Pickleball Vs Paddle Tennis – What are the Differences?

What are the differences between Pickleball vs Paddle tennis?

If you are into racquet sports, you must be sitting there confused between Pickleball vs paddle tennis. Why? Because both of them involve a paddle for the game.

However, that is not the only similarity between Pickleball vs paddle tennis.

Basically, they have a lot of differences in their overall games.  From the rules to the equipment involved, there are a lot of differences you may not even be aware of.


pickleball vs paddle tennis


This article will discuss the differences (and the similarities) between Pickleball vs paddle tennis.

Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis – Definition

Pickleball is a sport that was established in 1965 and uses smooth paddles and a plastic “whiffle” ball that is hit across the net. The main objective with Pickleball is the ease of playing, which is why it is such a popular sport among children too.

Paddle tennis is played outside in an enclosed area and is also known as Pop Tennis. It is played using a paddle racquet and depressurized ball.


What are the Similarities in the Game?

Before we move ahead and highlight all the differences between Pickleball and paddle tennis, let’s focus on the similarities first.

Some of the similarities between the two include…


The style of these two games is similar. They involve a racquet or a paddle, a ball that is hit back and forth across a net. Sounds pretty similar, doesn’t it?

If you haven’t played these games before and you are looking at a game for the first time, you are bound to confuse them both because of their similar styles.

Size of the court

The courts for Pickleball and paddle tennis can seem similar.  However, there are a few differences to the court these two sports are played on.

For Pickleball vs paddle tennis court dimensions…

Both courts measure 44×20 feet.

However, the paddle tennis court is set out like a tennis court with the area next to the net divided in half and a full court area at the rear of the court.

Pickleball has a non volley zone or kitchen area next to the net which is the full court area and the rear of the court is divided in half.

Basically, the “T” shape on the court is in different areas.

Paddle design

Both Pickleball and paddle tennis matches are played using paddle racquets.

Although the appearance of this equipment can look similar, they have differences.

Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis – Differences

Now that you have a fair idea about the few similarities between the games, let us talk about the differences.  Although the “style” of the game can seem similar, the two games are different when it comes to the rules and the overall gaming experience.

Paddle texture

Let us start with the most common difference, which is the paddle.

The paddle used in Pickleball and paddle tennis can look similar but their surface and the overall texture is a lot different in comparison. The paddles for Pickleball are smooth.

On the contrary, the surface of the paddle tennis paddle has holes in them.


Moving from the paddle, the next thing focusing on is the ball.

The Pickleball ball is a small, round, plastic ball. The ball has holes all over it and is very airy and lightweight.

The paddle tennis ball, on the other hand, is very similar to a tennis ball and is quite heavy by comparison.  It is basically a depressurized tennis ball.


Scoring in the games

Another common difference between Pickleball and paddle tennis is the scoring system.

If you have played tennis before, the scoring process for paddle tennis is similar.  First point is 15, then 30, 40 and finally game.

When it comes to Pickleball, only the serving team earns the points.  Each point is 1 point.

To win the game, a team has to reach 11 points and ensure that they are 2 points ahead of their opponent. This means that if they have 11 points and their opponent is at 10 points, they have to continue to 12 points.

Serving Style

Another important difference between paddle tennis and Pickleball that is worth noting is the serving style.

The serving rules for Pickleball are quite strict, with only one service per turn.  Also, the service must be made underarm with the ball being hit before your hand reaches your naval area.

Paddle tennis, on the other hand, has a serve style that is similar to tennis.   However, paddle tennis also only allows one service per turn.

Enclosure design of the court

The last point of comparison is the enclosure design of the court.

Pickleball is an open court that can be surrounded by fencing to stop the ball from escaping.

Paddle tennis is enclosed with a fenced boundary as part of the design of the court.


If you were confused between Pickleball vs paddle tennis, thinking the games were similar, we hope this article reduces your confusion.

Both games are played with a similar looking paddle but the rules are different and we are all for Pickleball!!