Pickleball vs Paddle Tennis: Which One is Right for You?

Last Updated on August 9, 2023

If you’re looking for a fun game to play outside, you might have heard of pickleball and paddle tennis.

People often compare these two games because both use paddles and balls. But how are they different from each other, and which one should you play?

This article will help you understand the similarities and differences between pickleball vs paddle tennis, so you can make the right decision.

A comparison of pickleball vs paddle tennis

Pickleball vs Paddle Tennis Comparison

ItemsPickleballPaddle Tennis
BallPlastic wiffle ballsmaller, heavy tennis ball
Paddlesolid paddle without holesLarger, solid paddle with holes
Court Size20 feet x 44 feet50 feet x 20 feet
ScoringPoints can only be won by the serving teamPoints can be won by either team
ServingUnderhand serve only, with one foot behind the baselineOverhand or underhand serve, with both feet behind the baseline
VolleyingPlayers must wait for the ball to bounce before hitting it if they are in the non-volley zoneVolleying is allowed from anywhere on the court
StrategyGames often involve short rallies and quick reflexesGames often involve longer rallies and more strategic shot placement
A comparison Table of Pickleball vs Paddle Tennis

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a game that uses a paddle and a plastic wiffle ball with holes. It’s a mix of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.

The court is about one-third the size of a tennis court, and players can play singles or doubles.

The aim is to hit the ball over the net and into the other players’ court, without them hitting it back.

What is Paddle Tennis?

Paddle Tennis is another racquet game that’s sometimes called Platform Tennis. It’s played on a smaller court than tennis, with a lower net.

Players use a solid paddle and a smaller rubber ball than in tennis. It’s often played by two people working as a team.

Paddle Tennis is typically played outside during winter and inside in some places that have it available all year round.

How are Pickleball and Paddle Tennis similar?

Pickleball and Paddle Tennis are racquet sports played with paddles and balls. They both require skill, strategy, and physical fitness to play well.

They are also popular outdoor sports that can be played in many different settings, from public parks to private clubs.

How are Pickleball and Paddle Tennis different?

The most obvious difference between Pickleball and Paddle Tennis is the size of the court.

Pickleball is played on a court about one-third the size of a tennis court, while Paddle Tennis is played on a court that’s only slightly smaller than a standard tennis court.

The net in Paddle Tennis is also lower than in Pickleball, which can affect the style of play and the types of shots used.

Another difference between the two sports is the type of ball used. Pickleball is played with a plastic ball with holes, while Paddle Tennis is played with a rubber ball smaller than a tennis ball.

The paddles used in the two sports also differ in size and shape, with Paddle Tennis paddles being longer and narrower than Pickleball.

The way the games are scored is also different. In Pickleball, points can only be scored when the serving team wins a rally. In Paddle Tennis, points can be scored by either team on any rally, similar to tennis.

Finally, the rules and regulations of the two sports differ in other ways, such as the number of serves allowed, the boundaries of the court, and the way that faults are called.

Which one is right for you?

The answer to this question depends on your preferences and playing style. If you prefer a smaller court and a slower pace of play, pickleball might be the better option for you.

Pickleball is also an excellent option for those introducing themselves to racquet sports or seeking a more social and inclusive game.

Paddle tennis might be the better option if you prefer a more traditional racquet sport with a larger court and faster pace.

Paddle tennis is also an excellent option for those who enjoy playing in colder weather, as it’s commonly played outdoors in winter.

The type of ball used in each sport can also affect your decision. Pickleball’s plastic ball with holes is slower and has less bounce than Paddle Tennis’ rubber ball, which may be preferable to some players.

However, others may prefer the faster and more lively bounce of the Paddle Tennis ball.

Ultimately, the most reliable way to decide which sport is right for you is to try them out and see which one you enjoy more.

Many recreational centers and parks offer pickleball and paddle tennis, so you can easily find a place to try them out.


Pickleball and Paddle Tennis are fun and challenging racquet sports offering unique experiences and benefits.

While there are similarities between the two sports, such as the use of paddles and balls, there are also important differences, such as the size of the court and the type of ball used.

Deciding which sport is right for you will depend on your preferences and playing style, but trying them out is the best way to make an informed decision.

Whether you choose Pickleball or Paddle Tennis, you’re sure to have a great time and get some exercise while at it.

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