Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis (Pop Tennis) vs. Padel: What’s the Difference?

Pickleball, paddle tennis, and Padel are three racket sports that have been more popular lately. At first appearance, these three sports appear to be extremely similar.

Other similar sports that use racquets and tennis balls include Padel Ball, Beach Tennis, Squash, etc.

An Overview of Pickleball

Pickleball is a fun sport that mixes tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. On a playing area with a slightly modified tennis net, it is played both indoors and outdoors.

A Brief History of Pickleball

Joel Pritchard and his friends invented pickleball in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Pickleball grew from humble beginnings–mostly handcrafted equipment and basic rules–to become a popular game in the United States and Canada.

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) regulates and promotes pickleball in the United States.

“What is Pickleball? Presented by USPATA

An Overview of Paddle Tennis (Pop Tennis)

A newer version of Tennis that takes a different approach to the classic game is called pop tennis.

Pop Tennis uses the very same rules and scoring format as Tennis.

It is played on smaller courts with low aspect tennis balls with green spots for adults and orange ones for children.

A Brief History of Paddle Tennis (Pop Tennis)

Frank Peer Beal, an Episcopal preacher, founded the sport in lower Manhattan in 1915.

He asked the city’s public recreational division to install facilities in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to have a leisure activity for neighborhood kids.

“What is POP Tennis? Presented by USPTA

An Overview of Padel, the Fastest Growing Racket Sport in the World

Padel is played in pairs on glass and mesh-enclosed courts, roughly one-third of a tennis court size at first glance. You can look into the official rules of Padel here.

“What is Padel? Presented by USPTA

The Four-Wall Paddleball

Similar sports tend to be done on one-wall paddleball styles. The four surrounding walls of a four-wall paddleball can also be played outdoors by single or double tennis players.

The same court is divided into different service zones. Solid wooden paddles are used in a racket sports game, similar to how the normal racquetball is played indoors.

Only the serving player can score, like in a pickleball paddles game and they should stand in front of the service line.

Where They’re Usually Played

Paddle tennis is commonly played in the USA. It initially became popular on the East Coast, until it became known on the West Coast and in the Middle East.

Padel is growing in popularity across both coasts in the US. You can read more in our articles about Padel coming to New York, Where to play Padel in Texas, Where to play Padel in California, and Where to play Padel in Miami.

The Differences Between the Courts and Their Sizes

Let us go over the distinct key differences between the two sports and how these sports became popular activities.

Pickleball Court

Pickleball court dimensions are the same area as a doubles badminton court, measuring 20 by 44 feet. Along with the same pickleball court, you can do it in singles or doubles.

The sidelines are 36 inches tall, while the middle is 34 inches tall. A no-volley zone of 7 feet in front of the net exists in addition to the right and left service courts.

Paddle Tennis Courts

A paddle tennis court is less than half the size of a tennis court. Pop Tennis has 60ft x 21ft singles courts and 60ft x 27ft doubles courts. POP Classic (dubbed as “the original Paddle Tennis”) is played on a 50ft x 20ft court.

Padel Courts

They are lengthier than pickleball and paddle tennis courts, measuring 32ft 8in (10 meters) wide and 65ft 7in (20 meters).

The service lines will be three meters in front of the rear wall, with an extra line in the middle that will split the center rectangle in two.

The lines should be 5 cm wide and easily visible in an indoor court.

Interested in building your own court? Read our article on How to build a Padel court.

What Type of Equipment Do I Need for Pickleball, Paddle Tennis, and Padel?

You need to know what kind of equipment you need to enjoy these sports.

Pickleball Rackets

Once you start playing pickleball, you need to use paddle tennis paddles smaller than the usual tennis racquet but larger than the paddle and wiffle balls.

🔥 Our pick:

Amoron Attacker S1

Paddle Tennis Rackets, the Paddle

Although the paddles used throughout paddle tennis and pickleball are fairly similar, one important distinction is to note.

This is regarding the paddles’ texture. You should use smooth paddles, but paddle tennis paddles can be bumpy or contain holes.

Padel Rackets

The balance is a key consideration when selecting a padel racquet. A soft padel racket is a wonderful choice for beginners since it helps you get faster speeds.

Note that padel balls are not the same as tennis balls. They are normally softer.

Differences in Gameplay and Style

Paddle tennis has a purpose, and pickleball gets mixed up so frequently. Each of these games follows a similar format.

You could think both pickleball and paddle tennis are the same game if you don’t know the distinctions. But how does pickleball vs padel compare? Let’s go through some of the main differences.

Is the balls in Pickleball, Paddle Tennis, and Padel Similar?

