Is Pickleball Just Badminton?

Pickleball is a relatively new sport that has been around for over 50 years and is quickly becoming one of the most popular racket sports in the world. While the sport has been compared to badminton, it is important to note that there are several differences between the two sports. This article will discuss the differences between pickleball and badminton in order to help players decide which sport is right for them.

History of Pickleball

Pickleball was created in 1965 when three dads from Bainbridge Island, Washington were looking for an activity to keep their children entertained on a summer day. They combined elements from ping pong, badminton, and tennis to create the game we now know as pickleball.

The game has grown in popularity since its inception and is now played in over 50 countries around the world. The game is particularly popular in the United States, where it is estimated that over 2 million people play regularly.

Rules and Equipment

The most noticeable difference between pickleball and badminton is the size of the court and the type of equipment used.

Pickleball is played on a court that is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide, compared to the badminton court which is 44 feet by 17 feet. The net is also lower in pickleball, measuring 34 inches at the center, compared to the badminton net which measures 5 feet at the center.

In addition to the court, the type of equipment used is also different. Pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic ball, while badminton is played with a racquet and a shuttlecock.

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Gameplay and Scoring

The rules of the game are also different. In pickleball, the ball can be served underhand or overhand, and the serve must be below the waist. Badminton, on the other hand, is only served underhand and the serve must be above the waist.

The scoring in pickleball is similar to that of tennis, with each game being played to 11 points and each set being played to 3 games. Badminton is played to 21 points, with each set being played to 3 games.


The strategies used in both pickleball and badminton are also different. In pickleball, the emphasis is on controlling the court and using placement to keep the opponent off balance. On the other hand, badminton is more about getting the shuttlecock over the net and using speed to get the opponent out of position.


Pickleball and badminton are similar in some ways, but they are also quite different. While the rules and equipment used in both sports are different, the most notable difference is in the way the two games are played. Pickleball requires more control and placement of the ball, while badminton requires more speed and power to get the shuttlecock over the net.

It is important for players to understand the differences between the two sports in order to decide which game is right for them. Pickleball and badminton are both great sports and can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels.