What is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game?

What is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game?

What is the starting score of a doubles pickleball game? This question is often asked by those just starting to play the game. In this blog post, we will discuss the scoring rules, service turn sequence and provide an answer to the question above. We will also discuss some of the player’s most common scoring mistakes.

So if you’re looking to improve your pickleball skills, make sure to read this post!

What is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game

The pickleball serving rules are unlike any other racket sport. In doubles, players have their server numbers, and the score is called in three parts. The scoring sequence goes as follows: your score, the opponent’s score, and finally, the server number. A helpful way to remember the order is by remembering “me,” “you,” and “who.” Thus, the starting score will always be 0-0-2.

But why does every doubles pickleball score start with 0-0-2 instead of 0-0-1? Down below, we will explain the rationale.

Why Does the Pickleball Score Start with 0-0-2?

This rule can sometimes be confusing, especially if you’re new to pickleball. At the start of a doubles game, the first team that serves only has one service turn, meaning if the serving team loses the rally, then the serve goes to the opponent.

After this first fault, each side has two chances to serve(one for each player. In pickleball, each player on a team serves before the opposing team has its turn to serve.

The rule was implemented to ensure that the team who serves first doesn’t have an unfair advantage. Only the serving team can score, so only one player from the first team gets to serve at first. Both players can serve when the service goes to the opponent’s side.

Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball

Overview of pickleball scoring rules

Let’s talk about the basics of scoring and service order for both singles and doubles. Remember, only the serving team scores a point. If the serving team commits two faults, the other team will receive the service and have the opportunity to start scoring.

The serving team’s score is called first, followed by their opponent’s score, and then the serving order number. Here is the singles rules outline:

      • Most games are played to 11 points, but games may be 15 or 21 points in tournament settings.

      • To win a match, you must have a two-point difference (such as 10-12 or 9-11.) 

      • Maintain your position behind the baseline when serving. 

      • Only the serving team can score points. 

      • The order of the singles rotation always starts on the right side of the court (even side).

      • If the server scores, they move to the left side of the court (the odd side).

      • The server diagonally hits the ball over the net to their opponent’s court.

      • The ball must land on the other side of the non-volley zone when serving. (Note: If the ball hits any line in/on the non-volley zone during service, it’s a fault.) Learn all the pickleball line rules here.

      • All serve’s in pickleball must be below the server’s waist and delivered with an underhand motion.

      • Each player is allowed one server unless there is a let (The ball hits the net and falls into the opponent’s court). Then the service is replayed.

      • In singles, the score is called in two numbers: the servers and the opponents. The server calls out the score at the start of each point. Start with the server’s score and then your opponents. 

    Pickleball Scoring Rules & Serving Position Doubles

    The same rules apply to doubles pickleball scoring, but there are other things to note. 

        • Both players on a team serve before the service goes to the other side of the court.

        • The players keep switching sides from right to left until a fault, then the next person on that team servers.

        • Only the serving team switches sides from left to the right, not the receiving team (even to the odd side)

        • The game always starts with one player serving on the first-serving team. If that player makes a mistake, their opponents then get to serve. Scores are called in three parts: first, the server score, the opposing team’s score, and the server number (Remember: Me – You – Who)

        • The server number only applies to one service round. Once the ball returns to your side, whoever is on the right side of the court is the first server.

      If you still need clarification, I have a pickleball scoring-for-dummies post or our complete guide to scoring and service order.

      Common Mistakes Players make

      Common Mistakes Players Make When Scoring

      There are a few common mistakes that new players make when keeping score and serving. A mistake I often see people make is forgetting the service order; this can be easy to do because the scoring rules could be more straightforward.

      Remember who is the first server on your team, so you don’t get mixed up. If playing doubles and you are the first team, they will be designated server two for the game’s duration.

      Players commonly make mistakes by calling out the scores incorrectly. Make sure to call out the serving team’s score, the receiver score, and the server number if you are playing doubles. Continue to play until a fault is committed, and then correct the score. The USAPA rules say that If you stop playing before the end of a point, that is a fault.

      Another mistake beginners make the receiving team switching sides with the serving team, and they should remain in the same spots throughout the opposing team’s service.


      Four Tips to Remember the Server Score and Service Order

      1. Always Serve from the right court. Your team score determines the side you should be on. You should be on the right service court if your score is even. If your score is odd, you should be on the left side of the service court.

      2. You don’t only serve twice; players get to keep serving if their team scores a point. Once both team members commit a fault, the ball goes to the other team.

      3. If you start out serving, the score will always be even when you’re on the right side.

      4. Have one player on the team where a wristband to remember your server numbers!

      In Conclusion

      In this blog post, we discussed the scoring rules for pickleball and provided an answer to the question: We also discussed some of the players’ most common scoring mistakes. We hope this post was helpful and gave you a better understanding of pickleball’s serving and scoring rules. To summarize, remember:

      The starting score of a doubles pickleball game is always 0–0-2, with the serving team serving from the right side of the court (even side). The serving team will switch sides if they win a point or commit a fault. The serving team must call out the serving team’s score, the other team’s score, and the server number. Both players’ scores are called out in singles before serving each point. 

      Remembering the serving order and keeping track of the scores can help you improve your game! Good luck out there, and let me know if you have questions in the comments below.