- Points are scored only on the serve; the receiving side cannot score a point.
- At the start of the game, the player on the right side (even court) serves to the diagonally opposite court.
- If a point is scored, the server moves to the left side (odd court) and serves to the diagonally opposite court.
- Players on the serving side continue to move from the right to left or left to right each time a point is scored.
- Players on the serving team do not alternate sides unless a point is scored. The receiving side never alternates sides.
- The first server continues to serve until the serving team loses a rally by committing a fault; then the serve passes to the second server on the team. [See * below for an exception]
- When the second server loses the serve, the serve goes to the other team and the player on the right serves first. That pattern continues throughout the game.
Calling the Score:
<> The score should be called as three numbers.
<> Proper sequence for calling the score is: server score, receiver score, then, for doubles only, the server number: 1 or 2.
<> To start a match, the score will be called as: zero - zero – two*
- The server number (1 or 2) applies for that service turn only. Whoever is on the right side (depending on the score) when the team gets the serve back is the first server for that service turn only. The next time that the team gets the serve back, it might be the other player that is on the right and is therefore the first server for that service turn only. Beginning players often mistakenly assume that the player keeps the same server number throughout the game.
- *First Server Exception: To minimize the advantage of being the first team to serve in the game, only one player, the one on the right side, gets to serve on the first service turn of the game. Since the serve goes to the other side when that player loses the serve, that player is designated as the second server. Therefore, at the start of the game, the score should be called, “0-0-2.” The “2” indicates the second server and means that the serve goes to the other side when the serve is lost.
- When a team’s score is even, the player who served first in that game must be on the right (even) side of the court and on the left (odd) side when the score is odd. Or, expressed alternately, when the first server of that game is on the right side of the court, that team’s score should be even. If this is not the case, then either the players are positioned on the wrong side of the court or the called score is inaccurate.
- Singles scoring is very similar to doubles except that there is no second server.
- The serve is always done from the right side when the server’s score is even and from the left side when the server’s score is odd.
- It is the server’s score that determines serving position, not the score of the receiver. The receiver lines up on the right or left side according to the server’s score.
- The score is called simply as: server score, receiver score.