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Is pickleball easier than tennis? A comparison of the requirements of the two sports

If you're no stranger to racquet sports, you've probably asked yourself the question: Is pickleball easier than tennis? Both sports are very popular and require the use of a tennis racket or pickleball paddle, but which one has the advantage in terms of ease of play? Let's look at various aspects of both sports to shed light on this debate.

The Rules of the Game: Tennis vs. pickleball rules

Let's start with the basics. Pickleball is often praised for being easier for beginners to learn compared to tennis. However, there is a peculiarity here. Although many beginners have a higher skill level in pickleball than in tennis, the rules of pickleball are a bit more complicated than those of tennis.

For example, it can take more time to understand the pickleball rules for serving and scoring than it would for a tennis player. Also, pickleball fans have to find their way around the non-volley zone, a problem that does not exist with tennis.

Advantage: Tennis

The size of the court matters: a look at tennis and pickleball courts.

One of the most noticeable differences between these two sports is the size of the court. A standard doubles tennis court is much larger than a pickleball court, measuring 23.77m long and 10.97m wide.

In contrast, a pickleball court has more modest dimensions, namely 13.4m long and 6.10m wide. This smaller size of the court means that there is less playing surface available for pickleball. As a result, rallies are more manageable and require less physical exertion, making the game attractive to those seeking a less physically demanding game.

Advantage: Pickleball

Physical Demands: Sprinting vs. squatting

Speaking of physical demands: Let's look at the athletic demands of the two sports. Tennis requires explosive movements, quick sprints, endurance, and generally greater strength to hit the ball.

Pickleball, while exhibiting some of these movement patterns, has less playing surface to offer due to the smaller court size. Consequently, there is less stress on the joints and muscles. However, there is more squatting required at the non-volley zone (kitchen), which can be challenging for players with knee or back problems.

Advantage: Pickleball

Injuries: A closer look at pickleball and tennis injuries.

Given the difference in intensity of the game, the risk of injury tends to be lower in pickleball compared to tennis. That's not to say there's no risk of injury in pickleball, but the high intensity of tennis can put more strain on the body, which can lead to problems like tendonitis or tennis elbow.

Advantage: Pickleball

Rackets and paddles: equipment comparison

The two sports also differ in their tools of the trade. Tennis uses a heavier racket and a harder ball, which allows for a longer serve time. This longer contact time allows players to generate additional spin and exert better stroke control.

Pickleball, on the other hand, is played with a pickleball paddle and a plastic ball with holes that resembles a floorball. The ball bounces off the paddle quickly, resulting in fewer hitting opportunities and requiring less force to hit. These factors can make pickleball easier for novices.

Advantage: Pickleball

Conclusion: the pickleball vs. tennis debate.

So is pickleball really easier than tennis? The answer depends on what you're looking for. Pickleball offers a more forgiving court size and generally puts less strain on the body. In contrast, tennis is more difficult to learn but can provide an invigorating workout and a deeper strategic experience.

Ultimately, both sports have their own merits and appeal to different types of players. Whether you're looking for an active pastime, a new hobby with friends, or a competitive experience, both pickleball and tennis have something special to offer.

As always, if you have any further questions about pickleball, don't hesitate to contact our Pickleball Corner experts at

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