Sports are always great for your mind and body and help you relax and socialize. It can lift your mood while keeping you fit. Various sports in the world can give you satisfaction, but nothing beats when it comes to paddling, tennis, or pickleball. But the one question that might arise in your head is, are the two games the same? They both played with paddles, one with a pickleball paddle and one with a piece of equipment.
The rules might feel the same, but the playing style is similar. So what makes the game different, if they are any different? Worry not as we debunk your most asked question, is paddle tennis the same as pickleball? Or have you been just confused your whole life?
Keep reading as we discuss the two most loved games’ history, rules, equipment, etc.
What is Pickleball?
If you want something fun and easy to play around with, it helps you socialize with your friend and lets you enjoy the time. The first game that comes to your mind is pickleball. It is court based game that can be played both indoors and outdoors. The rules are simple and easy to understand but can be competitive if you take them seriously.
It combines tennis, badminton, and ping pong and can be played in single or team mode. The game is played with pickleball gear, including racquets, balls, and nets.
- Pickleball history
Pickleball was invented back in 1965 in a home in Seattle, USA. For some couple of families with insane love for sports, a shed filled with unused sports gear and an unused court gave birth to the sport. They wanted to try something new with the existing goods that they had. They used ping pong paddles instead of normal badminton rackets, and the wiffle ball was given birth.
The family started enjoying their new little game and quite loving it. Soon they realized it could be something bigger, only if they adjusted it. Some changes to the rules, and voila, pickleball was born.
The news broke out soon, and the surrounding community enjoyed it too. It became so serious that a couple of years later, one of the friendly neighbors got themselves a dedicated pickleball court. And that became the first cemented step in the history of pickleball. Since then, the game has seen an increase in popularity, and people all over the globe are enjoying it.
- Pickleball Rules
The game of pickleball is a mixture of various sports that fall under tennis and ping pong. So are the game’s rules; however, there are some differences. In pickleball, players have to serve underhand. And the serve must be diagonal across the court, as in an X shape. After that, the game begins, and both teams start to hit it across the net. The other lucky team gets one valuable point when someone messes up or drops the ball.
If you understand, the scoring mechanism is similar to ping pong. Understanding pickleball might be very easy. Remember, although the game is played on a court like tennis, the scoring is quite different.
The kitchen is a unique and important part of the pickleball court and gameplay. It is a 7-foot area on either side (one side) of the court. Some may also call it the non-volley zone. You can not hit a volley if your body parts are in the kitchen area. A volleyed shot means hitting the ball out of the air with the pickleball rackets.
- Pickleball Paddle, Ball & Nets
Another unique thing about the pickleball is the paddle of it. It is the same size as the paddleball paddle but has no holes. The paddle might seem like it is still in a cover.
Originally, the pickleball racquet used to be made of wood, plastic, etc. However, lately, we have seen a rise in composite materials and a graphite face for making the pickleball paddle.
The next thing in the game is the pickleball. It is a lightweight ball made from plastic that is lightweight due to being hollow and has a perforated ball design. It comes with fewer holes as compared to traditional wiffle balls. That might make it seem a little heavier than usual.
As for the nets of the game, it takes inspiration from tennis. In contrast, the height is 6 inches lower compared to the tennis. Its size is 36 inches at the posts, 22 feet wide, and about 34 inches in the middle.
What is Paddleball?
Paddleball is a sport played with racquets and might look similar to squash. It can be played both as a singles game or in doubles. The paddle is mostly made of wood and perforated, and the ball is small, similar to a squash ball size. The game involves players hitting the ball against the walls with their paddles. And the other player has to switch it on the rebound. The game continues until one player fails to hit the ball and drops it on the floor.
The game has two variants: one-wall paddle and four-wall paddle. The points are odd numbers and may vary between 11,15,21 and 25 depending on the players.
The one thing you must know is the clear differentiation between paddle tennis and padel tennis. Both games sound the same but are different in playing style. The Padel game was invented in Mexico and is still loved among the Spanish people. It is similar to tennis but is played in an enclosed court allowing the ball to bounce off the walls.
- History of Paddle Tennis (Pop Tennis)
When it comes to history, paddle tennis or otherwise known as Pop tennis, has a longer one. The invention of one variant of the game, one-wall paddleball’ was due to the need to protect the hand in cold winter. In possibly the 1940s, when handball players wanted to protect themselves from the cold, they used paddles, and hence the game was born.
