Pickleball Scoring Basics-Me, You, Who?
I can’t tell you how many times somebody has looked at me and said 0-0-2? What the heck does that mean? Often, the hardest part about teaching somebody pickleball is showing them how to score.
I sympathize with them when I first started playing this game. I was confused by pickleball scoring. That’s when a friend looked at me and said, “it’s easy; just use Me You and Who.”
To better understand pickleball scoring basics, you need to know a couple of rules.
A loss of the rally resulting in a point for the opposing team, a loss of serve (from the first serve to
second, serve), or a side out.
Continuous play that occurs after the service and before a fault.
When a singles player or doubles team loses its serve(s), and service is awarded to the opposing side.
The right side of the court is the even side, and the left side of the court is the odd
After a side out or at the start of the game, the serve always starts on the even side.
Now about those three numbers in a pickleball score.
This is where my friend suggested I use Me, You and Who.
The serving teams score. Say this number first.
The servers opponents score. Say this number second.
Which server on the serving team is serving. Say this number third.
It’s usually the WHO of the pickleball score that confuses people. Here’s a couple of helpful hints.
The server will be either a one or two.
The number is determined by which court the player is standing in when the side-out occurs.
After a side out, the server which is standing on the right or even side of the court will serve first.
If the serving team wins a rally, they score a point.
After winning a point, the serving team switches sides of the court, i.e., even to odd, and the same person serves again.
As long as that team wins a point, the same person continues to serve.
They will remain the number 1 server in that series until the serving team loses a rally by committing a fault.
When the team commits a fault and loses a rally, the other player on the team gets a chance to serve.
Once the serving team commits another fault and loses a rally, it’s a side out for their opponents, and the same sequence begins.
Just remember, when a side-out occurs, the WHO starts all over. Whoever the player is that’s standing in the even or the right side of the box is server one, and the odd side will be server two, for that serving series.
There is one exception to each team getting two serves. That’s the first service series of the game.
A game begins with the player from one of the teams, usually randomly picked serving from the even side of the court. Since it’s the first service series of the game, that team will only have one player on the team serve, so that player is server two.
All games begin with a score of 0-0-2
When pickleball was invented, they borrowed rules from other sports. Scoring was adapted from badminton, which at the time had similar rules in place. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about following the lead of most sports, including badminton and changing pickleball to rally scoring. It would speed the game up, decreasing waiting time, and making it easier for televised matches. (Look for a video coming shortly on rally scoring so you can give an educated opinion on what you like better)
The future remains to be seen, but in the meantime….. Me, You, and Who will help you track the three numbers in a pickleball score.
If you’re new here, check out the beginner’s playlist, it’s designed with you in mind.
Comment below if you have any tricks which made pickleball scoring easier.
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)
Like what you see?
Subscribe to the free newsletter today for more exclusive pickleball tips.