Explaining the call of score at the start of the Pickleball game

by Michael Black

The score is always called before a serve and it consists of 3 numbers. The opposition score (always called first) which at the start of the game is always 0 (zero), then your score which at the start of the game is always 0 (zero) and then your server number which in the opening serve will be 2. Hence the call - Zero Zero two (0-0-2)

In doubles play of course you have two servers, 1 and 2.

Now for the confusing bit because the first play only has one server. Why? Because that's the rules and that is all you have to know as to why.

So knowing that there is only one server for the side that opens play in the first play and that every time after that there will be two servers per side and the opposition side takes serve after server 2 has lost their serve, it stands to reason and common sense that the 1st server would be called as 2 (not one) because after #2 serve is lost the serve moves to the opposition. (makes sense yes?)

I promise that is only confusing at first, but it’s important to note that the player number is always announced as “2” in the very first service turn of the game – even though they are the first server! They will commence serve from their right side of the court and serve diagonally across the court.

If they win the point from their serve they will continue to serve until they lose and serve then moves to the opposition.

The opposition will of course then have two servers as your side will from that point on.

Remember to always voice the score (3 numbers) before play of serve. Your opponents score, then your score and then your server number.

Regards Michael.
PS: Great Pickleball Website

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Aug 14, 2022
Starting the game server 002
by: Anonymous

If a Pickelball game start with 0 0 2, what would happen with the first server score # after winning the first serve of the game…does he continues as server #2 for the rest of the game ? Thank your assistance !

Sep 01, 2021
Announcing the score NEW
by: Anonymous

The writer of the article is incorrect. The server announces his team’s score, then the receiving team’s score and finally the server number

Mar 06, 2021
Score Announcement NEW
by: VegasDJ

Okay, my three friends and I decide to play pickle-ball one morning and I’m the one opening the game with the first serve. I call out "Zero, zero, two!" and swing my paddle upward, firmly lobbing the ball into the diagonal court from me...

Yeah, say anything you want about my mental acuity, but it makes no sense whatsoever that I’m serving first and therefore I’m "server two", regardless of the insistence of this article that it’s completely logical. Although, I should probably disclose that I’ve only been playing for about a year at this point, and only one morning a week.


Oct 23, 2017
Well Said
by: Tom

Thanks Michael - that explains a part of the game that is nearly always confusing for new players very well.
And thanks for the website compliment -
If you would like to see anything else in particular here let me know and will look in to writing something about it.

Cheers Tom

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