Pickleball is played using a little perforated plastic ball that looks like a Wiffle ball. These balls usually contain holes and are very light.

A paddle standard tennis ball is a rubber ball that has been completely sealed.

Balls used for padel normally has less pressure (than a tennis ball) which means it bounces less and invites to longer rallies on the court.

Scoring System

These two games have completely distinct scoring systems. Padel uses the same scoring style as tennis.

Pickleball, on the other hand, has its scoring system. In most cases, the winner must score at least 11 points. Furthermore, they must have at least two points more than the other player.

Differences in Playing Techniques

Now we’ll dive into the key difference between these sports and which one works best to play with.

Pickleball Tennis Court Techniques

This is the only stroke you have control over, from the toss to the timing to the pace. Keep these suggestions in mind before doing a serving style.

Use the third shot drop of solid paddles well. This is typically played when players hit hard and is a skill most essential for pickle ball. Only the serving team can score a point as well.

Padel Tennis

Position behind the service line, let the ball bounce and then hit it to the opposing field before it rises beyond our waist.

We can attempt to carry the opponent’s body to the wall or the ‘T’ on the opposite side of the track. The conditions and positioning of your opponents will determine how it is carried out.

Level of Technical Difficulty – What’s Easiest to Get Started With?

Pickleball is played on a court similar in size to badminton but with somewhat different sections. This sport is also extreme in the sense that it combines a little bit of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s quite the mix!

Padel is played in doubles within an enclosed court, and its size is about 1/3 of a traditional tennis court. Understanding and getting used to the glass walls is probably the biggest learning curve for players, regardless if you’ve played tennis or other racket sports before (squash being the exception).

Pickleball and Padel are both generally considered very easy to learn for players of all ages.

What Sport Is the Better Fitness Workout?

Due to the sheer heating underground, anyone may play platform tennis at any time of year. Paddle tennis is a speedier game that people may play outdoors and inside.

Frequently Asked Questions

Look at the commonly inquired topics regarding pickleball vs paddle tennis vs padel court games.

Is Padel Easier Than Pickleball?

These sports are simple to learn yet surprisingly tough to master. Both courts, for example, are quite tiny, making it simple to cover the ground.

Can You Play Pickleball on Paddle Tennis or Padel Court?

Pickleball is played on a court similar in size to badminton but with somewhat different sections. Padel is played in doubles within an enclosed court, and its size is about 1/3 of a traditional tennis court. Compared to pickleball, it’s relatively easier to learn for any age group.

What Is the Difference Between Padel and Paddle Tennis?

The competitions in Spain are particularly fascinating because of the many competitors, with amazing players making crazy shots. Padel is also the fastest-growing sport in the world.

Is Padel Easier Than Tennis?

Padel is a sport that is inherently easy to pick up. In this sport, the short-handled racket makes ball control simpler. Because Padel does not have an overhead service, even a complete beginner may start a game without having to take any specific instruction.

What Is the Difference Between Padel and Platform Tennis?

The court lengths varied by six feet, with Paddle courts being larger than Platform Tennis courts.

Is Pickleball the Same as Padel Tennis?

Pickleball can be played either indoors or outdoors. Padel is exclusively played on a closed-up court. The versatility of the playing environment between these two is vastly different.

Are Padel and Paddle Tennis the Same?

Padel is a mix of Tennis and squash that involves a lot of physical action and social interaction. Despite that, it’s fun to play for all ages. In the aspect of scoring, the points are earned through strategic game more than pure strength.

Paddle Tennis is played basically like traditional tennis but with a twist. The game is played on shorter courts with racquets that are shorter than usual. For the scoring and rules, the same ones are followed as traditional tennis but a single underhanded serve must be done by players, compared to padel.

What Is the Difference Between Paddle Tennis and Padel Tennis?

Padel is perhaps the most popular sport generally played worldwide. It has been one of the world’s most popular sports in terms of participation.

Paddle Tennis is a bit different in which aside from being the American version of Padel, it follows the same rules as traditional Tennis, but with one underhanded serve.

16 replies on “Pickleball vs. Paddle Tennis (Pop Tennis) vs. Padel: What’s the Difference?”

A traditional POP Tennis/Paddle Tennis court is 20’x50’. There is also a larger 60’ court version as you mentioned above in locations that have 60’ blended lines on tennis courts. But the classic version of POP is a 50’ court.

Thanks a lot for the update Lucas!! We appreciate your hard work and attention to detail to explain the differences in the sports. Great work on this!!! Best, Mitch Kutner, President of Int’l POP Tennis Association

“Compared to pickleball, it’s relatively easier to learn for any age group.”

I can’t see that there is any objective basis for saying this, given that most people say that pickleball is very easy to learn.

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