Pickleball is a game played with a paddle, ball and court. It originated in the 1980s as a combination of badminton, handball, and table tennis. The main differences are that there’s no net or wall to serve over and the balls must be hit off the ground touching back down on their sides before they can be returned.
Tennis has two rackets held at 90 degrees from each other under an 8-meter high net strung between posts 10 meters apart horizontally across one end of the court; serving is done by hitting any part of these nets without violating them (no foot fault rule).
The sport was first recorded about 1540 in France but it did not develop into today’s international sport until much later when rules were codified into standardized sets for all players to follow.

The “is pickleball more popular than tennis” is a question that is often asked. There are many different answers to this question, but the most common answer is no.

Are you seeking for a low-impact activity that will give you a good workout? Racquet sports, also known as racket sports, are a great way to start moving and burn calories while getting an aerobic exercise. If that appeals to you, you should research Pickleball versus tennis to see which is best for you.

The difference between the two is instructive. The usage of a racket and a ball is about the only thing that the two have in common. Because of the gameplay, score, and court, each one caters to a certain demographic. The similarities stop with hitting anything over a net.


Pickleball and Tennis have a long history.

The history of the two sports accounts for a lot of the distinctions. The origins of one are well-documented, while the origins of the other are less well-documented. The majority of the variances are explained by this topic. Let’s look at the differences between them.


One of the most intriguing aspects about Pickleball is its history. When compared to tennis, it’s a tot. According to legend, it was created in 1965 by Congressmen Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and William Bell. A badminton net, improvised paddles, and a Wiffle ball were used to create the setting, thanks to ingenuity and the need to avoid monotony.

As they say, the rest is history.

Joan Pritchard, Pritchard’s wife, subsequently claimed that the likeness to vintage pickle boats was the motivation. Others allege the source was the congressman’s dog. In any case, the sport quickly expanded throughout the country, reaching all 50 states by 1990. The creators liberally took from badminton regulations, making minor changes along the way.

It’s worth remembering that Pickleball started off as a family activity. That explains why it appeals to people of all ages. Because of the reduced weight of the ball and racket, it’s a great choice for everyone from kids to seniors. With the founding of the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) in 2005 and its own series of competitions, the game has recently taken a serious turn.



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Tennis’s history, on the other hand, has taken a different course. Its origins may be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century in the United Kingdom. Some historians say the game’s roots may be traced back to the 1100s as “genuine tennis.” In contrast to Pickleball, which originated as an outdoor game, it began as an interior game. Tennis has had a long-standing association with the upper crust and aristocracy.

It wasn’t long before competitive tennis tournaments arose. This approach ensured the sport’s early demise as a professional sport. The fact that there are four Grand Slam events attests to this. They are as follows:

  • Wimbledon is a tennis tournament that takes place (1877)
  • The Open in the United States of America (1881)
  • The French Open is a tennis tournament held in France (1891)
  • Australian Open is a tournament held in Australia (1905)

Tennis took gained an international flavor as a result of these competitions. Pickleball does not have the distinction of being an Olympic and Paralympic sport.

Equipment and Courts

Both sports may be played in single or double matches, with mixed gender teams allowed. Each one requires a ball and a racket, however tennis standards are more specific. The Pickleball paddle has a solid structure, while the tennis paddle has mesh. Pickleball balls, on the other hand, are solid in tennis but perforated with holes in Pickleball.

Both games take place on a court. It makes no difference whether two or four individuals play Pickleball. Tennis is divided into two sizes based on the number of players. The design of a Pickleball court is simpler than that of a tennis court, which has various extra marks that the former does not. Pickleball, on the other hand, lacks lanes.

The dimensions of a Pickleball court are 44 feet long by 20 feet wide. A tennis court, on the other hand, is 78 feet long by 27 feet broad, or 36 feet if four players are on the court. A net divides both of them in half. For Pickleball, it’s 36 inches high on both sides and 34 inches in the center. It’s 42 inches for tennis and 36 inches for basketball.

Wiffle Ball and Pickleball Paddle

The equipment used in Pickleball versus tennis is one of the most significant variances between the two sports. The size and weight of the paddle and ball are strictly regulated by the USAPA. The diameter of the former must be between 2.874 and 2.972 inches. It must also be between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces in weight. Yes, the numbers are that exact.

Paddles are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass, and composites of two or more materials. Depending on the material, a high-tech competitive model might cost anywhere from around $10 to over $200. Make sure it’s USAPA-approved if you want to compete in competitions.

The ball’s restrictions are equally as rigorous. Its diameter must be between 2.87 and 2.97 inches, and it must weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces. You may use any color ball, but there must only be one, omitting any product branding. They’re commonly sold in packs of two or more, with prices ranging from $5 to $20 for three. Both permitted paddles and balls may be found on the USAPA’s website.

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Tennis Ball and Racket

A tennis racket’s fundamental requirement is a maximum length of 29 inches and a width of 12.5 inches. Although wood is the most common material, goods made of light metals, graphite, and other composites are also available. As you may expect, a tennis racket is more expensive, particularly if you choose one with a professional caliper.

