The rules state that you should not serve until the receiver is ready and the score has been called. In a tournament, if you serve before the referee has called the score, they will stop play and recall the score.
When you see that the receiver is ready, you should call the score, then take a breath – a moment to hear any protest that you have called the wrong score. If all is quiet, then go ahead with your serve. You must serve within 10 seconds of calling the score.
In tournaments, if you think the wrong score has been called, keep playing! If you stop playing and you are wrong, it is a fault against you. Once the rally is over you can correct the score.
During our social play, if the server announces the score and waits a moment for any corrections, you should voice any questions at that time. If the server is too impatient and serves while calling the score, just play the point and then discuss any questions about erroneous scores before the next point is played. Don’t let a wrong score call distract you from focusing on playing the point well.
Bev writes a weekly email blast for our pickleball club. She delivers the rules with clarity and a sense of humor. If you have a rules question, post it in the comments below.
Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)