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Pickleball vs Tennis – All You Need to Know

Starting your journey as a fresher but needing clarification on mixed thoughts from people about tennis vs pickleball? Always choose the sport you like the most, and avoid relying on others’ perceptions. Anyone else can only show you the path, discrimination between a few things, and then you come up with your answer. Ultimately, you must decide which game you love and start practicing it.

In this article, we will discuss pickleball and tennis in detail. We will cover as many things as possible to differentiate between both. Now without wasting more time, let’s come straight to the topic.

Pickleball vs Tennis

Pickleball vs Tennis:

You have heard the phrase “Pickleball is like, picking a ball” from many professional picklers. It is the right phrase as we do it many times, pick up the ball and serve it towards the opponent’s court. This game started to grow over the past several years, unlike tennis, which has been popular since old times. Pickleball is more similar to tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. Paddles and a plastic ball with holes are required to play this game. 

The most highlighted feature of this game is you can play it as singles or doubles as we do in tennis. There is a lot of similarity between pickleball and tennis, and it applies to the rules as well, as many of the rules in both games are almost the same.

The major difference we have noticed is the court size, which we will discuss in this article. Besides this major difference, we will discuss a few other things as well.

1- Size of the Court

A tennis court for doubles is 78 ft long and 36 feet wide, whereas the size of a pickleball court is 44 ft long and 20 feet wide. This shows that the pickleball court size is smaller than tennis. These tiny dimensions are similar to that of badminton. 

The pickleball idea was initiated at the badminton court, so no wonder guessing the size of the court. Stay calm about the smaller size of this court, as it is not like icing on the cake. Similar to tennis, in pickleball It is not easy to get the ball over the net.

2- High Bounce vs. Low Bounce Balls

Pickleballs are usually of lighter weight and bounce low, as compared to tennis. Tennis balls bounce higher as they are made from hollow rubber core, which compresses when dropped or stuck by a player, so the bounce is expected here for tennis players.

When it comes to pickleball, it is just a hard plastic shell and nothing else, so it bounces low. Because of this plastic material, the ball here does not compress when dropped or hit, so it bounces low.

3- Types of balls Used

For indoor games, we have JUGS ball, and for outdoor games, we have Dura 40. Nothing to guess about which ball will get more affected in outdoor conditions between pickleball or a tennis ball, as the clear answer is a pickleball because of its lighter weight. 

Many experts suggested reducing the number of holes in pickleball for outdoor games to reduce the effect of wind. Pickleballs are likely to get cracked as they are not solid and are made from a plastic shell. 

When we talk about tennis, we have four categories of balls available here for this game. 

  1. One is an All-court or regular duty ball used in soft clay and indoor courts. These are softer balls, so the life span is relatively less than that of hard-court balls.
  2. The second one is a Hard-court or extra-duty ball, which is a mixture woven with extra wool to increase the life of the ball, so it stays longer. We usually use it in outdoor harder courts. 
  3. The third one is Grass court balls; these are also regular duty balls but with an extra stain-resistant treatment feature, which ensures that the color of the grass won’t get affected. 
  4. Last is Hi-Altitude balls, which are made for playing at high altitudes of 4000 feet or more. 

Now, let’s discuss the rest of the comparisons and take a deep look at them.

4- Pickleball Paddles vs Tennis Racquets:

No more surprises as pickleball paddles are half the length of tennis racquets. It has rectangle-shaped short handles to hold. When you ask a pro to judge the shape and size of the paddle, they answer that these paddles are oversized versions of ping pong paddle shapes. The size of the paddle and racquet is not the only thing to look at but their working as well. 

There is a great difference in the performances of the two as the way we play and swing the pickleball paddle is completely different from tennis racquets. When a player strikes a tennis ball with a racquet, the ball compresses into the string of the racquet that is bent slightly to accommodate it. 

Whereas pickleball paddles are hard, they don’t compress, and when you strike the ball, it pops off immediately and deflects instead of compressing.

That’s why you cannot grip the ball to spin it when you are playing pickleball. Nowadays, pickleball paddles are composite ones in the sense that they are made from a combination of different things. Composite paddle consists of a face, core, and edge guard. 

5- Kitchen

Non-volley zone in pickleball is known as the kitchen. Players are not allowed to volley the ball in the kitchen. That means players cannot hit the ball when it is in the air and has yet to bounce, the ball needs to bounce one before being hit. Because of the small court size, you can not stand at the net to hit the ball over. Both sides of the nets are covered with a 7-foot-long kitchen. 

Most of the game’s fate is decided when someone goes against this rule. So the kitchen makes it different from tennis. In contrast, tennis players can stand at the net and smash balls.

6- Scoring Rule

Scoring is different in both games. In tennis, each match consists of 2 to 3 sets, so if you want to win a set, you must win at least six games. Tennis games start at 0 and go up to 40, which gives you only 4 points. Zero in tennis is known as LOVE. Scoring begins from love to 15, then 30, and goes up to 40. In comparison, the winner needs 2 extra points for victory. 

Moreover, pickleball’s ultimate goal is to reach 11 points, counted from 1 to 11. These points can only be scored on the serving side, which means the receiving side is unable to score. In doubles, each side will be given an equal opportunity to serve (with two servings each). If any team loses a couple of rallies, the server is passed on to the other side, allowing them to score points.


Is pickleball easier than tennis?

There is less movement in pickleball than in tennis, so it is much easier than tennis in this specific scenario. Pickleball is a more joyous, faster, and more creative modern sport with various angles and shots, which are much better than that in tennis. 

Why do older people like pickleball?

As there is a small court size, you only need a little to hit the ball, mainly in doubles. That’s the reason the old people recommend playing this game. Additionally this game is the medium for socializing among players. 

What’s the most difficult thing to do in pickleball?

The hardest thing to do in pickleball is to keep the pickleball low. This technique of lowering the ball will prevent your opponent from being able to go into an offensive mode with an aggressive shot.

Does pickleball make more noise than tennis?

Yes, the hard plastic shell material used in pickleball makes greater noise when it makes contact with the paddle, unlike in tennis, where the ball is made from a hollow rubber core, which makes less noise in contact with the racquet. 

Does tennis or pickleball burn more calories?

While playing a singles tennis match, a person with 150 pounds is expected to burn 400 calories. On the other hand, a person with 200 pounds of weight could burn around 500 calories per hour. In addition, professional picklers weighing around 160 pounds can burn calories around 600-700 per hour.


So, at the end of this article, you have gone through many things to understand where pickleball super passes tennis or tennis makes the lead. We recommend you not stretch your head too much with unnecessary things. We have a couple of points for you to focus on to start your journey.

  • Just make your call, whether you are passionate about tennis or pickleball. Once you have decided, buy the gears you need to play that game.
  • Keep the game’s rules in your mind to play like a pro.
  • Start practicing that game with friends if you have someone to supervise you, more precisely, coach you. Then it’s a plus.

We hope that after reading this article, you can now distinguish between pickleball vs tennis. There’s a saying that ‘the best way to solve a problem is to write it down’. If you still have some confusion in your head, then write it down in the comment section. We will surely get back to you at the earliest.


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