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Pickleball Court vs Tennis Court – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Pickleball Court vs Tennis Court
Written by Alex

The culmination of newer sports with lenient gameplay dynamics and core mechanics such as Pickleball has allowed plenty of recurring players to give it a try and jump on the bandwagon, which is why you may see the sport rise through the charts all over the nation.

In fact, it seems nowadays there are more courts that are occupied with Pickleball sessions rather than tennis, even though pickleball inherits tons of traits from tennis, people are more inclined towards the former sport.

Henceforth, this phenomenon gives rise to questions such as “Can I use a tennis court for Pickleball?” To find out, in this article, we will be going through a comprehensive comparison between Pickleball courts vs. tennis Courts shedding light on their key differences and even finding out “Does pickleball damage tennis courts?”.

Playing Field Comparison 

Before we scrutinize the differences, let’s nitpick the similarities, 

Player Count

Unless and until you are playing round robin, both sports allow their court to be filled with a maximum player count of a team of two individuals on each side. While you could clearly play in singles format, the stacks of thrill increase by twofold when the player count is increased.

Nevertheless, both Pickleball and Tennis court has a maximum capacity of four players which is why the mobility factor might feel familiar whenever you are spectating a session.

Serving Positioning

Another pivotal similarity of both of these sports is in its serving direction, since you are required to hit the ball diagonally across the net while performing a serve execution while standing the baseline, the serve execution is mostly done through the underhand gesture.

Common Venue

The beauty of both of these sports is that their courts are easily available in public and private properties, so you could easily play indoors as well as outdoors. 

While, it’s obvious that for indoor sessions on private property, you may have to pay a sum in order to enjoy a session, the accessibility factor is so in abundance you could easily have the best time with your buddies which happens to be a few steps away from your home.

Court Surface

Lastly, when it comes to the surface of the court, both courts share the same thermal mass as you need to build a court on a concrete or asphalt surface which is then painted with acrylic or epoxy paint to provide gripping and indicate lines on the court.

The paint can be in any color as long as it doesn’t violate the yellow color of the ball as it may obstruct the visibility factor for players.

Major Differences In Pickleball Court Vs Tennis Court

Let’s start by discussing the dimensions of the court,

Physical Dimensions

As per the Official Pickleball Federation, the court has to be 44 feet long and 20 feet in width, regardless of the format you are playing on, and must not exceed these boundaries especially if you are playing competitively. 

The court has to be built on a concrete surface to support the bounce rate of the pickleball and must be segmented with a net right in the middle. Each side must have a baseline which itself is divided into two sides in case two players want to play on each side.

On the other hand, Tennis courts are far bigger in nature due to the fast-paced action, in general, the official rules limit the tennis court to range from 78 feet in length while being 27 feet in width, only for singles format.

If you want to increase the player, the maximum court size has to be 36 feet wide, to support the proper movement of players without restricting their mobility.

Non-Volley Zone

Another interesting factor in the Pickleball court is that it includes a unique zone known as the kitchen or Non-Volley Zone which prevents players from volleying directly from that region in the court, otherwise, it will result in a fault. This Non-volley zone ranges up to 7 feet and is present on both sides of the court across the net.

However, you won’t find such rules or zones that prohibit the players from volleying across the net anywhere from the court. This increases the aggressiveness of the sessions by tenfold when compared to pickleball.

Serve Restriction

To keep both sides fair and well-balanced, the server has to serve underhand while keeping the paddle right across the waistline, allowing the ball to double bounce before it is hit by the receiver. This ensures the sessions are picked off slowly before they jump straight to aggressive volleys giving both teams enough time to prepare.

On the other hand, the difficulty factor is increased twofold since there is no rule that restricts the games at the initial phase since the server can serve underhand or overhand and can be volleyed directly.

Scoring System

Another major difference that is often overlooked is the scoring system, in pickleball, the scoring factor is simple, a team has to score points up to a maximum cap of 11 and victory is only concluded once they are with a lead of 2 points.

Meanwhile, in tennis, players have to partake in innings that consist of 4 fours points in total which is also termed as “love”. In other words, a tennis session would cause considerably more fatigue since you have to spend more time on the court as compared to pickleball.

Does Pickleball Damage Tennis Courts?

Absolutely not, there is little to no chance of any sort of damage to tennis courts since the only point of contact is the ball you are going to hit with your Paddle which is made from hollow plastic and barely has any weight.

In addition to that, the smooth surface barely creates any form of friction or abrasive effects that might tamper the epoxy paint of the surface of the Tennis Court, so if you are planning to use the Tennis court as a substitute, you clearly don’t have to worry about Pickleball Damaging Tennis court.

You can also read: Pickleball and Squash – Showdown of Racquet Giants

Final Conclusion

If you have reached this point of the article, you must be pondering which sports are more suitable for your needs. Well, if you are looking for a quick jolt of adrenaline and want to keep yourself on your toes, then Tennis is something you need to invest your time and energy in.

Meanwhile, if you have a laid-back attitude and simply want to have fun without spending “high-octane” energy, Pickleball courts warmly welcome individuals like you.

However, the silver lining here is that you would be able to train your muscle memory in a much more lenient and forgiving fashion.

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

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