What is the Difference between Pickleball and Paddle Tennis?

It is easy to see that people often confuse pickleball vs paddle tennis by looking at the equipment.

Although they both use a ball and are racket sports, there are many similarities.

Paddle tennis

This game is played on a 44’x20′ court with a raised 60″x30′ deck in the middle.

To allow air to flow through, the ball is made of rubber. The paddle is typically made from a solid material and has holes that are no larger than 3/8″.

Scoring is similar in tennis, with the first point being at 15 and the second at 30, while the third at 30 and the fourth at 40. The fourth is the game.

You must win six sets to win the set. The best two of the three sets must win again in order to win the match, just like tennis.

To win the game, a player must win two games if they are tied at 40.


Pickleball was invented by three Washington fathers in 1965. It is a simple and fun game played on a badminton court.

The net is placed near the ground, just like in tennis. A plastic ball is used with solid paddles instead of tennis rackets.

This scoring system is not the same as tennis or paddle ball. A single game can be played up to 11 points. To win, there must be a lead of two points.

There are differences

The main difference between pickleball and paddle tennis is the scoring system, which theoretically means that pickleball has more games.

Another difference is the fact that paddle ball balls have rubber balls and pickleball has plastic balls.

Pickleball also allows you to serve underhanded, which can make it easier to return a serve.

Pickleball has a lower bounce than paddle tennis so you need to use different strategies and techniques to win.

Pickleball Paddles can be described as ping-pong, where you stand on the table.

The rubber ball makes paddle tennis more like standard tennis. You use a paddle to play instead of a tennis racket.

Both pickleball, and paddle tennis have their own rules.

A key difference in pickleball is that the area that extends from a net is called the “kitchen”. Volleys are not allowed unless the ball bounces first.

The games are very similar, and people who play one game will often take on the other.

Pickleball has seen a significant increase in popularity over the past decade, particularly the last few years, due to its ease of play and association membership. It also offers relatively affordable equipment and tennis courts that are readily available.

Paddle tennis has similar benefits, but the sport isn’t gaining as much interest as pickleball.

Edit: Paul, one of our readers, mentioned the following in the comments regarding paddle tennis.

Two key details are missing about why paddle is so loved by its devotees.

A. The court is surrounded with “screens”, which are basically high fencing similar in gauge to chain link, but lighter gauge and usually coated. They are an important part of the game. After a ball bounces into the screens, players can return it. This gives the game a unique layer of strategy, physics and movement.

b. It can be played in three seasons: spring, winter and fall in northern climates. Many courts have propane heaters that melt snow and lights that extend play beyond the 4PM sunset.

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