Beach Tennis vs Pickleball: What’s the Difference?

Are you looking for a new sport to try out this summer? Do you enjoy playing with rackets and balls but want something different from tennis or badminton?

If so, you might be interested in learning more about beach tennis and pickleball. These racket sports have been growing in popularity worldwide, especially in the US, Europe, and Asia. What exactly are they, and how do they differ from one another?

beach tennis vs pickleball

This article will compare and contrast beach tennis and pickleball (Beach Tennis vs Pickleball) regarding court size, equipment, rules, scoring, skills, and strategies. By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of which sport suits your preferences and abilities better.

So quench your curiosity now, and let’s dive into it!

What Is the Difference Between Beach Tennis and Pickleball?

Beach tennis and pickleball are racket sports that have gained popularity recently. Both sports are fun, social, and easy to learn, but their differences make them unique. So, here are some differences that you should know –

Court Size

Beach tennis is played on a sand court that is similar in size to a doubles badminton court. It measures 16 meters long by 8 meters wide. The net is 1.8 meters high for men and 1.7 meters high for women.

Pickleball is played on a hard court the same size as a doubles badminton court. It measures 20 feet long by 44 feet wide. At the sidelines, there is a 36-inch net, while at the center, there is a 34-inch net.


Beach tennis uses paddle bats that have no strings and are made of composite or wooden materials. The ball is a low-compression orange ball, slightly softer than a regular tennis ball.

what is the difference between beach tennis and pickleball
YinYang – iStock

Pickleball uses solid-faced paddles larger than table tennis paddles and smaller than tennis rackets. The ball is a perforated hollow plastic ball with less bounce than a tennis ball.


Beach tennis follows most of the rules and scoring of traditional tennis, except with some modifications. Neither a second nor a let service exists. The ball must not bounce on the court at any time. It is primarily played between doubles teams, although singles can be played on a narrower court.

Pickleball also follows some of the rules and scoring of traditional tennis but with some differences. There is a non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen) on either side of the net, where players cannot hit the ball in the air. Before players can volley the ball, it must bounce once on each side. The game can be played by singles or doubles teams.


Beach tennis uses the same scoring system as regular tennis, except with the permanent use of no advantage after the deuce. In 2020, a 10-point tiebreak was introduced in the third set.

Pickleball uses side-out scoring, meaning only the serving team can score points. The first team to reach 11 points and win by two points wins the game. In a match, two of the three games must be the best.


Beach tennis requires good agility, coordination, and reflexes to move around the sand court and hit the ball over the net. Players must master different types of shots, such as volleys, smashes, slices, lobs, and drop shots.

what is the difference between beach tennis and pickleball
Microgen – Shutterstock

Pickleball requires good hand-eye coordination, accuracy, and anticipation to hit the ball with the paddle and place it strategically on the court. Players must develop various skills, such as serves, returns, dinks, drives, lobs, and slams.


Beach tennis involves a lot of teamwork, communication, and positioning between partners. Players must cover half the court and avoid hitting the ball out or into the net. Players must also adapt to weather conditions, such as wind and sun.

Pickleball involves a mix of offensive and defensive tactics, depending on the situation. Players need to control the center of the court and force their opponents to make errors or hit weak shots. Players also need to vary their shots’ pace, spin, and angle.


What is a beach tennis ball?

A beach tennis ball is a low-compression orange ball slightly softer than a regular tennis ball. It is used in beach tennis, a sport that combines elements of tennis and volleyball on a sand court. Beach tennis balls have less bounce and speed than regular tennis balls, which makes them more suitable for playing on the sand.

What is the difference between padel and pickleball?

Padel and pickleball are racket sports that involve hitting a ball over a net. However, they have different origins, rules, equipment, and court sizes. Padel evolved from tennis and is played on an enclosed court with walls to bounce the ball. Padel uses a pressurized ball like a tennis ball and a perforated paddle with strings. Pickleball evolved from badminton and is played on an open court with a non-volley zone near the net. Pickleball uses a perforated plastic ball with less bounce and a solid-faced paddle without strings.

Is pickleball an elderly sport?

Pickleball is not an elderly sport, although it is popular among older adults who enjoy its low-impact and social nature. Pickleball can be played by people of all ages and skill levels, and it has also grown in popularity among younger generations. According to the 2021 Sport and Fitness Industry Association report, pickleball is most popular among Caucasians with a $100,000 household income. Pickleball players in 2021 are 38.1 years old, down from 41 years in 2020. The highest proportion of players is between 18 and 34 (27.8%) among all age groups.

Why pickleball is not an Olympic Sport?

Pickleball is not an Olympic sport because it does not meet the International Olympic Committee (IOC) criteria for inclusion in the Olympic Games. One of the main requirements is that the sport must be played in 75 countries across four continents for men’s competition or 40 countries on three continents for women’s competition. Pickleball does not yet have enough international recognition or participation to meet this requirement. Another factor determining whether a sport makes it to the Olympics is its popularity and profitability, as the host city and the IOC want to maximize viewership and sponsorship revenue. Pickleball may not have enough appeal or marketability to compete with other sports for an Olympic spot. However, pickleball enthusiasts hope the sport will eventually make the Olympics in 2028 or 2032.

Well, Let’s Wrap Up!

So, concluding on Beach Tennis vs Pickleball.

Beach tennis and pickleball are exciting sports that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy. Whether you prefer playing on the sand or hard court, with a paddle or a bat, with a soft or a hard ball, you can find your ideal sport in beach tennis or pickleball.

If you want to try them, you can find more information about how to play them, where to find courts, and how to join clubs on their official websites: International Beach Tennis Federation and USA Pickleball. You can also watch videos of professional players and tournaments on YouTube to get inspired.

So, grab your paddle and find your favorite sport! Happy pickleballing!🏓

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