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Rally Scoring Tips: How to Win at Pickleball's New Format

by JB Jones on

Rally point scoring is now the format of Major League Pickleball as of the 2023 season. This means the game is going to look a little different if you tune in to those events.

Rally scoring in a nutshell means that a point is awarded at the end of every rally. This is different from side-out, or "traditional scoring," where a point can only be scored by the serving team.

Now that MLP has adopted the format, recreational players are beginning to experiment with it.

Here are some tips for players when testing it out or playing in tournaments that use rally pickleball scoring:

Don't give away points. Every rally that you lose results in a point for the other team. It's time to pull back on the wild third-shot drive that works 30% of the time.

Instead, lean on the consistent and high-percentage drop more often.

Get comfortable. In rally scoring, you pick your side of the court and stick with it. The right side player serves when your score is even and the left side player when your score is odd.

This allows you to get comfortable on one side of the court. Find an advantage and use it over and over again.

Momentum. The returning team has the advantage in pickleball thanks to the two bounce rule (the ball must bounce on each side of the net before it can be played out of the air).

As a result, the returning team can get to the kitchen faster and win a majority of points.

Read Next: 4 Tips to Accelerate Your Pickleball Progress

The serve ends up changing hands between team A and team B between most points. That makes any run or string of consecutive points a huge factor.

Ride that momentum wave if you're winning, and right the ship quickly with fundamental high percentage play if you're losing.

Give rally scoring a try to see if you're made for MLP, or remain a pickleball purist.

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JB Jones

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