Pickleball vs. Paddleball: What’s the Difference?


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Racket games are gaining tremendous momentum these days, as they involve an excellent workout for the body and the mind. People play these games with great enthusiasm as they are able to socialize with their fellow sportsmen easily and also train their muscles appropriately. Apart from those who train themselves on these racket games professionally, there are a good number of people who adopt these games for leisure and to indulge in some sort of activity for their healthy living.

This post aims to clarify the doubts of those who adopt these games for leisure, to delineate the difference between the two major racket games, namely the Pickleball and Paddleball. Before jumping into the major pickleball vs. paddleball comparison, let us discuss these two sports individually, to gain a glimpse of what they are all about.

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Though both of the sports are paddle games, pickleball makes use of wooden paddles that are made very smooth. However, the pickleball paddle can be of other materials such as plastic as well. Though some of us are hearing this game pretty recently, its history dates back to 1965. It is not until recently that this game originating from Washington is gaining popularity among people of all countries.

Woman Playing Pickleball
Woman Playing Pickleball

Some people consider this game to be an excellent alternative for Badminton, as it is played in the court that is of the same size as the badminton court. But the pickleball net lies suspended just above the ground like a tennis court and the game can be played both indoors and outdoors.

There is a specialty with the ball used in the game. Unlike other games, pickleball is a perforated plastic ball that strikes against solid wooden paddles. The rules of these games take its input from volleyball, tennis and ping pong and can be played either as singles or doubles. The game is regulated by the USA Pickle Ball Association and is played for 11 points and the winner is expected to lead the game by at least two points.


Paddleball court
Paddleball court

This game is played with the help of paddle racquets in a court that is just half the size of a formal tennis court.  The paddle is made up of plastic material, and it has holes in it for less air friction. The holes on the face of the paddle, roughly about 3/8th of an inch in diameter. The game is played with a solid rubber ball which is generally light green or yellow colors. There are holes in the ball as well to render less friction. This game can also be played as either singles or doubles depending on the space and availability of players.

The Comparison: Pickleball vs. Paddleball

Let’s check out both similarities and differences between these two racket sports.

Similarities Between the Pickleball and Paddleball Game

  • Both of these games allow only the serving team or the player to score a point.
  • Only one serve is allowed for a team in both the games, unlike tennis where two serves are allowed.
  • Both these games are played with a hard and sturdy paddle and a ball.

Differences Between Pickleball and Paddle Ball Game

  • The scoring system of both these games varies extensively. Pickleball games are longer than a paddle ball game.
  • The rubber ball is used in the paddle game and a plastic ball with perforations is used in pickleball.
  • You can serve underhand in pickleball and these serves are easier to return as well.
  • Pickleball mimics the ping pong game, whereas paddle ball mimics the tennis game in terms of game rules, points scored, etc.
  • Both these games include new strategies and tactics to win. Technically pickleball is easier to play than paddle.
  • Pickleball games are more popular among players, owing to the simplicity of its rules and game style.
  • Paddleball game is played against the wall by the players, whereas in Pickleball the ball is tossed over the net.


Both these games adapt to all climates and can be played at night to encourage players at all times. Both these games are interesting and engaging and are growing to be all-time favorite sports among its enthusiasts. No more are they mere backyard games and have started to get embraced in leagues and serious sports venues as well.



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