way the founders of pickleball planned the game and should be changed. They considered that scoring rallies were marked as unprofitable play because it required a change in strategy from how players approached the game of pickleball.

  • Risky

The intended risk is when you try the third shot at pickleball where the player can drop the ball to the Non-Volley Zone line. In addition, this is risky because the team will lose a point that is not just a loss of serve.

  • Not Official yet

Did you know that rally scoring has not been officially implemented in pickleball? YES. Rally judging is not yet official, so there is a lot of debate here about rally scoring.

Those are some explanations about the benefits and drawbacks that might be surprising and useful for your pickleball game.

Go For It!

The decision to use rally scoring or not in a pickleball game is all yours. If you feel that this can improve your pickleball game, then go for it! However, if you don’t feel that this will take away from the competitive nature, then you can do the traditional scoring. Be sure to keep having fun playing pickleball at any score.

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