Paddle Tennis vs. Pickleball – How They Compare

In this article, we’ll dive into paddle tennis vs pickleball. Tennis is a famous racquet and court sport that many people enjoy playing and watching. Over time, it gained popularity, and more people are trying to learn it.

Many court sports out there share some features with tennis, especially on the court sizes, rules, scoring, and required equipment. 

Despite the similarities, these sports have their uniqueness and thrilling experience when playing. Some of them include paddle tennis and pickleball, which use racquets and similar courts to tennis.

This article will discuss some of the usual things that paddle tennis and pickleball share. If you want to try a new sport, this one will help you pick a new hobby.

What Is Pickleball?

What Is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a rising star in the racquet and court sports world. The concept of pickleball is almost a combination of tennis and badminton. 

With this sport becoming more known, people can now gradually recognize pickleball and distinguish it from other court sports. 

You can play pickleball as singles or doubles with the same rules, and court size applied on both. Meaning, a whole pickleball game can have a maximum of four players to join the fun.

The first player or team to have 11 points with a two-point lead from the opposing player or team wins. 

However, there are circumstances where the score can be above 11 when there is a tie, or there’s no at least 2 point advantage. 

The scoring rules in singles and doubles may vary, but they can take home the title when they win two out of three sets. 

There are strict pickleball rules to look out for as there is only one chance to serve for each player. 

Pickleball is not like the other racquet sports because once your ball is a fault, you cannot serve again. 

There is also a non-volley zone where players cannot enter and have their ball land on it. Once the service ball lands on the non-volley area, it is automatically a fault. 

Also, players need to observe doing the correct server. You need to do an underhand serve to launch the ball, with the paddle at the same level below your waist when it hits the ball. 

Another thing to remember is that only the serving team has a chance to earn a point when a fault occurs. 

You can find the similarity of pickleball with tennis in the rule of letting the ball bounce once before hitting it. 

Related Reading: Best pickleball paddles – Check Them out Here

Pickleball Equipment

The two essential pieces of equipment you need in pickleball are the ball and the paddle. For obvious reasons that this one is a paddle sport, you need a pickleball paddle to hit the ball.

If you’re familiar with the Wiffle ball, which is like a variation of baseball, you can compare the size of a pickleball with it. They have similar size, shape, and material which means it is also light. 

The ball is small in size, but not too small, with holes around the ball, making it lightweight. Also, it is not as bouncy as a paddle tennis ball but enough to let it bounce once.

On the other hand, pickleball paddles used by players can be wood, graphite, or composite-based. They have specific patterns within the core to help them hit the ball better. 

A pickleball paddle weighs around 170 to 400 grams, and the total length cannot exceed 24 inches. It should include the edge guard, handle, and paddle itself. 

Therefore, your actual paddle must have a maximum length of 17 inches to make it qualified. 

Pickleball Court

You can play pickleball in a badminton court which measures about 30ft by 60ft length-wise. The accessible size makes it possible for the sport to be an indoor or outdoor activity. 

This size is the same for singles or doubles games, so there is little confusion when playing in different categories. 

Meanwhile, the net must be 34 inches high at the center, while the two sides attached to the pole should be 36 inches.

What Is Paddle Tennis?

Paddle Tennis Vs. Pickleball - What Is Paddle Tennis?

You can compare paddle tennis to regular tennis sport. Both have the same scoring system, but paddle tennis is a little less technical and more straightforward. 

If you play tennis, then it is an advantage for you to try paddle tennis. It executes the same strategy and movements in a regular tennis game. 

Players can score and win a match the same way you would win in a tennis sport. Typically, you need to win three out of six seats to win officially. 

However, despite the massive similarities, there are still minor differences that distinguish paddle tennis from tennis.

For example, a player can only attempt a service once, and if it fails, the point goes to the other team, like in pickleball. 

Players also need to serve using the underhand style but toss the ball or bounce behind the baseline. 

But if the player already chose what style to do, it must be consistent throughout the game. 

Also, whether it is a doubles or singles match, the court size will not get any smaller or larger. It is a fixed size, so players can be more comfortable whether they play in both. 

Players or teams must switch sides after every odd game, for example, when the score is 1, 3, 5, etc. 

Paddle Tennis Equipment

The paddles used in this sport have small holes that give texture to the whole equipment. It helps players have a firmer grip on the paddle and spin the ball better on the surface. 

Each paddle requires to be at 18 inches maximum length. There are different materials used in making these paddles, but the usual one is from wood.

