Currently, the sport of pickleball uses what is known as “side out scoring.” In other words, you can only score a point on the pickleball court when you are serving. In rally scoring, a point is scored on every single rally—regardless of who serves the pickleball.
Pros of Rally Scoring in Pickleball
- The main advantage of rally scoring in pickleball is that it makes pickleball games end much quicker. This is ideal for community or crowded courts because the games rotate out faster, and more players get a chance to play.
- The fast-paced rally-scoring games are more suitable for spectators. Not only would this increase ticket sales for stadium seating at pickleball facilities nationwide but this is a very important point as it relates to the growth of the sport’s broadcasting. Faster paced games that make things more exiting for spectators would make the sport more appealing for televised viewership. More viewership means more sponsorship opportunities and more money flowing into the sport
- With rally scoring, pickleball game duration is more predictable and consistent. There is a more steady scoring pace when each point is scored as opposed to traditional scoring which allows for many points to be played without score if nobody is able to convert their points on serve. For instance, if a traditional scoring pickleball game takes around 25 minutes to end, with rally scoring, this game duration is reduced by approximately 20%. This translates to about 4 minutes.
- The rally scoring system makes it easier for players to track and remember from which side of the court the next pickleball serve should take place.
Cons of Rally Scoring in Pickleball
- The majority of pickleball players claim that rally scoring is not how pickleball founders designed this game. They claim that rally scoring is a non-beneficial system, and it will need a change in the game strategies of how players approach the pickleball game. There is debate around the strength of this position.
- Playing the third shot in pickleball can be tricky and may start to feel more risky under a rally scoring system because a player can easily hit the ball into the net or sail it too high and end up in trouble. A team would risk losing a point instead of just losing the serve.
- It is claimed that the intermediate and beginner players suffer in rally-scoring pickleball games. This makes it hard for them to improve their pickleball gaming skills. For instance, a team or player has the possibility of losing a point at every rally. Less experienced pickleball players would find it hard to practice their shots as much during the whole game.
- Due to many controversies surrounding the rally scoring concept in pickleball, it has not been officially implemented in pickleball.
Consider trying this out, especially when the courts are busy. It speeds up games, doesn’t take away from the excitement and is still fair to both teams.
MLP Rally Scoring Recreational Rally Scoring