Aiken Pickleball News

If you need help with anything, send an email to and someone will get back with you. 

We can help you with making and editing court reservations or adding your name to the "Looking for games" list, among other things.   What we cannot tell you is the access code.  That is for our use only.  After 8 pm Wednesday evening, the Sign-up Genius is locked down, requiring an access cod,e while the new time slots for the following week are being added.  The signupgenius is then unlocked after 8 am Thursday morning and an access code is no longer required.  But if you need help with anything else send an email to and one of us will get back to you.  



In October

Open play outside Tuesday and Friday 6-9pm Virginia Acres Park.

Funday Monday at Odell Weeks,  0845-11am -   Click here for more information.  No sign up required.

Wednesday Drills with LBJ at Gregg Park.    Beginners slots still available.   Click here to sign up.  

Player Rating Session, Need at least three players to sign up.  Click here to sign up.
No indoor play at Odell on Wednesdays for the month of October.   
New Players Clinic at Odell Weeks, Saturday, October 7th.  All slots taken..
New Players Clinic at Gregg Park, Saturday, October 14th. One slot still available.  Click here to sign up .
Outdoor Round Robin at Virginia Acres, Saturday, October 21st.  Click here to sign up.
Volunteers also need for RR.  Click here .
Juniors Round Robin at Virginia Acres, Saturday evening, October 21st.  Click here to sign up.
Over the Horizon
10th Annual Palmetto Doubles Invitational Tournament - August 1-4, 2024 - SAVE THE DATE!




What Is Rally Scoring in Pickleball & How Does It Work? 

Currently, the sport of pickleball uses what is known as “side out scoring.” In other words, you can only score a point on the pickleball court when you are serving.  To date, there has been some discussion in the pickleball world of changing the scoring structure to what is known as “rally scoring.” In rally scoring, a point is scored on every single rally—regardless of who serves the pickleball.

Rally Scoring

Each partner on a team determines which side of the pickleball court (the left side or the right side) to start on. Then, each partner remains on those respective sides throughout the entire game. (However, a team may switch sides of the pickleball court on a time out or end change.)

The team that serves first will start the game. The player on the right-hand side of the court will serve first (serving crosscourt).

If the serving team wins the rally, then they will win a point and continue to serve. However, the partner on the left-hand side of the court will serve (but, remember, the players will stay on their respective sides of the court). The serve alternates between the players on the left- and right-hand side of the court (without the players changing positions) until they lose a rally.

If the serving team loses the rally, then the receiving team will win a point and the receiving team will win the serve. To note, there is no second server (so the score will only be two numbers—the serving team score and the receiving team score—and there will be no third number for the server number).

Which player will serve on a team is determined by the score of the serving team. If the score is even, then the player on the right-hand side of the court will serve. If the score is odd, then the player on the left-hand side of the court will serve. So, for example, if the score is 0-0, and the receiving team wins the rally, then the receiving team will win a point and the right to serve. The score will now be 1-0, so the player on the left-side of the receiving team will serve next.

The teams will change ends of the pickleball court when a team reaches 11 points.

The first team to 21 points wins (win by 2 points). However, points after the 20th point may only be scored on the serve. Further, if one team is at 20 points, the other team's points will "freeze" at 18 points, and such other team may only score points when serving.

Again, players will remain on their respective sides (the left side and the right side) for the entire game, unless there is a time out or an end change (in which case the players on a team could change sides). A point is scored on every rally, regardless of who has served (except the final point, which the final point may only be won when serving). Whichever team wins the rally, wins a point. If the serving team wins the point, then the players alternate serves until they lose a rally/point. Then, the serve goes to the receiving team, and the player that serves will be based on the serving team’s score. The final point (or points after the 20th point (or 18th point for the opposing team)) may only be scored on the serve. First team to 21 points wins (win by 2 points)!

When play is limited because of court time, games can be first to 15, win by 2, or even  first to 11, win by 2.

There are a few arguments for and against using rally scoring in pickleball. The arguments in favor of rally scoring generally include: (1) faster, more exciting games; (2) more predictable game times, which is important for marketing the sport for national broadcast and reaching a wider audience; (3) simpler or easier for a beginner or newbie to the sport to understand; (4) more accurate ratings of players because every point counts; and (5) better format for gambling, which some believe is important to continue to grow the sport.

