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Pickleball is a sport which is gaining popularity at quite the speedy rate. It is an easy to play sport which means that it is not as demanding as other sports such as tennis or badminton. Therefore, it is suitable for other types of people and fits many demographics. 

Pickleball players tend to be over 50 years of age, but there are plenty of younger players around as well. It is simple, so it has attracted a lot of attention from various groups. 

You may even find that there are a fair few badminton and tennis players who prefer lower intensity sports who are starting to lean evermore to pickleball to stay fit and healthy. 

But which is better, more fun, and the most popular? Pickleball or tennis? Is one better than the other? Is there one that is more fun? 

The truth is that it is a matter of opinion more than anything. But let’s consider this on a wider scale.

Is It A Fair Comparison?

Nowadays, you will generally be able to flick between channels and you can watch a tennis game on one channel and a pickleball game on the other. 

When you look at these two sports played for viewing, one will have huge amounts of spectators viewing it, with enthusiasm and adoration, the athletes going home with huge paychecks. 

Then you get the pickleball match, with a number of fans small enough to only be the restroom line at a tennis tournament. Pickleball games only last minutes, but tennis matches last hours. 

Can we really compare these two? Truly, no. Not as a sport, pickleball is a fairly new game in comparison to tennis, and tennis has pros, worldwide, with names so famous a newborn would know a few. 

Pickleball is still young, and it is not the famously competitive sport that tennis is. It has a long way to go. 

Even though some infamous tennis players try their hand at pickleball to stay fit, many of them will note that they’re different, and truly there is no room to compare them.

After all, pickleball was made to be a sport for the whole family, and not to be the sport to overtake tennis.

Which Is More Popular?

It is almost a ridiculous question to ask which of these sports is more popular. The clear and obvious answer is Tennis. 

Tennis is one of the most popular sports of all time, worldwide. It is played by over 60 million people, including women, men, and children.

Tennis is right up there in popularity with baseball, cricket, football, soccer, and rugby among the world’s most popular sports. 

But, what about pickleball? Well, it is not even in the top ten really, however, it is very popular, but its popularity is different.

Tennis requires fitness and a level of dedication that often leads to a tennis career ending at a certain point in life.

Pickleball has a large quantity of older people playing it. It is popular because it is suitable for all ages, it is easier, simpler, and is ideal for many levels of fitness. 

Pickleball is similar to tennis, but it is fun and more accessible for everyone. 

Let’s not forget, it is also kind of funky. So, we cannot say that pickleball is more popular than tennis, not at all, but it is more fun. 

Pickleball courts are also much smaller than tennis courts. With pickleball courts at 44 x 20 feet, and tennis courts at 78 x 36 feet, it is sensible to consider pickleball to be simpler.

Also, since you serve with an underhand in pickleball, it is clearly easier. 

Pickleball is generally made to be a fun game that is accessible, and while it is competitive, it is more for fun than competition, unlike tennis.

Which Is Tougher?

Generally how difficult a game is to play will dictate how fun it is. If a game is hard to play it is usually not so fun, because learning it can be frustrating. 

The truth is that once you know how to play either pickleball or tennis, they are pretty seamless, you simply need to follow the rules, practice and know what the basic shots are. 

You should note, however, that while they are two very similar games, their rules, speed, and court play are all very different. 

Tennis is the harder game of the two, it is harder to play competitively and in strategy, so comparing the ports is a bit tricky. 

Pickleball is a bit easier to play thanks to the underhand serve, tennis players need to use an overhand serve to play competitively, and most tennis players will struggle with this aspect of the game more than anything else. 

Is The Same Equipment Used?

You do use the same shoes in pickleball that you would in tennis, and the clothing is the same (see also ‘What To Wear To Play Pickleball‘), but the rackets are totally different, since pickleball requires a paddle.

Oh, and the ball is totally different as well. A pickleball has holes in it to begin with! 

Pickleball Vs. Tennis Which One Is More Fun (1)

Pickleball balls’ are also smaller and much lighter, and they don’t bounce like tennis balls do. 

The paddle is somewhat easier to use, and the ball makes things more fun and easier too. It is all a bit quirky which makes it generally more fun! 


Rules matter, for some people, a game with strider rules makes for a game that is less fun.

While some of us enjoy complex rules to challenge us, not everyone does, so we will go with the idea that simpler equals more fun, for this purpose. 

Let’s look at the rules: 


  • Tennis is an overhand action.
  • The serving player needs to stand behind the baseline, and no foot faults are allowed. 
  • If the 1st serve is out then the server gets another serve. 
  • Points can be scored on return and on serve. 
  • Contact with the ball can be made from anywhere. 
  • If the ball touches the net and goes in, it is considered a let and points need to be replayed. 
  • Players are allowed to volley from anywhere on their side of the net.
  • The receiving player can return the ball without there needing to be a bounce. 


  • Serves are done with an underhand motion. 
  • There is only 1 serve per point. 
  • Receivers need to play the first shot “off-the-bounce”. 
  • Contact made with the ball needs to be below the waist.
  • Points are only scored on serve,
  • Servers need to stand behind the baseline with no foot faults allowed.
  • There is a no-volley area which is called ‘the kitchen’. 
  • If the ball touches the net and goes in, it is considered a let and points need to be replayed.

Can We Really Say?

The rules of pickleball are a bit stricter, but the game is considered to be easier, and therefore more fun.

Considering it is also played by people of all ages, it is fun for socializing and family activities. While it’s not as competitive it is definitely more fun than tennis!