When we consider leisure sports or indulging in some sport activity for fun and muscle training, court games occupy the number one position. Among the court games, the common ones that most of us can relate to are, tennis, badminton, squash, etc. But do you there are a number of other games, that are gaining popularity all over the world, that are similar to tennis? Yes, have you heard of paddle tennis, platform tennis or padel games?
In one way all three are similar to each other. Some people also call platform tennis as paddle or paddle tennis. Thus, all three games are similar to each other but have different features and variables. And yes, all of the three games have their roots in Tennis and are some of the fastest-growing sports in the world.
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Platform Tennis vs Padel vs Paddle Tennis
Before ascertaining the differences between the paddle tennis, platform tennis, and padel games, let us get a glimpse of what these games are all about.
This game is played in an enclosed space with the tennis court being surrounded by a wire fence of about 12 feet in height. The court of this sport is about 1/3rd the size of a traditional tennis court and is generally featured with some heating equipment to get the court accessible during winter months.
The game is played with the help of a spongy ball that is heavier than the tennis ball and is 2.5 inches in diameter. The ball is attended by a composite paddle rather than a strung racquet. The paddle features a tough and textured surface, so as to render more spin and grip over the ball. The game is played among four people, in doubles and its scoring system is similar to the standard tennis game.
Platform tennis differs from paddle tennis is a way that the court is set up on raised platforms, enclosed by nets rather than on the ground as that of other tennis sports. The net of this game is about 34 inches high and the game has no volley zone.
Platform tennis is also interchangeably called paddle tennis, depending on the player. Both these games are pretty much close to each other, with a thin line of difference between the two. Both these games are played with a hard paddle rather than a racquet and of late, the paddle tennis has been renamed and rebranded as the Pop tennis. This sport is older than the platform tennis game as its history dates back to the 1898s. It has been estimated that pop tennis was in existence even before Platform Tennis and Pickleball.
One major difference that we can point out between platform tennis and the paddle is the pace of these games. You can take the ball off the fence in platform tennis, to keep the ball in play most of the time. Whereas in paddle tennis, the pace is kept more frantic and points are lost quicker with each passing shot. The volleys are counted in paddle tennis, whereas in platform tennis there is no concept as volleys.
The court where paddle tennis is played is a little larger and is generally available in three different sizes. And the court for paddle tennis is longer and for platform tennis, it is wider. Let us discuss the third twin of tennis here, the panel game.
Well, there are differences between the paddle and the padel, which is perhaps as clear as muddy water! Padel is played with a racquet and the ball should be served at the waist level. The use of the game scoring system as the tennis game and uses the same ball, perhaps with less pressure. The court of this game is half the size of a tennis court and consists of glass walls and you are free to play the balls off them, just like the squash game.
This game is generally played in doubles and the players are free to run out of a doorway to get the ball back in the play. The racquets are solid and stringless and vary in shape compared with the paddles of the other two sports.
The Differences Between Paddle Tennis, Platform Tennis, and Padel
Though all of the three games are the offspring of the tennis game, each of them is different in their own ways. While the padel and the paddle tennis are played both indoors and outdoors, the platform tennis is played predominantly outdoors as the court is heated underneath. The court platform tennis is thus accessible all through the year whereas the other two games cannot be played in the winter months.
The size of the padel court is half the size of the tennis court, whereas the playing court of the paddle tennis and the platform tennis is just 1/3rd of the tennis court.
There are sure differences in how these games are played as well. While you serve underhand in the padel and paddle tennis game, the serves are generally overhead in the platform tennis sport.
With regards to the gear, the paddles of platform and paddle are thinner whereas the racquet of padel game is thicker and more sturdy. Similarly, soft and spongy balls are used in playing paddle tennis and platform tennis and low-pressure tennis ball are used to play padel game.
Platform tennis is the oldest of all three games as its history dates back to 1928. This game originated in New York and is mostly played in California, Chicago, New Jersey, and NY. Padel sport, on the other hand, is played all over the world and is popular in Spain and Latin America.
The platform tennis, Padel and paddle tennis are three similar yet different sports. People sometimes get confused with the three sports and even misuse their names interchangeably. But all the three are different in their own way, though their roots are in tennis. There are few other paddle sports such as beach tennis and pickleball that are gaining popularity among sports enthusiasts.