Prices vary from less than $10 to more than $2,000. Many of the performance models are unstrung, which might increase your costs dramatically.

The tennis balls, on the other hand, are a different matter. The official weight of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) is 1.98 to 2.10 ounces, with a diameter of 2.575 to 2.700 inches. Optical yellow is the most common color. They come in packs, similar to Pickleball, and cost anywhere from $5 to $10. We’ll give the cheaper ones to the dog to play catch with.

ITF-approved items are made by the following companies:

  • Babolat
  • Wilson
  • HEAD
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  • Champion
  • Dunlop

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Both games, in principle, progress in the same way. The server hits the ball diagonally to the receiver, crossing the net while remaining inside the court’s limits. The players then go back and forth until one of them makes a mistake. After then, the other individual gets a point. That’s the extent of the resemblances.

Let’s look at the distinctions between Pickleball and tennis in more detail.


To begin the game, the server must use an underhand stroke. If you do any of the following mistakes, you will lose a point to the opposing player. Some are self-evident, such as striking the ball out of bounds or failing to get it over the goal. The court also contains a non-volley zone, fondly known as the kitchen, which you are unable to strike while returning the serve. The net is 7 feet wide on both sides.

The serve will then be passed to the opposing player. The team that scores 11 points first and has a two-point advantage wins the game. If the players are tied at 10 points apiece, play continues until the second condition is satisfied. In such circumstance, the game is won by the first player to score 12 points. With the same two-point rule, you’ll find versions with 15 or 21 points.

You may also take part in competitions. There are four different tournament possibilities to choose from:

  • Consolation for Single Elimination
  • Double-elimination tournament
  • It’s a game of round robin
  • Playing in the Pool

With its own spin on the sport, Pickleball employs many of the same strokes as tennis. The third shot drop, dink, drive, and deep return serve are all classic examples. Because of the lightweight ball used, it’s more difficult to judge distances due to the shorter court length. When playing outside, the wind plays a factor as well.

Fakes and spins are used extensively in the technique. To deceive your opponent, pretend as though you’re about to drive the ball hard and quickly before softly lobbing it over. In this regard, it’s similar to table tennis or badminton, which were the creators’ inspirations. The most important thing is to avoid telegraphing your next move in order to keep them wondering about where you’ll strike it next.


The game is similar to tennis in that an error gives the ball to the other team. Not hitting the net or going out of bounds are two of them. The ball is delivered by the server with an overhand stroke. The game continues until one of the players commits a mistake. To win the game, you must score two points more than your opponent. Tennis points are love, 15, 30, and 40, but Pickleball points are ordinal numbers.

If the players are tied at 40 points, the score is deuce until one of them gains an edge, and then the second point is awarded to the winner. In a set, you usually play at least six games and win by two games over your opponent. Depending on the competition and the gender of the contestants, tournaments include three or five sets. As you may anticipate, some can go for quite a while to fulfill the two-point and game edge requirements.

In contrast, a Pickleball game normally lasts less than half an hour.

Your posture is also an important aspect of tennis. Open, closed, semi-open, and neutral are the four major stances available. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. They also work better with certain of the photos you can take. It’s all about the power of leverage. Among the most important are:

  • Serve
  • Overhead thud
  • Forehand
  • Backhand
  • Lob
  • Shot from a distance
  • Volley
  • Half-volley


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Demographics and Participation

Whether you’re playing recreational games or competing on a professional level, both sports have devoted fans. A study at each one’s participation data shows some fascinating facts and patterns that help to define the Pickleball versus tennis divide. They also explain why each one has handled its data in the way it has and where they want to go in the future.


Tennis, to be honest, has a statistical advantage over pickleball simply because it has been around much longer. They are, nevertheless, nonetheless respected. In 2018, over 3.1 million individuals took part in the sport, with 1.57 million of them playing at least one game every year. Another 930,000 people are core players, who meet more than eight times a year on the court.

These results reflect a 12.1 percent rise over the previous year.

Men outnumber women by 3:1 in both casual and core play. However, the majority of core players are 55 and older, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2018 Pickleball Participant Report. Figures from 2019 put the participation at 3.3 million people, an increase of nearly 7 percent. Clearly, the sport is riding a popularity wave.

According to the USAPA, there are approximately 6,885 locations where the sport may be played, with new venues opening every day. The organization’s outreach has propelled these advances, with funding programs for both towns and high schools, as well as a staff of volunteer ambassadors spreading pickleball enthusiasm throughout the nation.

However, the influence of television broadcasting on participation figures has yet to be seen in the sport, which might push up the numbers even further. In 2018, ESPN aired their inaugural pickleball broadcast. Any key player will defend the sport’s legitimacy if pressed. It might achieve the required clout with additional airtime, allowing it to grow in popularity even more.

Pickleball has an advantage over tennis in that leagues may be formed. Many companies, restaurants, and clubs have taken advantage of a dedicated set of customers that come in on a regular basis to play games. The method has shown to be effective in a variety of activities, including darts, bingo, and trivia. Pickleball is another way to broaden the game’s appeal.

