Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis: What’s the Difference?

Paddle tennis
November 19, 2022
Read Time:7 Minute, 32 Second

Have you ever found yourself in a different court than you were supposed to be? Both are ever-growing in popularity, but with so many similarities, it is only fair that you mistakenly went into the paddle tennis court rather than the pickleball court. In addition to saving you the time of being lost, we have all the information you might want to know.

The main content of this article includes 

  • What is Pickleball?
  • What is Paddle Tennis?
  • Similarities between pickleball and paddle tennis
  • Difference between pickleball and paddle tennis 
  • All about the Paddle 
  • FAQs 

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis: What's the Difference? - paddle tennis court  1024x683

Pickleball is a sport with a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. You could either play indoors or outdoors. Also, you can play singles and doubles on a court half the size of a tennis court. Furthermore, this sport can be played on the badminton court, tennis court, and even ferries. It is easy to play, hence, it is appropriate for all ages. Many athletes retiring from tennis, get into pickleball because it requires less physical strength. 

What is Paddle Tennis?

Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis: What's the Difference? - Pickleball court 1024x433

Paddle tennis, formerly known as “pop tennis,” was introduced back in 1915 in Manhattan. It is an adaptation of tennis and squash. Paddle tennis has a resemblance to pickleball, padel, and platform tennis. In addition to playing this indoors and outdoors, you can play this all year round. The racquet and ball used are different than in tennis. A paddle instead of a string racquet with a compressed ball is used. It is easy to learn and is a socially interactive sport.

Tip to ace at Paddle Tennis 

Power is not always your friend. If you are still learning paddle tennis, you might want to avoid playing with so much power. Always learn to control the ball at first. This will help you avoid unforced errors.

Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis: Similarities 

Undeniably, there are some similarities between pickleball and paddle tennis.
They are 

  • Game Style 
  • Paddle Design 

We will be discussing both of them below. 

Game Style 

Even if you have not played either sport really well, you might think that they are almost the same. In fact, it is somewhat true. 

If you look at the style of the game, you will think, “Is it pickleball or paddle tennis?” Yes, that’s how similar they are!

Both the games depend on their opponent making an unforced error or the winner scoring.

Paddle Designs 

Paddle tennis and pickleball both use paddles, unlike sports that use racquets. These paddles are very similar, but if you take a closer look, you might see the difference. In addition to having the same material, shape, and size, one of the key differences is their flexibility. The paddle tennis paddle is more flexible than a pickleball paddle.

What is the difference between pickleball and paddle tennis?

If you haven’t played the game, here are some of the differences you need to know before getting on that court!

  • playing surface and net
  • Paddles and balls used
  • Paddle Texture
  • Scoring Method
  • Serving Style

Paddle Tennis vs. Pickleball Court Dimensions 

Paddle tennis has dimensions of 50 feet in length by 20 feet in width. The court has two zones: service zones and service boxes. Within the baseline, the service line is 3 inches long.

Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis: What's the Difference? - What is the difference between pickleball and paddle tennis 1024x768

The pickleball court

Has a dimension of 20 feet by 44 feet, with a diagonal size of 48 feet. Besides that, it has a 7-inch non-volley zone away from the net to the baseline on either side of the net. It is a lot like a badminton court.

Scoring System 

If you take a look at the scoring system of both games, you will see a great difference. The scoring system separates them from each other to a great extent. 

In paddle tennis, each game is 6 points, scored as 15, 30, 40, and game. Hence, you need two more wins to win the game. The game can continue as a best-of-three or an eight-game set. 

In pickleball, one needs to score 11 points before the other. Moreover, the score can go above 11 at times. Last, one player needs 2 points more than the other to win.

Paddle Tennis vs. Pickleball Serve 

When it comes to serving, paddle tennis is not that strict. Besides getting only one chance to serve, you can also serve however you want. If you excel at either underhand or overhand, you can choose whichever suits you best.

However, there are more rules to follow when serving in pickleball. You get only one serve, and that too you have to be underhanded. Lastly, when serving, you can’t let your ball touch the non-volley zone. (Also known as “the kitchen”)


The most noticeable difference between paddle tennis and pickleball is the size of their nets.

The size of the net in paddle tennis is 31 inches above the surface with posts of 18 inches.

The net is an inch lower in the center.

While in pickleball, the net is 36 inches on the edges, with 2 inches lower in the center.


Paddle tennis uses compressed rubber tennis balls. The US Tennis Association approved this ball. A paddle tennis ball has less pressure than a normal tennis ball. This gives it the bounce it needs.

Pickleball uses a lightweight plastic ball with perforated holes. The lightweight material helps in reducing drag. There are two different balls for indoor and outdoor use. For indoor use, JUGS balls are used, while for outdoor use, Dura 40 is used. Moreover, the diameter of the ball is 2.784 to 2.972 inches.


There are rules on the size of the racquets in both of the games. Paddle tennis racquets strictly follow the rule that does not allow a person to have a paddle longer than 17.5 inches. Paddle Tennis paddle has holes through it that are not supposed to be larger than 0.375 inches in diameter. 

Pickleball paddles are rather smooth. On striking, it only deflects the ball. Furthermore, the size of the paddle is 17 inches. Lastly, it is very lightweight.

What is Padel?

A hybrid of tennis and squash–this game originated in 1969 on a Mexican beach. Besides being fun and easy to play, this game is more about the strategy applied than the power of the ball, which makes it appropriate for every age. 

About this game, you can only play doubles within the enclosed court. The Padel court is much smaller than the tennis court. 

The dimensions of the court are 

  1. 10 meters wide x 20 meters long court 
  2. Up to 4 meters long glass wall 
  3. 0.92 meters of the net at the edges 
  4. 0.88 meters off the net at the center 

Furthermore, like every other sport, Padel has its very unique equipment as well. The padel racquet is of pure carbon fiber with foam instilled in the core. The difference between a padel ball and a tennis ball is that the padel ball has low pressure and compression. 


In conclusion, if you are looking to know about the similarities and differences between pickleball, paddle tennis, and padel, the best way to find that out is by playing the sports mentioned above.

Playing them will give you an idea of each game’s difficulty and ease of learning. There may be many tips and strategies that you can only excel at by playing consistently.


Is paddle tennis the same as pickleball?

The answer you are looking for is, no, they are not the same. They may have similarities, such as the game style and paddle design, but they have more differences.

differences like the balls and paddles used, the dimensions of nets and courts, the scoring system, and the serving. Weighing in the differences and similarities, you can say no, they are not the same.

Are padel and paddle tennis the same?

Despite sounding the same, padel and paddle tennis are whole different sports. Also, they do share some similarities. 

Firstly, you can only play padel doubles while paddle tennis can be played singles or doubles. Secondly, padel uses thinner racquets than paddles. Also, you play padel with a low-pressure tennis ball while the paddle’s ball is spongy.
Furthermore, their rules are different. You can even play from outside the court. 

Is paddle tennis hard?

Paddle tennis is comparatively easier to play. In addition to consistency, every game requires you to practice the sport as much as you can. However, paddle tennis can be considered easier than tennis. 

Here is how this is relatively easier 

1. Does not require a lot of physical strength 
2. Less area than tennis. 
3. All about movement 

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Hey, fellow pickleball player!

My name is Ethan Josephson. I am a pickleball enthusiast who has been playing this fantastic game for more than 5 years. Before that I had almost 20-years-experience with tennis and table tennis, but pickleball fascinated me completely.