Pickleball vs Paddle Tennis: What’s the Difference?

If you are confused about telling a comparison of Pickleball vs Paddle Tennis, you are not alone in the league. Many people cannot tell the exact difference, although being an avid players of one game or both. Not only can it confuse a beginner who is just starting out, but also it can embarrass you when talking in public.

From the name letters to their playing styles, pickleball and paddle tennis have a fair share of similarities. Most people get confused, and we don’t blame you as we thought “paddle tennis” was another name for pickleball. But that’s not the case; both sports do involve racquets and some differences. Here’s our rundown on Paddle Ball vs Pickleball after a few months of research.

Understand The Similarities!

Before we jump to differences, you have to know that they have only three similarities.

  • Both sports are taken from tennis so the playing style involves racquets, balls, and the net.
  • Players can play singles or doubles teams outdoors or indoors. The teams must keep the ball in the air and within the boundaries of the court.
  • The courts of pickleball and paddle tennis are smaller than an actual tennis court.

Difference between Pickleball and Paddle tennis

Watching a pickleball and paddle tennis match can make you think that both are the same sports. But the players of both sports need to know the difference to pick out which one is for them. The main differences between Pickleball and paddle tennis are listed below:

Court size and layout:


The Pickleball court has 30×60 feet in dimensions, whereas the paddle Tennis is smaller, 50’x20’ in size. Also, the positioning of the net’s height is also not similar. In paddle tennis, the net is at the height of 31 inches in the centre. However, the net is kept at 34 inches in the centre and 36 inches on both sides.


At a distance of 7 feet from the net, there is a “no-volley zone or kitchen” in pickleball. In this, the player can not do volleys. Such a zone or area is not found in the Paddle tennis court but there is a backcourt that indicates the area between the baseline and the sideline.

The paddle tennis court is more beginner-friendly as there are no restrictions for smacking the ball. People find it hard to get used to the non-volley zone of the pickleball court, but it’s more challenge worthy.

Types of equipment:


The racket can be 15 to 17 inches in height in pickleball and only 17.5 inches in paddle tennis. Furthermore, paddle tennis paddles can be textured, but pickleball paddles need to have a smooth surface.


To hit balls across the court, pickleball players started by using a Wiffle ball. By some time, pickleball came to be lightweight plastic balls with holes. But the paddle tennis balls are made up of rubber which is slightly larger than ping pong balls.

Scoring rules:

Scoring system:

Just like in tennis, paddle tennis follows the “love” scoring system. The player receives 15 for the first point, then 30 to 40, and the game is finished when the fourth point is gained.

People who know how to score tennis will find pickleball scoring quite complex, but it’s simple. The point starts from 1, and the team who reaches 11 first wins by a difference of two points.

Scoring players:

People who like entertaining challenges will find pickleball scoring rules more fun. In pickleball, only the serving team can score. The receiver can only wait for the server to do faults so that serving can be given to him, and he can score. Whereas in paddle tennis, both serving and receiving players can score points.

Origin of Pickleball:

Joel Pritchard, Bill, and Barney started playing pickleball in the summer of 1965. They played the game regularly on Bainbridge Island in Washington with handcrafted equipment. In a matter of days, Joan came up with its name, and that’s how it originated. The group played with handmade equipment and established rules. Gradually, it got popular in the US and Canada. Today, it is promoted by USAPA.

Origin of paddle tennis:

An Episcopal minister named Frank Peer Beal invented paddle tennis in lower Manhattan in 1915. He convinced the city’s department to build paddle tennis courts at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in 1915 in order to provide leisure activities for area kids. It’s been popular, and people in the US play it during winter.


All in all, both sports are low-impact sports, and people of all ages can play. By testing, we found out both sports increase heart rate in a similar range, i.e 120=150 bpm. People need to have little fitness to get started, and long hours of matches can help burn calories. Try both sports and find out which is best for you! Both are equal in one thing and that is fun!


  1. Which sport is easier for beginners; Pickleball or Paddle tennis?

Paddle tennis has no restrictions in layout, so beginners will find it easy to play. Pickleball has a “non-volley zone”, which is quite challenging.

  1. Which is a better cardio workout, paddle tennis or pickleball?

Paddle tennis requires fast footwork with heavier balls, so it’s a better workout choice.

  1. Is it possible to play pickleball on a paddle tennis court and vice versa?

No, it’s better to play both sports in their specified court system, and dimensions as both layout and size are different.

  1. Is paddle tennis the same sport as pickleball?

They may look similar, but they are altogether different games in terms of play, strategies of games, courts and rules.

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