What is The Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game?

Understanding the score of a singles pickleball game is simple enough. The match starts with 0-0 and the rising scores are easy to keep track of. However, the three-number starting score of a doubles pickleball game, 0-0-2, can get confusing for beginners. We have written a detailed guide to understanding the starting score of a doubles pickleball game to help you keep up with the score in your next game.

What Does The Three-Digit Score Represent?

In Pickleball scoring, there are three numbers to keep track of when it comes to a doubles pickleball game, which starts as 0-0-2. This can get confusing for players who are used to playing single matches since they only have their own and their opponent’s score to keep track of.

Let’s break these numbers down with an example of the score being 6-8-2;

The first digit (the 6) shows the serving team’s score. The second digit (the next 8) indicates the receiving team’s score. The last digit (the 2) represents the server number since each team gets two serves in a doubles pickleball match, one for each team member.

Thus 6-8-2 represents the serving team’s score, the receiving team’s score, and the server number respectively.

Why Does Every Doubles Pickleball Game Start with 0-0-2?

What is the starting score of a doubles pickleball game? Pickleball is a game built on fairness. Every rule and regulation ensures that all players get just treatment. The starting score of a doubles pickleball game is no exception.


The starting score of a doubles pickleball game is 0-0-2. The double zeroes are easy enough to understand, but where does the number 2 come from?

Since the serving team has the advantage of starting the game, they only get one serve instead of the usual two. This is why the starting score of a doubles pickleball game is 0-0-2.

The number 2 here represents the serving team beginning with server number 2. The first server is minimized to cover the team’s advantage of having the first serve. When the serve is lost, it moves to the receiving team instead of the serving team is given a second serve.

Thus, the match begins and continues in a fair way with no team getting an unfair advantage!

Who Serves First in Pickleball Doubles?

Whether the pickleball match is being played as singles or doubles, the service always begins from the right-hand side of the court.

Since only one player gets to make the serve from the serving team when the match begins, the player making the serve is automatically designated as server number 2 as per the 0-0-2 starting score. The serve then goes to server number 1 on the receiving team.


Pickleball is a just game and the starting score of a doubles match is proof of this fact. In the 0-0-2 scoring system, the 2 represents the second server on the serving team. When the serve is lost, it will head to the receiving team to cover the serving team’s advantage of starting the game.

We hope your confusion regarding the starting score of a doubles pickleball game is clear. If you have further questions, drop them in the comments!

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