The arguments against rally scoring generally include: (1) rally scoring alters the delicate balance between the serving team and the receiving team, so it may change the essence of the game and/or result in unfair outcomes; (2) many sports only permit you to score on “offense” (i.e., serving), so it could be confusing if a team can score a point when on “defense” (i.e., receiving); (3) it could be confusing to change the scoring system at this point in the sport’s evolution; (4) it favors the underdog by encouraging comebacks (assuming that side out scoring is used for the final point (as described below)); and (5) it takes away from and/or changes the strategy of pickleball (for instance, there may be less reason to stack on the pickleball court and, as a result, no reason to “unwind” the stack).

More research into scoring formats for the sport of pickleball is in the works. However, the effects of rally scoring may really be tested during certain Major League Pickleball events and most of the pro team tournaments are using Rally Scoring.

Article by Stacie Townsend


The 3.0 Outdoor Mixed Doubles Summer League played their last matches on Thursday which determined the Gold Medal winners.  Click here for the final results.  Photos and results are at the bottom of League page - check out the trophies!.


Aiken Pickleball Inc is hosting a  New Player Clinic indoors at the Gregg Park Civic Center on Saturday,  October  14th.  Cost is $10.  One slot still available. Schedule as follows:

830 - 9am - Check-in at front desk

9 - 10am  - New Players Clinic Instruction

10 - 11am -  Practice Play

In this sixty minute clinic you will learn everything you need to get started playing the sport of pickleball.  Please wear tennis shoes and athletic attire, and bring something to drink.  Balls and paddles provided. Class limited to eight.  

Click here to reserve a slot.  Cost is $10 per person payable at the Gregg Park front desk.  Non-members are welcome to attend but must  pay a  $10 daily facility fee.

Fee also includes attendance at a two hour New Players Practice session  the afternoon of Saturday, October 28th at the Odell Weeks Recreation Center.  



The minutes for the Leadership Team Meeting held on September 18th have been posted. Items discussed were an update on - the October 21 outdoor tournament and need for volunteers, monthly activities such as Drills with LBJ and the New Players Clinics and Practices, the status of our 5013C application, feedback from player reps and much more.  Go to Forums or Click here to read the full report.


The next New Players Pickleball Clinic at Odell Weeks will be  on Saturday, October 7th. The clinic is for people new to the game of pickleball.  Clinic is full.  Schedule as follows:  

9am - Check-in at front desk

915 am - Court setup 

930-1030 Instruction 

1030am - 12pm -  Practice Play 

Clinic will include proper court position, how to keep score, how to make the transition from tennis and other racquet sports to pickleball and much more.  Players should wear tennis shoes and bring something to drink.   Clinic will be held indoors on Courts 1 & 2  in Gym 2, at Odell Weeks. Balls and paddles provided.  Maximum 8 players.  

Cost is $15 per person which includes the daily access fee.   Sign up and pay at the Odell Weeks front desk. Bring your receipt to the clinic.  Note:  Fee also covers attendance at the New Players Practice session scheduled for Saturday, October 14th..


Click here to sign up for the tournament.  Draws are starting to fill.

There will also be a juniors tournament the same day.  Click here to register for the juniors.

Volunteers are also needed.  Click here to volunteer.


Several of you have asked who Nelson Swartzentruber was.  Nelson started playing pickleball about the time he turned seventy, eight years ago.  He enjoyed golfing, kayaking and spending time with his family. Like many of us, he became an avid pickleball player.  His greatest passion, however, was his mission work.  Throughout the years, Nelson traveled to poverty-stricken third world countries to help those in need.

Unbeknownst to most of us, Nelson had Parkinson's Disease.  A devoted member of Hillview Baptist Church, he introduced the game of pickleball to others with Parkinson's and the church supported this endeavor. Thanks to Nelson, there is now an active pickleball program for players with Parkinson's.

If anyone has any suggestions of other worthy causes for donations from future events, please let us know via email  at  Thank you 


I visited Nelson at Aiken Hospital four days before he passed away with complications from Leikemia.  I asked him if he thought there was pickleball in heaven.  His response was "you betcha".



by Lisa Barrett-Johnson

My love for this Aiken Pickleball community continues to grow as I get to know all of you. If you don't know me yet, I am making my way around the courts at Odell and Gregg to introduce myself and maybe make you laugh. I have been playing here for about four years and teaching here for four months. I so thoroughly enjoy working with all of you. I would like to talk about something that I consider very important to our community and that is this: Inclusivity.

Let's be more kind, generous, and inclusive when making our social games. Let's be more cohesive and open-minded at drop-in play. Let's be more accepting of each other's faults and mistakes on and off the court.

 As Michael Jackson said, "I'm starting with the man in the mirror." Let it start with me, and if I am doing it wrong, let me know. I live in Augusta, Georgia but my home; my community; and my Pickleball world is in Aiken and Graniteville. Let's make it the best place to play, and make everyone feel a part of it.