How Is Pickleball Different From Tennis And Badminton?

Pickleball, tennis, and badminton are three racket sports that bring people together in different ways. All have courts, balls and rackets to play but a little change in rules. The three games give the same excitement and fun to its player. 

Have you ever asked, How is pickleball different from tennis and badminton? It’s like comparing three exciting books, each with its own thrilling story. Pickleball, tennis, and badminton’s unique adventures on the court are the source of unlimited love for these games. 

Pickleball, tennis, and badminton may share a common theme of hitting balls over a net, but they each have distinct rules, equipment, and playing styles. Tennis has a bigger court and racket for more power. Badminton uses a feathered shuttlecock and a high net, requiring speed and agility. Each game has its own rules and excitement.

Court Size and Dimensions

Court Size and Dimensions

The size of the court is one of the most noticeable differences. In tennis, you have a large rectangular court, while in pickleball, it’s smaller, and in badminton, it’s even smaller. Tennis courts are about 78 feet long, while pickleball courts are around 44 feet, and badminton courts are the smallest at 20 feet.

Equipment and Racket Differences

Each sport has its own unique equipment. Tennis uses a tennis racket with a larger head and heavier weight. Pickleball has a smaller, lightweight paddle, and badminton employs a feathered shuttlecock. The choice of equipment affects the game’s dynamics and the way players hit the ball or shuttlecock.

Scoring Systems

Scoring systems vary significantly. Tennis uses a system of points (15, 30, 40) and games (best of three or five sets). Pickleball uses a simpler system where points are scored on each rally, and games are played to 11 or 15 points. Badminton also employs a point-per-rally system, with games played to 21 points.

Serve and Serve Reception

Serving rules differ in each sport. Tennis serves are overhead and must cross the net and land in a specific service box. In pickleball, serves are underhand and need to clear the net. Badminton serves are underhand as well but require the shuttlecock to pass below the server’s waist. 

Net Height and Game Style

Net Height and Game Style

Net heights distinguish these sports. Tennis has the highest net at 3 feet, followed by pickleball at 2.44 feet, and badminton with the lowest at 5 feet. These heights influence the game style, with tennis emphasizing powerful groundstrokes, pickleball focusing on volleying, aerial exchanges.

Paddles And Rackets: Which Sports Use Which

In the world of racket sports, the choice of equipment is a significant differentiator. Tennis employs rackets with a larger head and heavier weight, designed for powerful groundstrokes. Pickleball, on the other hand, uses smaller and lighter paddles, promoting agility and volleying finesse.

Badminton relies on rackets similar to tennis but introduces a feathered shuttlecock, emphasizing rapid, aerial exchanges over the net. These distinctions in paddles and rackets contribute to the unique character of each sport.

What Do These Sports Have In Common?

What Do These Sports Have In Common

While pickleball, tennis, and badminton have their differences, they also share some common elements. All three sports involve hitting a ball or shuttlecock over a net, challenging players’ hand-eye coordination and reflexes. 

They require strategic positioning, quick reactions, and a competitive spirit. These sports offer great cardiovascular workouts, promoting physical fitness and overall well-being. They unite players in the joy of racket sports and the thrill of the game.

Court Size and DimensionsSmaller court (44′ x 20′)Larger court (78′ x 36′)Smaller court (44′ x 17′)
EquipmentPaddleTennis RacketRacket and Shuttlecock
Scoring SystemPoint-per-rally (usually to 11)Points (15, 30, 40) and GamesPoint-per-rally (usually to 21)
Serving RulesUnderhand, must clear netOverhead, specific service boxesUnderhand, below waist
Net Height2.44 feet3 feet5 feet
Game StyleVolleys and close net playPowerful groundstrokesRapid, aerial exchanges


How is pickleball different from tennis and badminton in terms of court size?

Pickleball has the smallest court, followed by tennis and then badminton.

What are the key differences in equipment between these sports?

Tennis uses a racket, pickleball employs a paddle, and badminton utilizes a feathered shuttlecock.

How do scoring systems vary in pickleball, tennis, and badminton?

Tennis has a complex scoring system, while pickleball and badminton use a simpler point-per-rally system.

What are the differences in serving rules?

Tennis serves are overhead, pickleball serves are underhand, and badminton serves are underhand below the waist.

How does net height affect the game style in these sports?

Net height influences playing style, with tennis emphasizing groundstrokes, pickleball favouring volleys, and badminton featuring rapid, aerial exchanges.


In the world of racket sports, understand how pickleball is different from tennis and badminton? opens doors to diverse playing experiences. These sports differ in court size, equipment, scoring systems, serving rules, and game styles. These distinctions can help you find the perfect match for your playing style and preferences. 

Whether you prefer the power of tennis, the finesse of pickleball, or the agility of badminton, each sport has its unique appeal. Embrace the diversity and enjoy the thrilling world of racket sports. Discover why pickleball is better than tennis and uncover the joys of this rapidly growing sport firsthand.

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