The other version, called four-wall paddleball, has a well-documented story of where it began. Earl Riskey is the man you want to thank for this game. He was a physical education teacher at the University of Michigan in 1930 when he founded the competition. For him using the racquetball with a paddle was a fun variation of the game, something we know today as paddleball.
- Paddleball Rules
As we dig deeper into the games, we discover quite a few differences in paddleball rules. First of all, there is no net in the paddleball. The opponents stand side and side to hit the ball against the wall.
The first player does the service, and they have to strike the ball off the back wall. And make sure it bounces off of it; then, the second player comes in to hit the ball back at it.
After that, both the players, one by one, hit the ball against the wall and tried their best not to let it bounce on the floor more than once. In contrast, the four-wall paddle tennis allows players to strike any number of walls when the game is on.
- Paddleball Paddle & Ball
As we have discussed earlier, there is no net in the paddleball game, and it is played against the wall. But it has a paddle and ball that makes the game fun. The paddle has some holes, unlike pickleball, which allows faster swing while reducing air friction. Moreover, the shape of these rackets is a bit rounder.
The balls in the paddleball are also quite different from pickleball. They are made of soft rubber tennis balls and are smaller in size. They are bigger than ping-pong balls and seem similar to squash balls.
In the four-wall paddleball, the ball might differ depending on what part of the world you are in. Some may use racquetball, meaning the paddleball can be played with various types of balls.
How Are They Similar?
The first and foremost similarity is the paddle itself; the designs are slightly different. But at the base, it is quite the same thing: a short handle to grip it and a round flat face to hit the ball across the court. Players need to swing the paddles to hit the ball and get the point when another player fails to hit it back.
The playing style for both the games are also quite similar. Players need to be quick on their feet, have strong arms, and be able to judge where the ball is going. The two most essential things in the game must be agility, power, and accuracy.
How Are They Different?
The first difference is the court size; paddle tennis courts are about 50 feet long and 20 feet wide. However, the pickleball court is smaller by 6 feet in length but may have the same width as 20 feet.
Moreover, the pickleball courts have a kitchen or non–valley area, which is discussed in detail in the abovementioned points. It is a space of 7 feet where players are not allowed to hit the ball all over the net. This forbidden space makes the game more challenging yet enjoyable.
On the other hand, paddle balls come with a backcourt area of three feet and are on the end side of the court. At the same time, the layouts for both courts are the same, with no double alleys and 4 service zones.
The rackets may seem quite alike from a distance but have some differences when you look closely. The pickleball has a 17-inch height racket as the maximum height. In contrast, the paddleball only allows a paddle of 17.5 inches in size. And for the balls, the pickleball uses smaller plastic balls with holes. The paddleball is rubber and has less pressure than a regular tennis ball.
Paddle tennis has a scoring point similar to tennis; players get their moments in 15 to 30, then to 40, and eventually a victory. Anyone familiar with tennis points can easily understand it. In comparison, pickleball players have to score points one by one. And it usually goes up to 11 in total. Both games demand one player to score two more points than their opponent to win the game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Play Pickleball on Paddle Tennis or Padel Court?
No, apart from the size difference in both the courts, the one major issue is the net. Pickleball is played with the help of a mesh net, where players hit the ball over it into the other court. In contrast, the padel court involves hitting the ball against the wall and letting it rebound.
What Is the Difference Between Paddle Tennis and Padel Tennis
The two games both originate from tennis but are quite different when it comes to playing style. Padel tennis was invented in Mexico and is still loved by the Spanish-speaking community. The game is played on a closed court with a net, a thicker paddle, and a lower-pressure ball. On the other hand, paddle tennis is played against the wall. It involves
one player hits the ball against the wall, and the other has to smash it on the rebound.
Are Padel and Paddle Tennis the Same?
The simple and sweet answer is No. Although the names sound very similar, the games are quite different. We have discussed it in detail in the abovementioned points. Padel is played in a closed court that has a net in it. In contrast, paddle tennis is by hitting the ball against the wall like squash.
In a world of great games, pickleball and paddleball play an equally important role. For a newbie, the two games sound and feel the same. But if you look closely, they are different than ever. Both of them involve a racket and a ball, but the rules and court make them differ from each other.
On the bright side, both the games are fun and help you relax. Moreover, they are a great way to shape up your body and have quality time with your loved ones. This article was helpful for you in finding out the history, similarities, and differences between the two most loved games.