How Is Pickleball Different from Tennis?

Pickleball vs tennis are both racket sports played with similar equipment, but they have several key differences:

Court Size: Pickleball courts are significantly smaller than tennis courts. Normal tennis courts are 78 feet long, 27 feet wide for singles, and 36 feet wide for doubles. A standard Pickleball court measures 20 feet wide and 44 feet long.

Net Height: The net height is different from pickleball vs. tennis. In pickleball,  The net in pickleball is 36 inches wide on the sides and 34 inches wide in the middle. The net in tennis is 3 feet high in the middle and 3.5 feet high at the ends.

Equipment: We must have knowledge of the types of equipment regarding Pickleball vs. Tennis. While Both sports use rackets, pickleball paddles are smaller and lighter than tennis rackets. Pickleball paddles are solid with no strings, while tennis rackets have more significant and heavier strings.

Ball | Pickleball VS. Tennis: The pickleball is perforated like a whiffle ball. Tennis balls are solid with a felt cover. Pickleballs are slower, with less bounce than tennis balls, making pickleball slower-paced.

Pickleball Ball vs Tennis Ball

Serving: Here we discuss the serve rules regarding Pickleball vs. Tennis. In pickleball, serves must be underhand below the waist. Tennis serves are typically overhand with no height limit.

Scoring: Now we get through the scoring rules regarding Pickleball vs. Tennis. As per Pickleball Scoring Rules Pickleball uses unique scoring. Only the serving team can score points, and games go to 11 (win by 2). Both teams score points in tennis, with games going to 15, 30, 40, deuce and advantage.

Strategy | Pickleball vs. Tennis: Pickleball emphasizes placement, finesse, and soft shots with players near the net. Tennis features more vigorous strokes, longer rallies, and more power due to the larger court and faster ball.

The Origins of Pickleball

Joel Pritchard and his friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum created pickleball on Bainbridge Island, Washington 1965. They used a Wiffle ball and homemade paddles to combine badminton, tennis, and ping-pong for their families’ enjoyment. The Pritchards’ dog Pickles chased the ball, leading to the sport’s name.

The Origins of Tennis

Joel Pritchard and his friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum created pickleball on Bainbridge Island, Washington 1965. They used a Wiffle ball and homemade paddles to combine badminton, tennis, and ping-pong for their families’ enjoyment. The Pritchards’ dog Pickles chased the ball, leading to the sport’s name.

Tennis originated in 12th century France when monks played an early form of the game. The modern version was developed in 19th century England and was called “lawn tennis” to distinguish it from indoor predecessors like real tennis. The exact origins are debated, but tennis likely evolved from multiple racket sports, including jeu de paume and royal tennis, before being codified in 1874.

Pickleball vs. Tennis Court

Let us throw light on the detailed measurements of the court regarding Pickleball vs. Tennis.

Pickleball Court

Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts at 20 feet by 44 feet. They have non-volley zones on each side of the net and a service area behind these zones. Players cannot volley when standing in the 7-foot non-volley zone.

Pickleball Court

The net height is 34 inches in the center and 36 inches at the sidelines. Materials like asphalt, concrete, or composites can be used but should allow traction.

Tennis Court

Tennis courts are more significant at 78 feet long by 27 feet for singles and 36 feet wide for doubles. They have specific areas, including service boxes, baselines, and alleys between the singles and doubles sides.

Tennis courts have a 3-foot net height at the center and 3.5 feet at the posts. Surfaces vary, including grass, clay, hard courts, or synthetics, each with distinct playing characteristics.

Tennis Court

In summary, pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts and have defined non-volley zones and lower nets. Court surface also impacts gameplay on both.

Why Play Pickleball Instead of Tennis?

Pickleball is lower impact than tennis and better for those with knee/hip issues. It involves less running so that anyone can play regardless of fitness.

Children can easily play pickleball with grandparents since it spans ages. Courts are easier to find due to their small size – build one in your yard or driveway or convert tennis/badminton courts.

Do Tennis Skills Matter in Pickleball?

Tennis skills can aid pickleball success. Let us have a detailed look at Pickleball vs. Tennis.:

  • ·         Pickleball and tennis require players to swiftly react to the ball’s movement and make accurate shots using a racket. Hand-eye coordination is an essential skill in both sports, developed through years of practice. This coordination transfers to pickleball as well.
  • ·         Tennis players typically have strong racket skills like grip, swing, and control that apply to pickleball. However, pickleball paddles are smaller and lighter than tennis rackets, and the techniques vary, so some adjustments may be necessary.
  • ·         Tennis players are used to moving strategically around the court, which also helps in pickleball. Understanding court positioning and movement in pickleball can aid tennis players in adapting.
  • ·         While pickleball has unique strategies and tactics, reading the game and making quick decisions benefits both sports. Tennis players often gain a strong sense of tactics, strategy, and shot selection that carries over to pickleball.


While pickleball and tennis share similarities, they differ in court size, equipment, scoring, and other areas that impact the pace of play, strategy, and physicality. Both offer opportunities to develop eye-hand coordination and game strategy while fostering a sense of community.

pickleball vs tennis

Whether you prefer the nuances of pickleball or tennis, players of all abilities can find enjoyment through these racket sports.


What is the number of pickleball players in the United States?

Over 36 million Americans played pickleball in 2022, which continues to grow as the sport’s popularity surges.

What is the number of tennis players in the United States?

About 20 million Americans play tennis annually, according to most estimates.

Is pickleball a safer sport than tennis?

More longitudinal data is required to compare injury rates between pickleball and tennis conclusively. Both sports carry risks if played intensely. For now, the jury is still out.

In pickleball, what are the three most essential etiquettes?

The Pickleball Rules are a bit shady, but some of the most important ones to remember are: Give your opponent the benefit of the doubt on calls. Properly call out scores, servers, and faults to maintain flow. And above all, be a good sport – pickleball is meant to be fun.

How can a beginner pickleball player avoid common mistakes?

New players will inevitably make errors as they learn. Some frequent beginner mistakes include violating the kitchen rule, gripping too tight, failing to let shots go out, taking eyes off the ball, and smashing too early. These improve with time and experience.

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