Rally scoring

What is a Rally Scoring in Pickleball & How does it Play?

Rally scoring is the new format of Super leagues of Pickleball nowadays. It represents the Pickleball tournaments following the advanced events.

It’s a nutshell, meaning a score is gained after every rally. Therefore, it differs from traditional scoring or side-out, where only Serving Team achieves the score.

If you’re a pickleball player, coach or enthusiast, you must know about traditional or side-out scoring and the Rally scoring system. With other sports such as ping-pong, squash, tennis, and badminton, volleyball encounters an excellent experience with the Rally score system. Though, it looks like the future of this sport Pickleball. So, we are updating the details about Pickleball Rally Scoring.

What is a Rally Scoring in Pickleball?

In this type of scoring, the point is scored when the rally is made by the playing team, regardless of playing team is serving the team or receiving.   


Well, the rally is a continuous back-and-forth performance of the player in Pickleball that happens after the service and before the fault.

Two things are crucial in the rally, which can end the rally in Pickleball gameplay.


Players must know about the mistakes that can end their rally. Pickleball players commit some major faults.

  • The kitchen or NVZ faults
  • The ball may hit or strikes a permanent object while playing, such as with a net post.
  • Hit the ball with the net
  • Two-bounce rule of Pickleball is not performed 
  • Hit the ball to the out-of-bound region

Pickleball Kitchen Rules

Pickleball Players’ misbehavior on the Pickleball court

Rule violations are included here and are not considered players’ fault. For example, throwing a paddle at your other team.

What is Pickleball Rally Scoring?

It’s the conventional scoring approach where scores are accomplished at all the points played. Although, it’s the opposite of the current system, where points are achieved by only serving teams. 

Thus, in this scoring system, the returning and serving teams will win the rally when they get the point. Moreover, another vital feature is that Pickleball tournaments of rally-scoring are played with high scores (15-21). That’s why these tournaments grow more quickly than other traditional-scoring tournaments. 

Rally Scoring and Traditional Scoring Differences

In traditional scoring, Pickleball players must rotate their positions with their partners on the court while winning the point on service. When you serve from the left side, your partner is on the right side of the court. You would serve from the right side and your partner from the left to start the come to the point. It’s also the same case in the rally score game.

The only difference would be at getting the point, where traditional scoring allows achieving only to the serving team if they win the rally. If the receiving team players win the rally, they are not awarded their points.  

However, any team that makes and wins the rally is awarded his point during rally scoring. This team would either be serving or returning. 

The rally score game doesn’t contain the second service. So, once you lose the rally, your foe team gets the points and plays his service turn.

Volleyball Rally Scoring does not comprise the third number in the score announcement. Because there is only your score and your opponent’s. Traditional scoring is called out by three numbers, you – your opponent – server number. 

The traditional score game is played for 11 points. Rather the rally score game is played for higher scores (15 or 21). Thence, the rally-score game is faster ad tends to move more quickly at the end than a traditional game. 

How can you do the rally-scoring?

The forefront is to decide which team will serve first and which will receive. Besides this, you can also select the end of the court for both teams. Any one approach is acceptable from both. As:

  • Flip the coin
  • Rock paper scissors
  • Select 1 or 2 and let any other team guess it.

Then both teams have to set their players’ positions as who will be at right and who will be at left in a team. If the player starts the serve, he must be on the court’s right side (even side). At this time, the scorecard is at 0-0.

Now the serving team can make the point, the scorecard will become 1-0. The server player goes to the left, and the other partner will be to the right. He will serve from his left side now. Meanwhile, the returning team will not change their sides. 

If the serving team loses the point, then the upcoming scorecard will be game 1-0. The other team will serve now and call for the score. The notable point is that no team will rotate the position. The server is on the left side, and he will serve from here. 

Why is the server on the left side, not on the right? You may know that score is 1-0.

You serve from the left corner > score is odd

you are at right > score is even

Remember this concept and let the serving team makes a point; the scorecard will show 2-0. Now that same first server is serving. 

Fortunately, there is no second server in the rally scoring, which tends to make the concept easy to understand for beginners. Likewise, the score dictating from the serving side may eliminate the confusion. 

When your first team scores 15 or 21, the tournament ends. So, two points should be different in the total score of both teams. We are showing another fact that, after the 20th point, the score only becomes on the serve. 

The Important Points of Rally Scoring 

  • Every rally gives points to players.
  • In doubles pickleball, when players play the rally-scoring tournament, there is no server no. 1 and 2. Because only one server will play. Meanwhile, each player can enjoy the chance to serve the shot.
  • The right-side of Pickleball Court is “even,” and the left-side is “odd.”
  • The Serving team’s scores determine the side of the court and which serve is coming to be played. (Odd score to the odd side or even score to the even side)
  • When the serving player makes the score point, the same player will change to the other corner of the court, and he will serve. It is an exceptional situation when the teams have to switch sides.
  • Receiving team can make the rally and get the point.
  • A rally game is usually played for 15 or 21 scores with the win by 2 points difference. 

Bottom Line about Rally Scoring in Pickleball

Pros of Rally Scoring

  • A noteworthy advantage is that it makes the gameplay ends more quickly.
  • More players are capable of achieving the chance to play. It’s an ideal sports match for crowded communities or courts, and the game rotates quickly.
  • The Pickleball tournament duration is extremely consistent and predictable in this scoring system. There is more pace for scoring while each point is gained. It’s very opposed to the traditional method, where more points are played without getting scores if no ay player converts these points into the serve. Suppose a traditional round takes 25 minutes to end, along with rally-scoring. Then the game playing time is reduced by 20% almost. It is brought about 4 minutes. 
  • This fast-paced scoring tournament is attractive to viewers. It’s not only to enhance the ticket sales of courts or stadiums but also a vital source of healthy Pickleball broadcasting, among other sports. Though, faster-paced sports are more tempting for televised spectators and viewership. Here, viewership exhibits additional sponsorship opportunities with plenty of flowing money in the sports. 
  • This rally game is easy for players, especially beginners, to track. They can easily remember from which corner (side) of the court the next serve will be played.

Pickleball Singles Scoring


  • The majority of admirers claim that Pickleball founders don’t design the rally-scoring tournament. As per their recommendation, the rally score game should change its basic strategies about players can approach the game. It’s because the strength of the position needs some official debates.
  • The third shot gameplay is more tricky and risky in this scoring system. Because the expert players can sail the net too high or hit the net, and the shot ends up in trouble. Though, the playing team may lose the point along with losing the serve.
  • The beginner players are much suffered in this gameplay. They never improve their Pickleball rules about playing. 
  • It’s not officially implemented in the rulebook of pickleball.


During the rally score game, both teams can win the scores on the rally. On the other hand, side-out scoring, just serving team can get the point on rally creation. 

Moreover, Rally-scoring ends at 15 or 21 points, and side-out scoring ends at 11. 

Badminton, squash, Ping-Pong and Volleyball rely on rally scoring and excellent results. In Pickleball, both the receiver and the server teams can score. 

While playing Volleyball, when a team makes the rally point, gets the score, and players rotate their positions clockwise. 

Final Verdict

The Rally scoring method is not officially implemented for the Pickleball game. Still, it’s associated with pickleball games and important to know what it means and how it works for Pickleball players.

In this gameplay, points are gained by any team that needs to make the rally. The serving and receiving team has the chance to make the rally. However, players love to implement it in their matches. The scoring game in Pickleball is a source of socialism and enjoyment for players. 

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