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Pickleball Scoring Rules: A SelkirkTV Instructional Video Breakdown

By Kyle Whatnall

on Apr 19, 2023

In this blog, we'll be breaking down a Selkirk TV YouTube video featuring professional pickleball instructor Mark Renneson, in which he explains the ins and outs of the pickleball scoring system, clarifying its unique features and helping you improve your scorekeeping.

How Pickleball Scoring Differs from Tennis

Unlike tennis, where points can be won by either the serving or receiving team, in pickleball, only the serving team has the opportunity to earn points. Mark Renneson breaks down this critical difference, emphasizing the importance of understanding this aspect to excel in the game.

Key Points to Remember

  1. The Serving Rotation: Renneson explains the serving rotation, in which the first server serves until they lose a rally. It then moves to the second server, who serves until they lose a rally, resulting in a "side out." The rotation continues in this pattern throughout the game.

  2. The Scoring Format: In pickleball, you'll hear three numbers when a score is called. For example, 5-6-1 signifies that the serving team has 5 points, the receiving team has 6 points, and the serving team is on their first server.

  3. The Exception at the Game's Start: Renneson highlights an exception to the serving rotation rule at the beginning of the game. The first server serves and continues to do so as they score points. Once they lose their serve, it's automatically a side out, and the standard serving rotation resumes.

  4. Games, Sets, and Matches: Pickleball games are typically played to 11 points, with the best 2 out of 3 games determining the winner. Some major tournaments may play best 3 out of 5 games to decide the match winner.

Mark's clear explanations and insights into the game's scoring nuances will help you stay on track with your scoring in ways that are easy to digest and remember, allowing you to hop right into the fun!

Be sure to download the SelkirkTV app and subscribe to the SelkirkTV YouTube Channel for more of the best educational pickleball content.  

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