What Makes Pickleball Different from Tennis?


Pickleball and tennis are two types of racquet sports that have significant differences. Many people who have been tennis players for years are now also loving pickleball. But, before you decide which of these two sports suit you best, you have to know first their significant differences and these are the following:


The official pickleball is manufactured from plastic material. It has a diameter of 2 ⅞ to 3 inches. Its weight must be within .08 to 1.02 ounces. Pickleballs should come with single and consistent color. However, there aren’t any color restrictions with pickleballs. 

Tennis balls must be fluorescent yellow, especially if it will be used in major sporting events. But, it can also be in any color if it’s used only for recreational plays. These should be covered with fibrous felt for better aerodynamic properties. Each tennis ball must also have white curvilinear oval covering it. 


In pickleball, the net is set lower compared to tennis. It is hung at 36” at its ends while it only has 34” in the middle. But, in tennis, net height must be set at 3 feet. 


A pickleball is played in a smaller court compared to tennis. It’s court dimensions are 20’ x 44’. The court size is the same for singles and doubles match.  A pickleball also has a non-volley zone which includes 7 inches back from the net on opposing sides. This non-volley zone is referred to as the “kitchen”. According to V&A Pickleball, the kitchen is what separates pickleball from any other types of racquet sports. If it doesn’t have a kitchen, then it’s not a pickleball.

On the other hand, the tennis court is also rectangular in shape but the size is far bigger than pickleball. A tennis court should have dimensions 28 ft. long and 27 ft. wide for singles match. For doubles, a tennis court must be 36 ft wide. 


Pickleball racquets are smaller in size compared to tennis. They’re also made from different materials. High-tech composite is used to manufacture competitive paddles for pickleballs that have solid surfaces. Prices may range from $50 to $150 each. 

Modern tennis racquets are manufactured using graphite and fiberglass, making them lighter to enable more powerful strokes. Its striking surface is made of natural or synthetic woven string. Prices may range from $50 to $250 each. 

Scoring Rules


In pickleball, you will only be able to score on your server. The receiving team will not be entitled to any points. However, points are made as soon as the other pickleball player commits a mistake. These mistakes may include sending the ball even when it’s out of bounds, hitting the ball even before it double bounced or stepping into the kitchen, etc.


Tennis is played with a minimum of six games. Each game consists of points. Each match is made up of sets. The player who wins the six games first will be the winner for that set. But, the entire match is usually played either in a best-of-five or best-of-three formats. Whoever wins the majority of the match will be declared the winner. 


Whether you’re into pickleball or tennis for fun or competition, the most important thing to remember is to focus more on finding joy in whatever you do. Avoid stressing over the outcome otherwise all the efforts you exerted will be in vain. 


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