Pickleball vs Tennis – Top Differences

Pickleball is a fun sport that has grown immensely in popularity in recent years. You’ve probably noticed Pickleball. Maybe someone tried to convince you to try to play pickleball if you’re a tennis player. When you see a pickleball match for the first time, you can’t help but immediately think, “This is a lot like tennis!” But once you dive in and start playing pickleball, you will quickly realize the difference between pickleball vs tennis.

The USAPA shows that there are over 200,000 pickleball players across the country. But while tennis vs pickleball are similar in some ways, they are also quite different but what’s the difference between pickleball and tennis, so let’s look at some key differences between pickleball vs tennis. The two may look similar visually, but the difference between pickleball and tennis are pretty big. Let’s compare pickleball vs tennis and identify what they have in common.

Exactly What Is Pickleball?

The sport of pickleball is gaining popularity worldwide because it is fast-paced, fun, and entertaining. Children and adults will enjoy playing this game together. Since the early 1990s, this sport has gained enormous popularity in the United States, and there has been a huge rise in participation.

As a rowing sport, it combines the racket sports tennis, table tennis, and badminton into one unique combination. Despite this, it has a unique flavor to it as it is a combination of three racket sports. Simple and easy to learn, the game can be played by people of all ages.

Due to the small size of the court, you can play almost anywhere. Like other racquet sports, pickleball is played in doubles or singles, but most people opt for doubles. It is played with a flat racket slightly larger than a ping pong stick and comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Pickleballs are generally of two types: external and internal pickleballs.

Pickleball and Tennis

A Brief Overview of Tennis

Tennis is one of the three main racket sports played in singles or doubles. It has come a long way: it has gone from being an exclusive niche activity to becoming a popular global pastime. Tennis is played almost all over the world today. Tennis’ early exclusivity was in part due to its ties to earlier racket games, notably Real Tennis, which was played primarily by European royalty in the 16th century.

Single racket sports such as tennis are among the most popular in the world today. In tennis, a player uses a racket over the net to hit the ball into the opponent’s zone. The player scores points if the ball is not returned by the opponent. It is a four-point game and the player with a two-point lead wins. Two or three games make up a match and six games make up a set.

Difference Between Pickleball vs Tennis

As pickleball is closely related to tennis, it’s no surprise that tennis vs pickleball have a lot in common. Pickle ball vs tennis are initially a type of racket sport. And then there are tennis elements that you know from a pickleball game.

Yet, as similar as they may seem at first glance, there are many difference between tennis and pickleball.

Court Size

Pickleball courts are much smaller than tennis courts and are usually 44 feet long and 20 feet wide for singles and doubles. While the tennis courts are huge. They are approximately 78 feet long and 27 feet wide for singles. Doubles are 78 feet long and 36 feet wide.

Court Size Difference

A tennis court does not have a volleyball no-zone, while a pickleball court has a volleyball no-zone on either side also called “the kitchen” 2 meters from the net. Players cannot enter this area in the middle of a volley. In fact, pickleball was originally invented on the badminton.

Paddles vs Rackets

Lets know about pickleball paddle comparison with Tennis rackets. Rackets feature a woven string finish to allow players to bounce easily and weigh approximately 10 ounces. On the other hand, pickleball racquets are much smaller and stronger; They are usually made from materials such as wood or composites with a much shorter shaft, larger rectangular face, and weigh around 7.5 to 8 ounces (average weight paddle).Each racket or racket is designed to effectively hit the ball intended for play.

Tennis racquet sizes generally come in sizes ranging from 27 to 29 inches. On the other hand, pickleball racquets are usually 16 inches long and 8 inches wide. Nevertheless, the size may vary depending on the type of paddle.

Paddles vs Racquets

Scoring System

One big difference between tennis and pickleball, pickleball only scores with your serve. The receiving team cannot score. In tennis you play games and games result in sets, matches are usually played 2 out of 3 sets. Pickleball matches are played to 11 points with one team winning by a 2 point margin.

Tennis players change side only after the first and third games, after every odd game per set. If the serving team’s score is an even number, the first player to serve must be on the correct court/level when receiving or serving. However, if the result is odd, the player must be placed in the left/odd box when receiving or serving.


The design, size and weight of the balls are different, which is considered by many tennis players to be the biggest difference. Pickleballs (also called wiffle balls) are hard plastic balls with holes in them and are larger than tennis balls. Pickleball also has inside and outside balls.

Tennis balls are great bouncing objects. When hit or dropped, the rubber core inside the ball compresses. This makes the ball bounce. This is what is expected in tennis. Covered with felt and has no holes. They are heavier than a pickleball. It has more bounce compared to a pickleball.

In contrast, pickleballs don’t bounce because they don’t have a core. They are not rubber, do not compress or bounce too high. Lightweight and has less drag due to the holes. It has low rebound.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we play tennis on a pickleball court?

A pickleball court is usually smaller than a tennis court, but if lines are painted or glued on the pickleball court, it is possible to play tennis on the pickleball court as well.

Is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis For Kids?

The court is usually smaller, so it’s a lot more fun, as kids don’t have to spend as much time chasing pickle balls as they do playing tennis balls. Also, the name Pickleball sounds funny, which kids might like. It’s also easy to record and play back.

Are pickleball rules similar to tennis?

The rules are relatively similar, except for the field size. In pickleball, the service is done from the bottom, unlike tennis, which requires service from the top. And there’s a specific pickleball game structure: you only score when you serve.


I hope that you have been helped to understand what is the difference between pickleball and tennis from reading this article. Although it may seem that pickleball is quite different from tennis at first glance, it is actually very different from both of them. For more information about how is pickleball different from tennis feel free to browse around my website if you are interested in finding out more!

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