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

News Stacie Townsend 05-03-2020

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!


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