What is the rally scoring system?

Rally scoring is one of the commonly used methods to score players in racket sports. Its use is notable in the sports of volleyball, squash, table tennis and badminton. Lately, some pickleball tournaments have adopted the rally scoring system.

The rally scoring system is highlighted by the fact that a player can win a point irrespective of whether they served or not. This system is a traditional or conventional model of scoring in racquet sports. Compared to side out scoring, where players can win points only on their serve, the rally scoring system also results in a faster paced game as the scoreboard is ticking after every single point.

The shorter length of the match due to the rally scoring format has led to many sports pundits believe that a player’s athletic abilities are not entirely tested. While side out scoring emphasises on how well a player is able to defend their serve, rally scoring tests the player’s abilities on the return.

Rally scoring also holds the advantage for being easier to recollect the scores after each point. It is also fruitful for the spectators who can enjoy multiple matches in a given frame of time. However, rally scoring has often been discouraged for beginners as a school of thought believes that the system does not allow the player to develop their skill completely. In doubles, if the serving side loses a point, then the serve for the next point will be done for the opposing pair and not the partner of the pair who lost the point.

Rally scoring is thus a faster and easy to adapt scoring system for racket sports.

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