Comparing Tennis and Pickleball: Net Height and Additional Distinctive Features

Tennis and Pickleball Rackets

So, pickleball, ever heard of it? It’s kind of like tennis, but not really. This game has been blowing up lately, and more folks are playing it all the time. And it’s no wonder – it’s a blast to play, easy to learn, and perfect if you ain’t so good at running all over a huge tennis court.

Now, hold on…even though some people play pickleball on tennis courts, these are NOT the same sport!  One big difference is how high you gotta hit the ball over the net. This post will break down the different heights for tennis and pickleball nets. It’ll also tell you some other ways these sports are not the same thing. Let’s begin.

The Height of Pickleball Net

Height of Pickleball Net

The ones in charge of how pickleball is played, the USAPA, say the top of the net needs to be a certain height. They say to make it really low on the sides – only 3 feet up. But in the middle, it can be a bit higher at 34 inches.

This is actually shorter than a tennis net. That would be way too hard to hit the ball over. With a lower net in pickleball, it’s not so tough to lob that ball over.

The Height of Tennis Net

The regular tennis net is usually 42 inches tall all across. Totally makes sense – you want a good challenge whacking that fuzzy yellow ball over a high net, right?

But even the tennis net sags a bit in the middle. That’s why it’s lowered to 36 inches right in the center. No big deal, just a tiny bit lower.

Other Ways In Which These Sports Differ

Besides just the net height, these sports ain’t exactly the same. Let me break it down for ya:

Tennis Is Way Faster Pace

The girl and the boy are playing pickleball

Most tennis points are over quick, in like 30 seconds or less. But pickleball points can drag on for a whole five minutes! And the balls are different sizes too – tennis balls are smaller than those big ol’ pickleballs.

Pickleball Doesn’t Require Its Own Special Court

You can set up the game of pickleball on pretty much any tennis court as long as the net is at the right height. Pretty convenient if you ask me!

Rackets Are Different

Pickleball Paddle and Tennis Racket

Tennis players use tennis rackets, while pickleballers get it done with paddles.


Essentially, tennis and pickleball are kinda similar but also pretty different, right? Tennis is more fast-paced, and you gotta run all over the place, while pickleball is more relaxed. And pickleball is easier on your joints if you’re not as young as you used to be.

If you like tennis but want something less tough on your body, you should think about pickleball. A lot of tennis courts now have pickleball lines, too, so you don’t need a whole other court – you can play both on the same surface.

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