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Pickleball Vs Paddle Tennis- All You Need to Know

Pickleball Vs Paddle Tennis- All You Need to Know

Pickleball is a sport that is played similarly to tennis. The main difference is that the racquets are smaller and are made of plastic. Pickleball is also played on a smaller court, which makes it easier to play than tennis. Paddle Tennis, on the other hand, was designed to be more like table tennis, but with paddles and a larger ball.Pickleball and paddle tennis are emerging games of this era. Let’s check out: What are the differences between pickleball and paddle tennis?

Pickleball and paddle tennis are different in terms of court dimensions and layout; the pickleball court has a non-volley zone while paddle tennis has a backcourt. These games have different equipment to play. Pickleball requires 11 points for a win. Paddle tennis requires 30-40 points for victory.

Pickleball and Paddle Tennis – Some Brief Information:



Paddle Tennis

Court Size

The court measures 20-by-44 feet with a net height of 36 inches on the sidelines and 34 inches from the middle. A no-volley zone area of 7 feet is located in front of the net.

The court is smaller, having 10 meters in width and 20 meters in length. The playing field has a height of 34.6 inches from the center and 36 inches from the side.

Serving Style

This game holds strict serving rules in which player is allowed to serve only once in an underhanded way. During serving, the player is not allowed to touch their balls in the no-volley zone area.

The serving rules for this game are accommodating in that players can serve more than once by maximizing their serving style.

Scoring Method

To win the game, the winning team should score 11 points with a margin of 2 points. There is no tie-breaker; in such a case, the pickle-off method is used in which the first team can reach 7 points by having two pickles to score one point.

Paddle tennis sport is played for 7-11 points, and a margin of 2 points is required to win the game. Paddle point is used in case of deuce, which determines the team to score 3 points for the winning team to score 1 point.


The equipment required for playing pickleball are: 

  • Pickleball paddle

  • Net

  • Pickleball 

Paddles are made of wood, aluminum, and graphite. Balls are made according to the indoor and outdoor demands of the game.

Paddle tennis requires a solid racquet of carbon fiber, fiberglass, or other related material. Orange and green dot balls have an internal pressure of 75% and 50%.

Pickleball is a paddle sport created by combining elements of several other racket sports. The players in the pickleball game use the solid form of paddles to hit the perforated polymer over the pickleball net. It came into existence in 1965.

Paddle tennis is a racket and ball sport adapted from tennis. It was invented around 1898.

Both the games are variants of tennis and are played almost similarly. The ball is to be lobbed back and forth by the player on both sides beyond their opponent’s reach to force the opponent to make a mistake.

The ball must be hit by swinging the paddle and touching the ground within the boundaries of the court to score a point. The obstacle is formed by the net dissecting the field. No matter how many people are playing, each inch of space could be used.

As for the above information, a casual follower can easily mistake one sport for another. But, a fundamental difference lies and is noticeable when one takes a closer look. Here we will discuss some similarities and differences between these games:

  1. Playing surface and net region
  2. Paddles used in the games
  3. Type of balls used in the games
  4. Texture of paddles
  5. Scoring method of the games
  6. Serving style of the games
  7. Popularity difference between the games

1. Playing Surface and Net Region:

At first glance, the courts might look similar, but the detailed dimensions of both portray a clear difference, and there is a significant impact on gameplay.


The Pickleball court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide. There is a non-valley zone known as the kitchen – the court area on either side of the net.

The service lines lie three feet within the baseline. The net is 36 inches high from the sidelines for pickleball, with a maximum of 2-inch sag allowed at the center.

Paddle Tennis: 

The playing surface of paddle tennis is 5 feet in length and 2 feet wide, having different marking lines. The court for this game is divided into service zone and boxes.

The net height is 31 inches above the surface area, which is lower than the height of tennis. Outside the sidelines, the posts are set 18 inches away with no more than 1 inch of sag.

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2. Paddles Used in The Games:

Pickleball Vs Paddle Tennis


The equipment for the pickleball is not stringent. A paddle of any shape and size can be used as long as it does not exceed 24 inches when length and width are added and the surface is smooth. The paddles are made of graphite, composite steel, wood, or other non-compressed material.

Paddle Tennis: 

The paddles for this game are made from a solid form of fiber material having holes in it. These holes allow the air to pass through them and are not greater than 3/8th of the diameter each. The dimension of the paddle is measured from 18.5 inches to 9.5 inches.

3. Types of Balls Used in the Games:


The ball used in pickleball is a perforated polymer ball with around 26-4 holes. The balls used indoors are mostly made of less durable plastic as the indoor surfaces tend to be less harsh.

