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What Is The Difference Between Paddle Tennis And Pickleball?

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

In recent years, paddle sports such as pickleball and paddle tennis have become popular. All three sports appear to have a similar surface. Once you understand the differences between paddle tennis, pickleball and paddle tennis, you can determine which is best for you and your family.


What is pickleball?

Tennis, badminton and table tennis are elements of pickleball. It is played on an outdoor and indoor pickleball court with an adjustable tennis net and a badminton court. Despite its name, pickleball is played with spiked plastic balls, a pickleball racquet and tennis shoes. Anyone can play, regardless of level or age, in doubles or singles.


History of pickleball


Developed on Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and his friends, pickleball first appeared in 1968. It was created as a way for Pritchard to play in his backyard.


What is paddle tennis?

Like tennis, players use the same rules and scores, but receive one backhand serve instead of two. The game uses shorter courts, unstrung rackets and tennis balls with less compression.


It is played on an enclosed net and glass court, about one-third the size of a tennis court. Easy to play, it is suitable for a wide range of skill levels, making it perfect for families.




Pickleball court and Paddle Tennis court: different sizes.


Pickleball: There are two pickleball courts, one 20 x 44 feet and the other identical to a double badminton court. Pickleball can be played in singles or doubles on the same court. At the edge of the court and in the center, the net height is 36 inches. The "kitchen" area, 7 feet in front of the net (beyond the left and right service courts), prohibits volleys. Tennis or badminton courts may be converted to pickleball courts or built specifically for the sport.


Paddle Tennis: Unlike tennis courts, paddleball courts are smaller. Single tennis courts are 60' x 21' and double tennis courts are 60' x 27'. Paddle tennis (original) is played on a 50' x 20' court. There are over 30,000 tennis courts in the United States alone.


Service Style

In pickleball, the serving rules are quite strict. A player can only serve once. Backhand serves are not allowed. It is also strictly forbidden for players to touch balls in the no play zone during the serve.

From the net point, the no-spin zone extends backwards.


However, paddle tennis, in general, is more accommodating. In addition, players only have one chance to serve, but they can choose how to serve. By optimizing their serving style, they can maximize their chances of success.


The serving rules in padel are relatively strict. Players have two opportunities to serve, but they must serve backhand and below the belt.


Match Scoring :


Pickleball : Usually played with 11 points, and requiring a margin of victory of 2. Pickleball does not use deuces (or tiebreakers), but instead resorts to a tiebreaker to determine who is the first player or team to reach 7 points, with the winner getting two picks - and thus a point - on their pick.


Paddle tennis: You must win by at least two points if you play 7- or 11-point paddleball. Unlike other sports, there is no deuce (tiebreaker). Instead, paddleball uses the paddle point, which determines who becomes the winner if they reach 3 points first and have 1 point left, thus marking the paddle point.


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