When it comes to new-age racket sports, there are plenty of options to choose from: Padel, paddle, and pickleball.
They are three popular sports that all involve hitting a ball with a racket, but there are some key differences between them.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at each of these sports to help you understand the differences and decide which one is right for you.
|Padel||Paddle (Pop tennis)||Pickleball|
|Court dimensions||20m x 10m||20.5m x 10.5m||20m x 10m|
|Walls||Can use all walls to bounce the ball off||No walls||No walls|
|Racket||Short handle – often carbon fibre or fibreglass||Longer handle, and weightier than padel rackets||Wooden|
|Ball||Soft tennis ball||Solid, weighty ball||Plastic light ball with holes|
|Scoring||Same as tennis||Same as tennis||First to 11 points wins a game. Best of 3.|
What’s the difference between the rackets?
- Padel rackets are typically made of composite materials such as carbon fibre and are smaller and lighter than traditional tennis rackets. They have a shorter handle and a larger sweet spot for more power and control.
- Paddle rackets, also known as paddles, are typically made of wood or composite materials and are larger and heavier than padel rackets. They have a longer handle and a smaller sweet spot for more precision.
- Pickleball rackets, also known as paddles, are similar in size and shape to paddle rackets, but they are made of composite materials such as graphite or aluminium and have a textured surface for added spin and control.
What’s the difference between the courts?
- Padel courts are slightly smaller than tennis courts, measuring 20 x 10 meters (66 x 33 feet). They have walls on three sides, allowing players to hit the ball off them and keep the game going.
- Paddle courts are similar in size to padel courts, but they do not have walls. They are typically made of concrete or asphalt and are lined with painted lines similar to those on a tennis court.
- Pickleball courts are smaller than padel and paddle courts, measuring 20 x 44 feet (6.1 x 13.4 meters). They have a lower net and are usually played on a badminton or tennis court.
What about the rules?
The rules of padel are largely similar to those of tennis, but there are a few key differences:
- The court: Padel courts are smaller and enclosed, with walls on all four sides. The dimensions of a padel court are 20 meters long, 10 meters wide, and a wall height of 8 meters.
- The serve: the serve must be made underhand and the ball must bounce on the ground before it is struck by the paddle.
- The scoring: the first team to score 4 points wins a game, and the first team to win two games wins a set. If the score is tied at 6-6 in a set, a tiebreak is played to determine the winner.
The rules of paddle (pop tennis) are very similar to those of padel, but there are a few key differences:
- It can be played as singles. Unlike padel which is doubles only.
- The court: Paddle courts are smaller than tennis courts, with dimensions of 20.5 meters long and 10.5 meters wide.
- The serve: the serve must be made underhand and the ball must bounce on the ground before it is struck by the racket.
- The scoring: the first player to score 4 points wins a game, and the first player to win two games wins a set. If the score is tied at 6-6 in a set, a tiebreak is played to determine the winner.
The rules of pickleball are again similar to those of tennis but here are the key differences:
- The scoring: In pickleball, the first team to score 11 points wins a game, and the first team to win two out of three games wins a match. If the score is tied at 10-10 in a game, a tiebreak is played to determine the winner.
- The serve and volley: players are not allowed to volley the ball on their serve. They must let the ball bounce before hitting it.
How popular are padel, paddle, and pickleball?
- Padel tennis is a popular sport in Europe, South America, and Asia, with professional leagues and tournaments in many countries. It is the fastest-growing sport in the world.
- Paddle is a popular sport in the United States, with professional leagues and tournaments as well as recreational play at clubs and public courts.
- Pickleball is a popular sport in the United States but it’s also gaining popularity in other countries around the world. But not quite at the speed of padel.
When was each sport invented?
- Padel was invented in Mexico in 1969.
- Paddle or Pop tennis was invented in 1898.
- Pickleball was invented in the United States in 1965.
In conclusion, while padel, paddle, and pickleball all involve hitting a ball with a racket, there are some key differences between these sports.
From the rackets used to the court but the main one being the full use of walls in Padel.
Undoubtedly though, these sports are taking over, especially in the UK.