Why Is Pickleball Noisier Than Tennis?

If you’re new to playing pickleball, or you’ve come across the sport, you will be able to see that the concept is similar to that of tennis. However, there are a few differences between the sports, including specific rule differences and the use of different sporting apparel. Another difference between the sports is the noise level they create when playing.

Pickleball is noisier than tennis because of the materials used to make both the pickleball and the paddle. The sound of a pickleball hitting a paddle is 20-25 decibels higher than a tennis ball when hitting the strings of a racket, giving the pickleball a very loud, high-pitched sound when struck.

Although one of the main reasons pickleball is noisier than tennis is due to the materials from which the respective balls and paddles or rackets are made, a few other factors contribute to the significant noise difference between the two sports.

Why Pickleball Is Noisier Than Tennis

The main reason pickleball is noisier than tennis is that the balls are made from a much harder material than tennis balls. Tennis balls are hollow and are usually made from a two-piece rubber compounded spherical shell, which is enveloped by a soft, felt-like material. Pickleballs are manufactured using a hard plastic shell.

How The Materials Of Paddles And Rackets Influence Noise 

In tennis, the frame of the tennis racket is made from graphite or a graphite composite and has strings usually made from a nylon or polyester gut. The design of the tennis racket allows better cushioning when hitting the ball due to the elasticity of the strings, reducing the force of the ball hitting the racket and therefore reducing the noise.

In pickleball, paddles are used to hit the ball. The paddles used in pickleball were formerly made from wood; however, more modern paddles are made from composite materials such as aluminum and graphite. The solid-face design of the paddle makes the impact force of the pickleball quite hard when hitting the paddle, which results in a loud noise when the pickleball makes contact.

How The Materials Of Each Ball Influences Noise

The soft rubber design of the tennis ball also reduces the noise the ball makes when making contact with the racket, as some of the force is absorbed by the elasticity of the rubber. The hard plastic design of the pickleball causes it to have a very loud sound when making contact with the racket, as none of the force can be absorbed due to the hard plastic not having any elasticity to absorb energy.

How The Size Of The Court Influences Noise

Pickleball courts are typically a quarter the size of a regular tennis court. This means that four times the amount of people who play pickleball can fit into an area the size of a single tennis court. Therefore, that means that four pickleball games can take place simultaneously in an area of the same size where you can play only one tennis game.

Inevitably, with more pickleball games going on simultaneously, there will be more players in the same area than for tennis, and therefore more balls will be in play simultaneously. More games being played simultaneously means that there will be much more noise coming from the area than for a tennis match being played in the same size area.

How The Pace Of The Game Influences Noise

Tennis is played over a much larger court area than pickleball. Due to the larger court area, a tennis ball takes longer to travel the distance from one person’s racket to the other, meaning that there is a long time interval between the shots made by each player.

Pickleball has a much smaller court area, meaning there is a shorter distance for the pickleball to travel from one player’s paddle to the other. Due to the shorter distance for the ball to travel, the pickleball moves from one player’s paddle to the other in a shorter time interval than a tennis ball would in a tennis match.

Due to the time interval between the pickleball hitting the paddle being shorter than the interval for a tennis ball to hit the players’ rackets between shots, balls in pickleball hit the paddles much more frequently than tennis balls hit rackets in the same amount of time. 

Playing pickleball is much noisier than playing tennis because the pickleball is hit much more frequently over the same time interval as you would hit a tennis ball during a tennis match. The more times the pickleball makes contact with a paddle, the noisier the game will be.

Ways To Reduce Noise When Playing Pickleball

The noise of playing a game of pickleball can sometimes prove to be an issue, especially when it is being played in a residential area, as some people find the noise to be highly annoying. There are, however, a few ways to reduce the amount of noise you make when playing a game of pickleball.

Choosing A More Noise-Friendly Paddle And Pickleball

Some solutions to reduce the amount of noise made when playing a game of pickleball include choosing a pickleball paddle that is specifically designed to reduce the amount of noise made when hitting the pickleball or choosing to use an indoor pickleball that is slightly softer than an outdoor pickleball, which causes the noise they make when making contact with the paddle to be a bit less.

Choosing The Right Location For Pickleball Courts

Another solution to reduce noise when playing pickleball includes planning the placement of pickleball courts at an adequate distance away from residential areas so as not to disturb residents with noise when playing pickleball. Should pickleball courts already be built in a residential area, one could consider building soundproof barriers and fences around the courts to reduce the noise.


Pickleball tends to be noisier than tennis for a few reasons. The primary reason pickleball is noisier than tennis, however, is due to the sound of the contact being made between the materials used to manufacture the ball and paddles. A pickleball is made from hard plastic, and the paddles are made from wood or graphite and have a solid face.

The sound of the solid paddle making contact with the hard plastic pickleball is much louder than that of a soft tennis ball hitting the strings of a racket. Pickleball courts are much smaller than tennis courts, meaning there is less distance for the ball to travel across the court, meaning the pickleball gets hit more frequently than a tennis ball in the same time interval, which causes more noise.


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