Pickleball and tennis are two sports that people often mistake to be identical. However, if you’ve ever played either game, you know there are significant differences between the two.
Read on if you’re interested in learning more about the answer to the widely asked question: “what are the differences between the two?” You’ll then be able to pick up your paddle and confidently head out to the court to play the game that calls your name.
Pickleball Vs. Tennis – Courts, Paddles, and Balls
It’s known that pickleball and tennis are sports played on a court, with a paddle and a ball. The similarities of game location and equipment may be what make the two games seem similar to many. But there are actually many differences, especially when it comes to either game’s official rules and features.
Tennis Court vs. Pickleball Court
When it comes to the two sports, a pickleball court is significantly smaller. A standard pickleball court runs 20 ft by 44 ft, whereas a tennis court for a singles play runs 27 ft by 78 ft.
Tennis Racquet Vs. Pickleball Paddle
Tennis and pickleball are both paddle sports. However, the paddles used to play both games are visually different.
A pickleball paddle is typically made of three materials – wood, graphite, and composite. Wood is the cheapest option but can feel heavy if playing a long game.
Regardless of the material, the paddle does not contain holes, indentations, or any features that would allow a player to add spin on the ball. If you haven’t seen a pickleball paddle, you might think of it like a giant ping pong paddle!
On the other hand, in tennis, a racket is usually a metal or plastic frame with a tight series of strings over it. These strings look like grids.
If you’re even considering playing pickleball, or already play and want to upgrade your racket, check out the Graphite Pickleball Paddle by Backcourt Pickleball. This high-quality paddle made for beginners and advanced players weighs less than 9 ounces, making it easy to carry and play with.
Pickleball Balls Vs. Tennis Balls
The court size and paddle size aren’t the only differences between the two sports.
A pickleball ball is essentially a slightly heavier wiffle ball. Pickleball balls are made for indoor and outdoor settings, with the outdoor balls having slightly smaller holes to avoid impact by the wind. A tennis ball is fibrous, pressurized, and slightly heavier. There is a single design of tennis balls for indoor and outdoor play but they can come in various colors.
What is Pickleball?
While we’ve just run through a few main differences between pickleball and tennis, you may still be wondering what exactly is pickleball.
To sum up what pickleball is; a pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, and official pickleball rules borrow inspiration from various racquet sports. And while pickleball can be played individually, it is more commonly played as a four-player sport.
5 Pros of Playing Pickleball
1. Health Benefits
Like all sports that get the heart going, pickleball has health benefits that improve cardiovascular fitness and blood pressure. From older age adults to young children, anyone can benefit from playing pickleball. The game tends to involve a lot of stops and starts that can help encourage strong, agile, and healthy movement of the body and joints. Those who play the game can also benefit from coordination, agility, and endurance.
2. Any Age Game
Unlike sports with weight, age, or height requirements, anyone can play pickleball. While it’s popular among people from middle age to old age, pickleball doesn’t demand a lot from players in terms of dedicated training or time due to the pickleball courts size, plastic ball, and the rest of the way the game is played.
3. Easy to Learn
With relatively simple rules, the game of pickleball is also easy to learn. Since pickleball is typically played by four people, you are likely to never be entirely lost. Your partner and other players on the court are usually more than happy to provide you with pickleball tips along the way.
Tip: While the game is beginner-friendly, it’s about strategy and can develop into a fast-paced and competitive play, so younger players don’t always have the advantage.
4. Social Advantage
Since pickleball is a game for players old and young aged, it gives all players a chance for social connection! As one of the few sports that are played with music and doubles, it ends up being a fun pastime that players from other sports probably haven’t experienced before.
5. Affordable Sport
To play pickleball, all you need is a paddle and a ball. That’s right. Unlike other sports that sometimes require multiple gear or specific protection, pickleball is probably one of the simplest sports to play - in terms of equipment. While it may be hard to believe, neighborhoods or clubs often have pickleball courts that are free or cost a small fee to play a game on.
Pick the Pickleball Paddle
From smaller court size to being affordable and played in doubles, pickleball scores significantly high as a sport to try.
So, if you play other racquet sports or have been curious if pickleball is more accessible than tennis, pick up a paddle and head out to the court – you won’t be disappointed!