Paddle Tennis: 

The ball used in paddle tennis is a pressurized tennis ball approved to be sued in tournaments. The internal pressure is reduced in the pressurized ball so that it can bounce enough when dropped from a height of 6 inches. The ball is punctured with a special needle to achieve the required balance.

4. The Texture of Paddles:


The paddles used in pickleball and paddle tennis are similar in shape and style but are somehow different in their form of texture.

The pickleball paddle is of a very smooth surface. To check for its smoothness, devices ensure no traction generating capacity in the paddle. The core of this paddle is in a honeycomb shape creating power without adding weight to the entire unit.

Paddle Tennis: 

The texture of paddle tennis indicates many holes on the rough surface. These holes on the surface allow the air to pass through it. This surface helps the ball to produce a spongy ping effect after compression with the surface.

5. Scoring Method of the Game:


The scoring method of the two games is quite different. In the case of pickleball, the winner needs to reach 11 points first and has to be two points clear of the opponent to win.

These rules might cause the match’s final score to be a more significant number than 11. It allows the player to score only on one’s service.

Paddle Tennis: 

The scoring method of paddle tennis is quite similar to that of tennis. The player must score four points to win the game and is awarded 15, 30, and 40 in a game.

There must be a lead of two games over the opponent to win the game. In case of a tie, the tie-breaker decides the winning strategy. The format of a six-game per set or eight-game pro set is considered the best one to be used.

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6. Serving Style of the Games:


The serving style of both these games also is an aspect that makes both the games different. Pickleball has tough rules compared to the other game in which the server must be made underhanded in a low to high motion.

The paddle and ball should show their impact below the waistline, and the wrist must be higher than the paddle face. The service becomes illegal if any of the rules are not fulfilled.

Paddle Tennis: 

Compared to pickleball, the rules for serving in paddle tennis are not that strict. There are no restrictions as to whether the serve over headed or underhanded.

The serving can be done as the player likes and feels confident in. Apart from this ease, the chance to the server here is also single. One fault means that the service is then turned to the opponent.

7. Popularity Difference of the Games:


Pickleball is a fast-growing sport in the US, gaining popularity as it has a relaxing and exciting style. Dedicated courts are being set up there for game enthusiasts.

Paddle tennis: 

On the other hand, despite offering much, paddle tennis has not been able to gain popularity enough, comparatively. It is played in fall and winter in the US, and some insulated heating system is provided for it to be played in the snowy season.

Also Read:

How to Become a Pickleball Pro? 
Pickleball When to Switch Sides? What You Need to Know
What Does 4.0 Mean in Pickleball? All You Need to Know
How Did Pickleball Get Its Name? Amazing Facts
Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Pickleball?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is paddle tennis considered the same game as pickleball?

Pickleball and paddle tennis are the games played with paddles, but they are not the same. These are different kinds of sports, among which paddle tennis was invented in the 1920s and use a small paddle and spongy ball.

Can a player play pickleball on the paddle tennis court?

It is better to play pickleball on the specified courts made for pickleball for fair gameplay.

Is the padel considered the same as paddle tennis?

Padel is sometimes spelled as a paddle which is available internationally all around the world. It is becoming the fastest-growing sport in the world.

Is the paddle tennis game considered easier than the pickleball game?

The rules associated with a pickleball game are strict, and players can serve underhanded. In a pickleball game, the ball should not touch the non-volley zone area during their serve. Paddle tennis is a less strict game having easy rules than pickleball.

Is padel tennis considered a more popular game or pickleball?

Padel tennis is considered a more popular game than pickleball worldwide. It has three paddleball variations and is regulated by USPA.

Why is it preferred to play paddle tennis in winter?

It is preferred to play paddle tennis in winters and is considered ideal weather. A mild temperature of 35 degrees is ideal weather for a player to hit the ball.

Is the pickleball game an easier game for tennis players?

Pickleball is considered an easier game than tennis as fewer movements are involved. The level of promptness and agility are the same for both games.

Why is paddle tennis considered a popular game?

Paddle tennis is a popular game worldwide due to its simplicity. The players require less effort to learn the skill for playing this game, and the same skills can be implemented in other racquet sports like badminton, tennis, or squash.

Can a player play the paddle tennis game in the singles category?

Paddle tennis can be played as a singles category, but the doubles category is considered a more dominant form. It is played using a solid paddle with a depressurized tennis ball.

Is paddle tennis considered a good cardio exercise?

Paddle tennis is an excellent cardio exercise and is a less low-impact game than other racquet sports. Less effort and running are seen in this play, and it makes the person active and fit.

Can a player play paddle tennis using tennis balls?

Paddle tennis can be played using tennis balls, but it is recommended to avoid such things. The paddle balls are made up of rubber spheres having a uniform surface.