It’s worth mentioning that the majority of casual gamers are under the age of thirty. Part of the explanation might be due to the public’s view of pickleball as a senior sport. It’s a problem that tennis doesn’t have, but it’s another opportunity for pickleball to build a name for itself among millennials.


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Because of its extensive history, tennis has followed a unique path. In 2017, about 17.6 million Americans engaged in the sport, down 3% from the previous year. High school student interest has been consistent throughout the years, indicating that it will continue to rule supreme in the racquet sports world. Another important factor is television viewing.

With 1.28 million people tuned in to watch the 2019 U.S. Open, ESPN has their best audience ever. This is unexpected considering that 53% of respondents to a 2017 study said they had little interest in professional tennis. Something else is clearly at work here.

Tennis attracts the most new players from high school sports, private clubs, and park leagues. Because of the lighthearted tone of the game, the model varies from pickleball. With the advent of the more cheap sport and its enormous reach, the landscape is going to shift. It will take time to see whether that tactic has enticed any tennis players to switch to pickleball.

Tennis’ physicality is another reason that has boosted involvement. To excel in the sport, you must be physically strong and have a lot of stamina. Some individuals may be drawn to it just because of this. Let’s take a look at another reason to be interested in any sport: its impact on your health.

Burn Calories

Both Pickleball and tennis offer excellent aerobic workouts that involve the entire body. Your legs and arms are active, of course. You’ll also engage your core muscles for balance and maneuvering around the court. Playing these sports will also improve your hand-eye coordination. However, the nature of each game has a profound impact on Burn Calories.

Pickleball burns roughly 340 calories for a 150-pound person playing for an hour. If you choose tennis instead, you’ll burn an additional 476 calories. When you analyze the nature of each one’s gameplay, the distinction is evident.

The first consideration is the court’s size. A tennis court is almost twice as long as a pickleball court. Then, due of the sort of ball and the distance it can go, you have more ground to cover and must move quicker. Pickleball’s Wiffle ball, on the other hand, will not go as far. Because of its weight and court size, you don’t need to smash it hard to get it over the net.

Pickleball does not need as much running as tennis does, nor does it require as much arm muscle engagement. That isn’t to say it isn’t a good exercise. However, it is likely that this explains the high involvement rate of seniors. It’s gentler on the joints while yet giving you enough of an aerobic exercise to keep your muscles in shape.

Regardless of the physical demands, it’s important to remember that strategy is an element of both sports. That may have a significant influence on your mental health as well, making either game a compelling choice.

Injuries and Safety

People take part in team sports for a variety of reasons. Some people like the camaraderie that comes from working together to achieve a common objective, such as winning a game or placing first in their league. Pickleball and tennis are both non-contact sports, which contributes to their popularity. This assumption is supported by the data.

Tennis and pickleball will be grouped together for comparison since the forms of injuries are comparable. Statisticians look at the rate of injuries per 1,000 hours of play in a certain sport when addressing these occurrences. For various racquet sports, the number varies from 0.04 to 3.0 injuries. When compared to a contact sport like football, the number of injuries rises to 8.1.

That doesn’t rule out the possibility of injury when playing pickleball or tennis. It’s critical to follow the same safety procedures and understand how to spot the telltale indications of common problems like strained muscles.

Lower extremity injuries are the most common cause of injury in both tennis and pickleball. You’re moving swiftly and concentrating on the ball rather than on where and how you’re stepping. Muscle strains, ankle sprains, bruising, and fractures from falling are common problems. Even pickleball has a concussion protocol in place to address head injuries, which may surprise you.

Starting with a warm-up, such as a quick stroll around the courts to raise your core temperature, is the ideal approach to prepare for any activity. Then, to relax your muscles and prepare them for the game, perform some mild stretching exercises. Stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids, particularly if you’re doing a lot of physical activity or playing outside.

Last Thoughts

Pickleball and tennis both have rich histories, each with a unique path that continues to attract fans and players to this day. We like these games because of the thrill they provide us and the others who watch them. You can’t dispute that each one has its own set of health advantages. And that’s one of their finest qualities.

With the influx of leagues and playing places, the USAPA is forging new ground in encouraging people to explore pickleball, a sport with a colorful past. After all, even the name brings a grin to our faces. Whether you pick up a racket or not, tennis has a rich history of professional events and sportsmen that make it entertaining to watch.

When it comes to the similarities and differences between pickleball and tennis, both provide a wonderful method to keep active while socializing with friends or family. That makes both of them valuable and worthwhile to attempt. You may also get started without investing a lot of money on equipment. All participants and observers of any one are winners based on those factors alone.

The “pickleball vs tennis reddit” is a question that has been asked before. The difference between the two sports is that the ball in pickleball can bounce twice, while it cannot in tennis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between tennis and pickle ball?

A: Pickle ball is a sport that uses a plastic ball and paddle. Tennis, on the other hand, is played with a racquet and an oversized tennis court in which players can hit each others balls back to them as quickly as possible.

Which is harder tennis or pickleball?

A: It is hard to say which sport is more difficult. In tennis you have to hit a ball in order for it to go anywhere, while in pickleball all you have to do is make contact with the ball and block your opponents shots.

Which is more popular tennis or pickleball?

A: Tennis is more popular than pickleball.

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