Rule Submission TitleRally Scoring for Singles (and Doubles)
USAP Board VoteHold for further study
USAP Rules Committee VotePassed with modification
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonRally scoring appears to work well for singles and should be an option that Tournament Directors may choose. For doubles, there are several variations that have been used or experimented with but there has not been sufficient experience to conclude that any one method is clearly superior. The best approach at this time is to select a method, adopt it as a provisional rule and evaluate its use throughout the year. It is anticipated that if experience early on indicates the need for adjustments to the method that mid-year revisions will be considered. The rules committee has selected, as the starting point, the method that modifies the fewest conventional rules of pickleball as possible.
Existing Rule #4.F - 4.G
Proposed Rule Change (edited)

4.F. Scoring.
4.F.1. Traditional Scoring. A singles player or doubles team scores points only when serving. A point is scored by serving the ball and winning the rally. A point will be awarded to a singles player or doubles team when a technical foul is assessed against the opposing side and their score is 0.

4.F.2. Rally Scoring for Singles. A singles player scores a point for winning a rally whether serving or receiving. All other rules for singles play apply.

(Provisional Rule) 4.F.3. Rally Scoring for Doubles. A doubles team scores a point for winning a rally whether serving or receiving. If the serving team loses a rally, the receiving team scores a point, changes change sides to correspond to the team's score, and a side out occurs. Rally scoring games shall be win by one or two points, as determined by the Tournament Director. All other rules for doubles play apply.

Revise Section 1, 3rd paragraph to read:
In traditional scoring, points are scored only by the serving side when the server or the server’s team wins the rally, or the opposing side commits a fault. In rally scoring, a point is scored by the team that wins the rally whether serving or receiving. The server continues to serve, alternating service courts, until the serving side loses the rally or commits a fault.

Add an exception to 4.B.3. to read:
4.B.3 … Exception: In rally scoring, when the serving team loses a rally, a side out shall occur.

Add an exception to 4.B.6. to read:
4.B.6 … Exception: In rally scoring, when the serving team loses a rally, a side out shall occur. There is no “Second Server” in rally scoring.

Add an exception to 4.B.6.c. to read:
4.B.6.c … Exception: In rally scoring, there is only one server per side out.

Add an exception to 4.B.6.d. to read:
4.B.6.d … Exception: In rally scoring, there is only one server per side out.

Add an exception to 4.B.6.e, to read:
4.B.6.e. … Exception: In rally scoring, when the serving team loses a rally, a side out shall occur. There is no “Second Server” in rally scoring.

Add an exception to 4.G. to read:
4.G. Points. … Exception: In rally scoring, a point is scored by winning a rally whether serving or receiving.

Add an exception to 4.J. to read:
4.J. Calling the Score in Doubles Matches. … Exception: In rally scoring, the proper sequence for calling the score is server score then receiver as two numbers (e.g., zero – one).

Add an exception to 12.B. to read:
12.B. Tournament Scoring Options. … Exception: Rally scoring for doubles shall be win by one or two points, as determined by the Tournament Director.

Add an exception to 12.C.5. to read:
12.C.5. Non-Pool Play. … Exception: Rally scoring games in doubles shall be win by one or two points, as determined by the Tournament Director.

Add an exception to 13.C.5.e. to read:
13.C.5.e … Exception: In rally scoring for doubles matches, after the server loses the rally, call “Side out, point” then the new score of the team that won the rally.

Add an exception to 12.F.6.a., first paragraph, to read:
12.F.6.a – 1st paragraph: Exception: Rally scoring games in doubles shall be win by one or two points, as determined by the Tournament Director.

Proposed Rule Change

4.F. Scoring.

4.F.1. Traditional Scoring. A singles player or doubles team scores points only when serving. A point is scored by serving the ball and winning the rally.

4.F.2. Rally Scoring for Singles. A singles player scores a point for winning a rally whether serving or receiving.

(Optional Consideration) 4.F.3. Rally Scoring for Doubles. A doubles team scores a point for winning a rally whether serving or receiving. The server and receiver must position according to their team's score. If the receiving team scores a point, the receiver will change sides to correspond to the team's score and will continue to be the correct receiver for the second serve.

4.F.4. Penalty Scoring. A point will be awarded to a singles player or doubles team when a technical foul is assessed against the opposing side and their score is 0.

Original Rule Text

4.F. Scoring. A singles player or doubles team scores points only when serving. Points may also be awarded when technical fouls are called against the opposing side and their score is 0.
4.G. Points. A point is scored by serving the ball and winning the rally.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

This proposal is submitted primarily to suggest rally scoring for singles. Rally scoring allows a point to be awarded for every rally played, significantly reducing the number of side outs that can be experienced in a singles game. Singles play is more physically demanding on players than doubles play. Rally scoring for singles would result in shorter match times and allow those players playing multiple events during a tournament to conserve more energy for their other events. It would also eliminate the monotony that can be experienced by officials, players, and spectators when traditional scoring is used and there are many rallies played without the server scoring.

However, if rally scoring is being considered as an approved option for doubles play in 2024, please consider the version proposed in 4.F.3 above, which retains the features of: (1) two servers for each team's service rotation (except at the start of a game) and (2) correct positioning for the server and receiver corresponds to the team's score (players change position when a point is scored by their team).

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

If singles players alternate scoring 1 point to a score of 9-9 using traditional scoring, it takes 35 or 36 rallies. To alternate scoring 1 point to a score of 9-9 using rally scoring, 18 rallies are played.

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID1214
Date CreatedMay 15, 2023
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