Paddle tennis has paddle measurements similar to a pickleball paddle. However, the two paddles have different types of surfaces. 

There are a few similarities between the two sports but what distinguishes them is their paddles. 

During a paddle tennis game, the ball used is similar to a tennis ball. But you will notice a few modifications in this ball when it comes to the size. 

These balls undergo depressurization by piercing a needle through it and reducing the internal pressure. 

At six feet high, you need to drop the ball and let it bounce. It should be between 31 to 33 inches before it can qualify as an acceptable ball for the game.

Paddle Tennis Court

A paddle tennis court is slightly different from other court sports mentioned here. It has a raised platform that serves as the court with walls or nets around it. 

If the ball hits these walls or nets, you can consider the ball to be still in play. 

There are lines in the court that divide the various zones needed in the game. For example, there is a service zone area and service boxes.

Whether playing singles or doubles, the size remains 20 feet in width by 50 feet in length.  

It has a similar structure to a tennis court, but it is a lot smaller. You can almost fit four paddle tennis courts in a regular tennis court. 

Pickleball courts are also larger than paddle tennis courts. This size allows the sport to be accessible in indoor and outdoor games. 

To cover the whole court in width, the net measures to be about 22 feet long, with the center part at 31 inches high. These dimensions make it to be a lot smaller than a pickleball court. 

Similarities Between Paddle Tennis And Pickleball

Similarities Paddle Tennis vs Pickleball

Paddle tennis and pickleball have a significant difference in the equipment needed to play each sport. However, you can still see a lot of similarities between the two.

These similarities can help more people grow their interest in paddle tennis and pickleball because of their skills and features. It is an advantage because they can play more naturally with a regular sport. 

Another similarity between them is their court size won’t change regardless if it’s a single or doubles match. Therefore, players don’t have to adjust to a new structure and size when trying out different categories. 

The court dimensions are vital for players most because they calculate how much movement they should make. If they can have the same court size for different matches, then they will not struggle much. 

Both sports also use the same essential equipment to play, such as paddles, a ball, and a net. There are noticeable differences with the ball and paddle, but they function the same. 

Paddles for paddle tennis and pickleball have almost the exact sizes and materials which function as the equipment to serve, receive, and return the ball.

Meanwhile, the ball is a critical piece of equipment that determines who will score in a game. Most court sports use the ball as a way to earn point players or teams.

Even the use of the ball for paddle tennis and pickleball is similar. It allows players to develop techniques for hitting, landing, serving, and speeding the ball within the proper court lines. 

Overall, these two sports utilize the same style to call a game to be in play.

Related Reading: Best pickleball bags – Check Them out Here

Final Decision: Paddle Tennis vs. Pickleball

Despite the similarities mentioned above, there are still things that set them apart that can help you come up with a decision. You may find something better for you in terms of the rules, court, or equipment.

Paddle Tennis

Paddle tennis is a game with a shorter duration because of the court size and the rules it follows. The regular tennis scoring rules are the primary basis for a paddle tennis game.

The sport also utilizes rubber tennis balls which become smaller due to depressurization. However, it still has a nice bounce than a pickleball ball with holes and is very light. 

In paddle tennis, you can also choose to serve either underhand or overhand. It allows players to use which option they’re more comfortable within a serving. 

As for the court, the size is smaller than the pickleball court, which means that the net is also shorter. The height is also smaller by a few inches than a pickleball net. 

Also, the actual court for paddle tennis is on a raised platform with walls surrounding it. 

Finally, the paddles used in paddle tennis have a more textured surface with holes on it. The overall size is also a little larger than pickleball paddles. 

The paddles for this sport are more often textured than those used for pickleball and have a slightly larger maximum length. 


For the duration of each sport, pickleball is quite a long game to play. The court is more extensive, and the finishing score is higher before you can call a game done. 

In pickleball, you need to have a minimum of 11 points with a two-point advantage against your rival. The game may continue longer if these qualifications are not there. 

The court size is more open than a paddle tennis court but smaller than a regular tennis court, which is still huge. Thus, moving around may take longer and can be exhausting. 

Also, the net used in pickleball is more extensive and could be more extensive in the center, making it taller. 

When it comes to the game rules, there are apparent differences between paddle tennis and pickleball too. 

You probably learned that you need to do an underhand serve to hand over your service ball in pickleball successfully. 

Additionally, pickleball paddles are smaller than in paddle tennis and have a smooth surface.