Tennis rules scores
Consider the difference between a game, set, and a match. The match is the term that refers to the entire playing time of tennis. A match is comprised of either the best of three sets, or the best of five sets (depending on your league). Each set is played best out of six games.Know how each game is scored. One player serves per game. A game is generally won when a player (or team if you are playing doubles) wins four points. A point is started when one player serves, and the opponent hits it back and the point continues in a back and forth manner until one player hits it out or in the net. Keep in mind that a game might take seven points, or more, to end if, for instance, one player wins three points and another wins four. Each point is given its own value for each player:
- 1st point won is "15 points"
- 2nd point won is "30 points"
- 3rd point won is "40 points"
- 4th point won makes GAME (signifying the end of the game)
- If you have won two points and your opponent has won one, you would call out “30-15”.
- If your opponent has won three points and you have won one, you would call out “15-40”.
- If you have won four games, and your opponent has won two, you would call out “4-2” before beginning your “service game” (the game you serve the ball in, rather than receive).
- If you both have a score of 40 to 40, then you have to win two points in a row in order to win the game. (See Step 3 below for more details).
- If you both have won 5 games, and the score is 5 to 5, then you will need to win two more games in a row to make it 7-5 in order to win the set.
- If it is 5 to 5 and you win the next game, the score becomes 6-5. If you lose the next game and the score is 6-6, you will need to win 8 to 6 in order to win the set. Some sets have had scores of 12 to 10 or even higher.
Know when the match has been won (or lost). Depending on the league you are playing in, you will either need to win three out of five sets, or two out of three sets. However, like with games and sets, you must win by two. That means that matches can sometimes be five out of seven sets, or even seven out of nine sets if you and your opponent keep tying.Know how to write down the score after the match. On a scorecard, you should write the score of each set down. You should always write your score first. For example, if you won the match, your scorecard might look like this:
- 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. That means that you won the first set 6 games to 3; you lost the second set 4 games to 6; and you won the third set 6 games to 2.