Pickleball vs Tennis: Everything You Need to Know


Pickleball vs Tennis
Pickleball vs Tennis: Everything You Need to Know

Are you someone who recently developed an interest in paddle sports? Are you a retired person who is looking for ways to keep yourself engaged and your muscles busy? Then we suggest you play and practice Pickleball. For, the game is simple and easy to play, and you would have heard of its rules for years if you are following tennis and other court games. We can assure you that it gives a good workout for your bones and your muscles.

Many intense tennis and badminton players also resort to playing Pickleball for its low intensity game play and less stress on the joints. By adapting the game people are still able to stay fit and use their leisure effectively. Though both these games are related to each other, both these games are essentially not the same. You will understand why we say so, at the end of this write-up.


Pickleball is the minor version of the tennis game. Many intense tennis players play this game to loosen up their muscles and to warm up, so as to prepare them for hours of intense tennis matches. Pickleball is a paddle sport that is a combination of three different games, namely tennis, table tennis, and badminton. The game makes use of solid paddles that are of plastic, wood or composite materials. The paddle has to toss the ball over the net. The ball consists of many perforations to handle friction.

The game is played on a standard badminton court with the same net and was once started as a backyard game for kids and adults. The net is hung at 34 inches above the ground and the balls are served as underarm strokes to toss the ball below waist level. Only the serving side of the game scores the points and it is thus tough to score points in this game. The game is played for 11 points on the whole.


Tennis requires excellent endurance, stamina and a very clever strategy to win over the opponent. You need to master a number of complex intricacies in this racquet sport that is played between two (singles) or four (doubles) players. You win the game if you manage to maneuver the game in such a way that he opponent is not able to return the ball. Being an Olympic sport, it appeals to players of all societies and ages. Apart from being a major spectator sport, it is also being played by millions of people for recreational purposes.

The game is played with the help of a strung racquet against standard tennis balls. These balls were stuffed with features and were stitched with each other with strips of cloth traditionally. But modern games make use of hollow rubber and felt coating. The game is played on a flat and rectangular platform and its net is stretched across the complete width of the court.

Tennis Vs Pickleball – The Similarities and Differences

  • Types of balls used in the game

The balls used in the Pickleball game are lightweight and are easily affected by the wind force. The balls used in outdoor Pickleball matches are thus composed of small holes to handle the wind. The balls used in tennis are however solid and heavy and reacts pretty well to the force rendered by the players on the court.

  • Racquets and paddles

Tennis makes use of racquets with wire strings and is twice the length of paddles used in the Pickleball game. These paddles are made up of plastic or wood and have a core. The core is of a honeycomb pattern with hollow cells. Some paddles also have perforations in them. The face of these paddles is coated with a composite material to render a smooth surface for efficient striking.

  • There is no Kitchen in tennis

The non-volley zone in the Pickleball game is termed as the kitchen. Players are not allowed to strike shots when they are in this zone, which is close to the net. On the contrary, tennis players are allowed to stand near the net and smash the balls to the opposite side.

  • Size of the court

The Pickleball court is a miniature version of the doubles tennis court. The size of this court is only 20’ by 44’, and the game is generally played by four people. But as this game is extremely volatile and very fast. Players are within the distance of 14 feet from each other. So we can assume that even the small court is efficient for a powerful and quick play.

  • Differences in gameplay

In Pickleball, the players do not smack the ball from their baselines and take their balls predominantly from the kitchen by standing just behind it. This helps them to take and return 90% of the balls and score points for their team. Also, as the Pickleball net is just 3 feet high, and players do not hit the ball very high. The Pickleball serves are not taken very seriously as in tennis and the balls are served underhand at all times.

Also in tennis, the common play action is to hit the ball sideways and turn the body accordingly. But in pickleball, the ball is hit in front of the player, and this is considered the best Pickleball technique. Another important difference between the two games is that Pickleball is almost always played in doubles, whereas tennis is played either in singles or doubles. As the Pickleball court is small and the ball is not tossed higher, it is important to have two persons per team to toss the low bounce balls on the other side of the net.


We can conclude that tennis is a game for serious players, who want to have a game of rules and patterns. Pickleball, on the other hand, is a more casual game for casual players who wish to have their legs and hands in motion in some activity. But both the games are popular and have their own audiences, spread all over the world.

Written by:

All Drive No Drop Team

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