Rally Scoring

Rally Scoring

At a recent LPRT tournament it was mentioned that the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) is considering going to rally scoring beginning in 2022. I wondered how this would work and so I applied this to the finals of our last IRT event in Florida (Note: Tim Baghurst also did this for an LPRT match). I watched the match and kept rally score.

The IRT final was Conrrado Moscoso against Lalo Portillo, with Conrrado winning in a exciting tiebreaker.

Game 1: Conrrado won 15-9 using conventional scoring. The game took 26 minutes to play. 

If you applied rally scoring, and went to 15, Conrrado would have won 15-12 in 16 minutes. In conventional scoring, the score at that time was 10-8 Conrrado. The rally score at the end of the conventional game was 24-17.

Note: I know the rally scoring rules won’t be this way, but humor me.

Game 2: Lalo won 15-10 in 39 minutes. Long game. 

Under rally scoring, Lalo would have won 15-7 in 13 minutes. The conventional score then was 8-1 Lalo.

Tiebreaker: Conrrado won 11-9 in 33 minutes.

Under rally scoring, Lalo would have won 11-8 in 12 minutes. The conventional score was 6-4 Lalo.

Does this analysis mean anything? My thoughts:

1. What’s the motivation for the change? To shorten matches. I’m not sure there were complaints that match was too long. It would certainly end blowouts much faster.

2. Is our current scoring method broke? My opinion is no, but I’m open to anything that would help our sport.

3. As I mentioned above, I don’t know what the thinking is on points for a win, if it will still be 2 of 3, etc. 

I applaud the thought, and would appreciate to know what the racquetball world thinks.


  • Oscar Zurita, December 23, 2021 @ 9:44 am Reply

    In my opinion changing the scoring could ruin the game because, one thing that I love is that you can recover from 14-8 and win the game for example.

    The excitement that you have when your opponent can not make the last point is something special.

    Either do not touch the way that scoring or change the rules to 25 and the tie to 15.

    In short words I am against the change. Who doesn’t like long good matches of racquetball?

  • Joe, December 23, 2021 @ 10:04 am Reply

    Despise rally scoring wherever it exists.

    Table tennis / volleyball, wherever they used to not have it, then added it, made the sport much less watchable for me.

    Would especially hate it in rball.

    It makes any decent lead basically un-overcome-able, IMHO.

    I feel like in Olympic volleyball, teams with a lead start “playing for side outs”.

    Reminds me of basketball BEFORE the shot clock, watching teams “4 corners” the ball for the entire second half with a 6 point lead … 🙁

    Would much rather see them just reduce the points required for a win, if they want shorter matches: 2 of 3 to 11, tiebreaker to 7, for example.

  • Jorge Fernandez, December 23, 2021 @ 10:07 am Reply

    Love this idea and think it will help on many different ways. faster games. More engaging. Better strategies for the game. More attention to details. Opportunity to play more matches in one day, etc. The RKT in Mexico is doing exactly this.. and well, something’s got to happen, right!? :).

  • Leighton McKeen, December 23, 2021 @ 10:14 am Reply

    If you went to rally scoring, then the tie breaker should be a score of 15 to win. I love rally scoring. It makes every point important.

  • Roberto Baca, December 23, 2021 @ 10:35 am Reply

    Voy a escribir en español, RKT en Mexico dirigido por Alvaro Maldonado, ya han implementado este tipo de puntuación , teniendo una pausa de 2 min. Al punto 10 o 12 no recuerdo, creo q es cuestión de ponerlo en practica y empezar a obtener DATA y hacer comparaciones…
    Estaría excelente

  • Federico Alvarez, December 23, 2021 @ 10:58 am Reply

    The problem with racquetball is the speed of the ball not the scoring system.

    • Brian Pope, December 23, 2021 @ 11:10 am Reply

      I agree the game is fast. However, you can use different balls and change the pace/style of play.

  • Brian Pope, December 23, 2021 @ 11:09 am Reply

    The game of racquetball does not need to be sped up! That is absurd in my opinion, 3 games in an hour. What sports last longer than an hour? Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer all over an hour, and then tennis is an hour at least also. So, Racquetball players I am sure do not want to shorten the game.

  • Tim Reidy, December 23, 2021 @ 11:23 am Reply

    Experiment with Rally Scoring for some events. Extend the games to 21 points. They would still be much shorter games while potentially still allowing the better player more likely to win. Tie break to 15?

  • Tim Shoemaker, December 23, 2021 @ 3:11 pm Reply

    The problem with racquetball is neither the ball or the scoring system. I have began to believe that largely it is an attitude or a mind set in the health club industry. I belong to a city owned club with six courts and 50 or so players that is closing down so the community can open a ymca with a pool so 7 kids on a swim team don’t have to go to another school 12 miles away to practice. Now I get it, but tell me the pool will not often be vacant, not to mention the on going maintenance. So racquetball courts cannot set empty but pools, pickleball courts and tennis courts can. Maybe this is just one example of closing clubs but I really doubt it.
    Also many clubs don’t allow children so that’s out. And now there are in many clubs so few club players as opposed to tournament players that if you teach someone to play there is often nobody of their skill level to play with.

  • James Woolcock, December 23, 2021 @ 4:44 pm Reply

    It is back to the future for me. At the Saginaw (MI) YMCA in the early 1970s, they held a Quickie paddleball tournament that was score every point (21 point games). Racquetball leagues have gone this way to get 3-game matches done in one hour, 15 point games. The IRT games are already to 15, with an 11 tie-break. Unless time is an issue, I would hope they leave it alone.

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