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The difference between Pickleball & Tennis & Padel

Updated: Apr 17, 2023


When it comes to racket sports, there are a variety of options to choose from. Three popular options are pickleball, tennis, and padel. While they all involve using a racket to hit a ball, there are significant differences between these three sports. In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between pickleball, tennis, and padel, so you can decide which sport might be the best fit for you.

Pickleball: Pickleball is a relatively new sport, having originated in the 1960s in the United States. It is played on a court that is roughly the size of a badminton court, with a net that is slightly lower than a tennis net. Pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic ball that has holes in it. The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and onto your opponent's side of the court. Points are scored when the ball hits the ground on your opponent's side of the court or if your opponent hits the ball out of bounds.

One of the unique features of pickleball is the "kitchen" or "non-volley zone," which is a seven-foot area on both sides of the net. Players are not allowed to hit the ball while standing in the kitchen, which creates a strategic element to the game. The rules of Pickleball are explained here.

Tennis: Tennis is a more traditional racket sport that has been played for centuries. It is played on a larger court than pickleball, with a higher net. Tennis is played with a racket and a ball that is made of felt and filled with air. The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent's side of the court. Points are scored when the ball hits the ground on your opponent's side of the court, or if your opponent hits the ball out of bounds.

Tennis does not have a non-volley zone like pickleball, but it does have specific areas on the court that are considered out of bounds, which adds a strategic element to the game.

Padel: Padel is a racket sport that originated in Mexico in the 1960s but has become popular in Europe and other parts of the world. It is played on a smaller court than tennis, with a net that is slightly lower than a tennis net. Padel is played with a racket and a ball that is similar to a tennis ball but is slightly smaller and has less pressure. The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and onto your opponent's side of the court. Points are scored when the ball hits the ground on your opponent's side of the court or if your opponent hits the ball out of bounds.One of the unique features of padel is that players are allowed to hit the ball off the walls that surround the court, which creates a different dynamic to the game.

In conclusion, while pickleball, tennis, and padel are all racket sports, each has its unique features and gameplay. Pickleball is played on a smaller court with a non-volley zone, tennis is played on a larger court with specific out of bounds areas, and padel allows players to hit the ball off the walls that surround the court. Ultimately, the sport you choose to play will depend on your personal preferences and what you're looking for in a racket sport.

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