Is Pickleball More Like Ping-Pong Or Tennis?

It started in 1965 with three dads, a few bored kids, an old badminton court, mismatched rackets, and an old Wiffle ball. The three dads tried to alleviate their children’s boredom by hitting the Wiffle ball backward and forwards on the badminton court. After a few changes which still apply today, a new game was invented.

Pickleball has elements of Badminton, tennis, and Ping-Pong. The game is played on a Badminton sized court, across a tennis-style net, and bats like those used in ping-pong. You can set them up in your back garden, and the nets are commercially available. What’s to stop the fun?

Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell invented Pickleball, and Barney McCallum created the game of Pickleball when they tried to entertain their bored children but couldn’t find the equipment for the badminton court. They improvised with ping pong paddles and a whiffle ball, and the creation became known as Pickleball.

Pickleball Has Elements Of Tennis,  Ping-Pong, And Badminton

Players of all ages can play tennis and Pickleball. It is a simple game where two opponents face each other on opposite sides of a net and hit a baseball-sized wiffleball across the net to each other.

Essentially the player who fails to return the ball, or returns it out of bounds, loses the point.

Pickleball is unique in the following ways;

The serve cannot fall within the NON-VOLLEY ZONE on the opponent’s side, and it must reach the SERVICE AREAS without first touching the ground.

Pickleball players always serve underhand, and the ball must “double bounce” before volleys, and there is a “no volley” zone that extends for seven feet on either side of the net.

When the ball arrives at the player’s side after a serve, it can only bounce once. If it bounces more than once, service is handed over to the other team. The receiving player must stay out of the “NO-VOLLEY” zone until the ball has bounced.

Pickleball is different from any other game in that when a service is returned, the ball must bounce before the receiver can hit it back. A hard return by the opponent bounces just inside the backline is very difficult to return.

After a service has been returned, the ball can be played in the air or off one bounce.

Pickleball Is Like Tennis In The Following Ways

The differences between tennis and Pickleball are noticeable and include the different court sizes and the type of balls and rackets/paddles.

The court is split into four squares on each side of the net. The two squares – the NON-VOLLEY ZONE (Or KITCHEN) – nearest the net measure 10ft (wide) by 7ft (deep), and the two SERVICE AREAS measure 10ft (wide) by 15ft (deep).

The nets of both tennis and Pickleball are similar in height, with the Pickleball net being 34 inches in the middle while a tennis net is 36 inches high in the middle.

As in tennis, the ball server stands with one foot on the baseline of the back square. The ball is served across the court diagonally from the SERVICE AREAS.

Tennis is played in sets, which can take a long time to complete, while Pickleball is played until someone hits 11, 15, or 21 points. Although players can only score on their serve, Pickleball is generally much quicker than tennis.

The action players use to hit a ball in tennis is more extended and faster than in Pickleball; this is particularly evident in the service, where the tennis player serves overarm in a long-extended action, whereas in Pickleball, the service is done underhand, more like Ping-Pong.

Like in Ping-Pong, Pickleball players have excellent reaction times and are agile enough to rush to the net and return to the backline depending on where the opponent sends the ball.

Because a tennis court is so much more significant, it provides a better cardio workout for the player.

Pickleball Is Like Badminton

Pickleball is played on badminton-sized courts. The Pickleballs court dimensions are 44ft by 20 ft (13.4 m by 6,096 m), and the net divides the competing teams at the 22-foot mark.

The Pickleballs scoring system is like Badminton. Pickleball games end at 11, 15, or 21 Points.

A standard game of Pickleball ends at 11 points; however, the winning team must be ahead by a minimum of two points; this means that in closely fought matches, games can go right up to 21 points before a winner is declared.

When you’re playing a game to 11 points, the teams switch sides when the first team hits 6 points. If the game is to 15 or 21 points, the teams swap sides at 8 points.

A badminton net, at 155cm, is much higher than a Pickleball net at 34cm.

Pickleball Is Like Ping-Pong

The scoring is very similar to both Ping-Pong and Badminton.

Like in ping-pong, services are always conducted underhand.

Like Ping-Pong, Pickleball is a concise and fast game. It requires excellent reaction and response times.

Pickleball is like Ping Pong in the type of bat which is used. However, it is bigger than a Ping Pong bat; the way it is held and the relaxed nature of the grip are essential. In both sports, if the player holds the bat too tight, it results in tension in the arm and wrist, resulting in the action not being as fluid and shots being less consistent.

Both Pickleball and Ping Pong require the players to stand lightly on their feet and stay balanced; this allows them to move very fast to meet an oncoming ball. Being played on a smaller court means that reaction times must be swift.

The serve cannot fall within the NON-VOLLEY ZONE on the opponent’s side, and it must reach the SERVICE AREAS without first touching the ground.


Pickleball is a fantastic game that has been around for much longer than people realize. It requires less space and doesn’t take the time that tennis does; unlike Ping Pong and Badminton, Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors.

Pickleball need not be played instead of any other sports, but rather as a great fun addition to your sporting arsenal.


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