There is bound to be a comparison between padel vs pickleball. It is important to note that Pickleball is the fastest growing racket sport in the USA, while Padel is by far the fastest growing racket sport across the globe. What is the overlap between the two? Google was my go-to source for information.
In what ways are padel and pickleball different? Padel and pickleball may appear similar on the surface, but they evolved from completely different sports. Badminton evolved into pickleball, while tennis evolved into padel. There is a great deal of difference between the dimensions of the court, the scoring, and the rules.
They are similar but vastly different
Although both games appear similar at first glance, they have important structural and formal differences.
Before you can start playing, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the rules, methods of play, and scoring for each of these games.
There are significant differences between the two sports’ courts.
Playing pickleball on an open court does not allow for a ball to bounce off the transparent glass walls as it does in padel.
These two games will appeal to you if you enjoy playing doubles. You should know, however, that a standard padel court is required to play doubles. In the vast majority of padel courts, there are doubles courts, but a few singles courts exist. On the other hand, pickleball does not have such restrictions, you can play both singles and doubles on the same court.
Among the differences between pickleball and tennis is that there are prohibited areas on each side of the court, yes, you cannot step on these prohibited areas unless you have a rule exception. You could lose many points if you don’t know this.
Both sports use very different equipment, even though they may appear similar at first glance.
As opposed to the pickleball paddle, the padel paddle has a solid face that is thicker and perforated. You can see these differences in greater detail on wepickler.
A padel ball is similar to a tennis ball, but padel balls bounce lower because they have less pressure. The differences between a tennis ball and a padel ball were explored in my article. It is the Head Padel Pro ball that most of the World Padel Tour’s tournaments use.
A perforated plastic ball is used in Pickleball, which moves much slower.
Long rallies are common in both sports. Pickleball relies on slow wiffleballs, while padel relies on surrounding walls to keep the ball on the court.
A pickleball court resembles a large ping pong table, while a padel court resembles a short tennis court.
Both games have a net dividing the court. Padel’s lines resemble those used for service blocks on a tennis court, while those used in pickleball resemble badminton lines.
Dimensional Differences Between Courts
In my first impression, I noticed how different the courts were.
Paddle tennis court characteristics
- You must have a court with a width of 10 meters and a length of 20 meters
- There is a net in the middle of a rectangle that divides it in half
- Service lines are available on both sides of the network
- There are two equal blocks of net and service area formed by dividing the area by a line in half
- The painted service lines measure 20 centimeters in width
- The roof clearance height of covered courts must be at least 6 meters
- Wire mesh fences and glass/cement walls surround the court on both sides
- After a service, the ball must bounce over the service blocks
Pickleball court features
- There are 13.41 meters of width and 6.1 meters of length on the court
- As in padel, half of the court is divided by a net
- A no volley zone is marked 2.13 meters away from the net on both sides of the court near the net (known as the kitchen).
- The court’s dimensions are the same as those of badminton
- A height of 0.91 meters is the net height
- In the service area, there is a center line that divides the right and left sides
- A pickleball service block indicates the spot where the ball must bounce after being served
What About The Rules?
Pickleball and padel have different rules besides the dimensions of the courts.
Starting at the beginning of any point, that is, at the service, is the easiest way to compare the rules.
Serving is played below the waist level in both games. Pickleball is similar to badminton’s service in that you must strike the ball without any bounce before hitting it in padel.
If the ball clips the net on the way over, you may repeat your service if it clips the net on the way over. The first service is similar to a tennis service, while the second service is similar to a padel service.
At least one foot must be in contact with the court surface while both feet are behind the baseline during the service in pickleball. A solid glass or cement wall defines the baseline in padel. It is therefore possible to play the padel service from between the service block edge and the baseline.
There is one similarity in the service between the two games, which is that both services are played diagonally, aiming for the clearly marked service block on the opponents’ side. The right-hand side of the court is also where players begin their service turns.
What Is The Scoring System For The Games?
In padel, ties are broken as in tennis and three sets are scored. In a padel game, deuce is the only time when scoring differs from tennis. The golden point allows padel to win, unlike tennis, which requires 2 clear points to win.
As opposed to badminton, pickleball requires a scoring system loosely based on badminton (the sport it was derived from). The objective is to score at least 11 points, of which you must have at least two points in advance.
A badminton game is won by the first player/team to score 21 points. The difference between badminton and pickleball is that in badminton you can score a point as well as gain the service, whereas in pickleball you can only win points on your own serve. When you win a point while your opponent is serving, the score does not change, you now have the service and are able to start scoring points.
When the score is tied at 10 points each in pickleball, the game continues until one player/team has a two-point advantage.
Difference In Playing Techniques
Due to the slower speed of the whiffle ball, Pickleball is not considered to be particularly difficult, therefore tactics take precedence over power.
Padel balls fly faster than whiffleballs, which means technical skill affects the outcome of a point more than speed.
Relative Fitness Demands
There is a 16.5% difference in size between a pickleball court and a padel court.
Because the perforated plastic ball moves very slowly and there is a smaller court, rallies are long in this game. If you don’t get entangled with your playing partner, you will be in constant motion.
Padel, on the other hand, has a bigger court but the rebounding ball keeps the ball in play for longer, extending rallies.
In other words, there’s no clear winner when it comes to which of the two is more physically demanding.
Four Walls: Impact or Ignorance
Padel is a sport that is unique in its ability to be played within four walls. Missing a shot doesn’t mean you can’t hit the ball again if the ball bounces back off the wall.
Using the walls in your shots will become easier as you play more.
Pickleball courts cannot accommodate this.
Speed And Agility
Pickleball’s charm, however, lies in the constant volleys that characterize the game.
The ball must be kept in your focus at all times, along with your opponent’s movements. In order to force your opponent into a no-volley zone, you must use team tactics along with speed and agility.
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.