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Pickleball Rules to Know - What to Do When the Wrong Score Is Called

by Stacie Townsend 6 Comments

Pickleball Rules to Know - What to Do When the Wrong Score Is Called | Pickler Pickleball

Have you ever been on the pickleball courts, and the server (or the referee) called the wrong score before serving the pickleball? I think it is safe to say every pickleball player has, as common questions on the pickleball court could include: What is the score? Who is the server? What day of the week is it? Who are you people? (*kidding*)

With that said, Rule 4.K of the 2020 Official Rulebook for USA Pickleball is a good rule to know on the pickleball courts. Rule 4.K provides:

  • If the wrong score is called by the server (or the referee), any player on the pickleball court can stop play, and ask for the correct score to be recalled, before the return of serve is hit.
    • If play is stopped before the return of serve is hit, and the score was called incorrectly, then the server (or the referee) will recall the correct score and re-serve the pickleball with no penalty.
    • However, if play is stopped before the return of serve is hit, but the score was called correctly, then the player who stopped to challenge the score will have committed a fault and will lose the rally. 
  • If a player on the pickleball court stops play after the return of serve is hit, then the player who stopped play will have committed a fault and will lose the rally. 

To note, this rule regarding the wrong score being called is more important in tournament or competitive play, than recreational play. Recreational pickleball players tend to be more forgiving, and tend to generally play on. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the proper rules of the sport of pickleball to avoid controversy on the pickleball court.

Have you ever called the wrong score, or been on the pickleball court when another player has called the wrong score? What did you do? Share with us in the comments below!




Stacie Townsend
Stacie Townsend

Author



6 Responses

Pickler
Pickler

December 29, 2020

To respond to Karin’s question – there are no rules other than a general rule of good sportsmanship and fair play. If there is a disagreement as to the score, then, in recreational play, that must be resolved between the players using those guiding principles of good sportsmanship and fair play. If there is a disagreement as to the score in tournament play, then players may elevate the disagreement by requesting a referee or discussing with the tournament director.

Karin
Karin

December 29, 2020

Today I feel a player crossed the line when she and her husband didn’t believe we had the score we said we did right before side out went to them. We had 8 points. When they called the score as 6-2, we said that we had 8. They both argued that there was no way we had 8 points. We told them we were sure we did. My partner had been serving for quite a few shots and had just called the score before we had a side out. They refused to believe us, and just served the ball calling 6-2 as the score. I was pretty upset. At the end of the game, I told them I did not think it was cool to refute a score that the other team was sure was correct. They are basically calling us liars and to go ahead and just call the score as what they thought it was for us was very maddening. Any official rules?

Rodger
Rodger

May 05, 2020

What happens when the score is called incorrectly but not discovered until after the point has been played?

Dave Kempf
Dave Kempf

May 04, 2020

We simply correct the score after the incorrect score was called before starting the next point. Since incorrect score calls have seldom, if ever, been intentional we’ve always been able to agree on the correct score.

Dave Kempf
Dave Kempf

May 04, 2020

We simply correct the score after the incorrect score was called before starting the next point. Since incorrect score calls have seldom, if ever, been intentional we’ve always been able to agree on the correct score.

Bob Graham
Bob Graham

May 03, 2020

I just waited a few seconds while looking at the ref and the ref realized that she called the wrong score, she called the correct score and play resumed .

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