The Ultimate Comparison: Pickleball vs Badminton

Pickleball and badminton are two racquet sports that have been creating a buzz in the sports world. While they may share some similarities, these two sports are vastly different in terms of their history, equipment, and court dimensions.

Pickleball is a new and exciting sport that blends the best elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis and is played on a smaller court with a hard paddle and a plastic ball like wiffle ball. On the other hand, badminton is a classic sport that has been played for centuries, with its distinctive feather shuttlecock and larger court. 

I’m going to look at the differences between these two sports to help you determine which one might be the best fit for you.

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Differences Between Pickleball And Badminton

Pickleball and badminton are two popular racquet sports that share some similarities but also have some key differences.

As someone who has played both sports, I can offer some personal insights into the distinctions between the two.

As someone who enjoys playing both pickleball and badminton, I can tell you that these two sports are quite different from one another.

Although they share some similarities, there are distinct differences that set them apart which I’ll clarify here in detail.

1. Pickleball vs Badminton (Overall Differences)

One of the most obvious differences between pickleball and badminton is the size of the court. Pickleball is played on a smaller court, typically around a quarter of the size of a badminton court. 

This makes pickleball a great option for those who have limited space or who want a more compact game.

In terms of gameplay, pickleball is generally considered to be a slower-paced game than badminton. This is partly due to the size of the court and the type of ball used. 

Moreover, these both games can be played in both singles and doubles. The scoring systems for the two sports are also different, with pickleball using a rally scoring system and badminton using a traditional scoring system.

2. Paddle vs. Racquet

When it comes to the world of racquet sports, two popular games that often come up in discussion are pickleball and badminton. 

One of the most striking differences between these two games is the type of equipment used. While pickleball players wield a paddle, badminton players use a racquet. 

The paddle used in pickleball is usually smaller than a badminton racquet, and it also comes with a shorter handle. 

This difference in equipment can significantly impact gameplay, and it’s important for players to understand the nuances of both to excel in their chosen game.

2. Courts Size

Another significant difference between pickleball and badminton is the size of their respective courts. Pickleball courts are noticeably smaller than badminton courts, measuring 20 feet wide by 44 feet long. 

In contrast, badminton courts are 20 feet wide by 44 feet long for singles play and 20 feet wide by 68 feet long for doubles play. 

This size discrepancy can significantly impact the gameplay, making pickleball more conducive to tighter spaces and badminton more suited for larger playing areas. 

Whether you prefer a more compact and intimate setting or a spacious court with plenty of room to move, the size of the court is a crucial factor to consider when choosing between these two sports.

3. Net Height

The difference often goes unnoticed is the height of the net. In pickleball, the net is set at a height of 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle. 

In comparison, badminton nets are set at a height of 5 feet at the center and gradually slope down to 3 feet at the edges. This may seem like a small detail, but it can have a significant impact on the gameplay experience.

For pickleball players, the lower net height means that there is less space to hit the ball over, making it more challenging to execute certain shots. 

It also means that players need to have a strong understanding of the court’s dimensions and their position in relation to the net to effectively play the game. 

In contrast, badminton players are faced with a higher net height, which requires more power and precision to clear. This difference in net height highlights the unique challenges and skill sets required for each sport.

Furthermore, the variation in net height also impacts the physicality of the game. In pickleball, players tend to engage in more dinking and soft shots due to the net’s lower height. 

While badminton players often rely on powerful smashes and clear to overcome the higher net. These differences add to the distinctive playing styles and strategies in each sport.

4. Scoring System

When it comes to pickleball and badminton, one of the key differences is their scoring system. In pickleball, the game is played up to 11 points, with the winning team needing to lead by at least two points. 

On the other hand, in badminton, games are played up to 21 points, with the winning team also needing to lead by at least two points. 

Understanding these scoring systems is essential to enjoying and succeeding in either sport. 

So, whether you prefer the fast-paced nature of pickleball or the strategic gameplay of badminton, make sure you familiarize yourself with their unique scoring systems.

5. Serve

If you’re new to pickleball or badminton, you may be wondering about the serving techniques in each sport. In pickleball, the server must be made underhand and directed diagonally across the court. 

This technique can be challenging to master but it’s an important part of the game. On the other hand, in badminton, you have more flexibility with your serve. 

You can choose to serve underhand or overhand, but your goal should be to direct the shuttlecock to the opposite service court. 

By understanding the differences between these two techniques, you can improve your skills and become a better player in both sports. Learn 11 Best Pickleball Shots To Play Like Pro Player.

Similarities Between Pickleball And Badminton

Pickleball and badminton may seem like two very different sports, but they actually share several similarities that make them both enjoyable to play.

Below, I’ll discuss some of the key similarities between these two sports.

1. Types of Equipment

One similarity between pickleball and badminton is that they both require specific equipment to play. 

Both sports require a net, a court, and some type of ball or shuttlecock. In addition, players in both sports typically use a lightweight racket to hit the ball or shuttlecock over the net.

2. Strategy

Another similarity between pickleball and badminton is that they both require players to have a good strategy in order to win. 

In both sports, players need to be able to anticipate their opponent’s moves and respond accordingly. This requires quick reflexes, good footwork, and the ability to think strategically.

3. Physical Demands

Pickleball and badminton are also similar in terms of the physical demands they place on players. Both sports require players to be quick on their feet and have good endurance. 

Players need to be able to move quickly around the court and make sudden stops and starts in order to return the ball or shuttlecock. You may also want to learn about 4 Common Pickleball Injuries That You Should Know.

While pickleball and badminton may have some differences, they share many similarities that make them both fun and challenging to play.

If you’re a fan of one of these sports, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy playing the other one as well. Here is the list of 11 Surprising Pickleball Benefits.

Pros And Cons Of Pickleball And Badminton

Pickleball and badminton are both popular sports with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Below, I’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of each sport, so you can decide which one is right for you.

Pros of Pickleball

Here are some advantages to playing pickleball:

1. Easy to Learn

Pickleball is a great sport for beginners because it’s relatively easy to learn. The court is smaller than a tennis court, and the ball moves slower, making it easier to hit.

2. Good for All Ages

Pickleball is a low-impact sport that’s easy on the joints, making it a great option for players of all ages.

3. Social

Pickleball is often played in doubles, which means it’s a great way to meet new people and socialize while getting exercise.

Cons of Pickleball

Following are some drawbacks to pickleball as comparing to badminton:

1. Limited Court Availability

Because pickleball is still a relatively new sport, it can be difficult to find a court to play on, especially during peak hours.

2. Risk of Injury

While pickleball is a low-impact sport, there is still a risk of injury, particularly if players don’t warm up properly or use incorrect techniques.

Pros of Badminton

Some pros of badminton sports that may convince to play badminton:

1. Great for Cardio

Badminton is a fast-paced sport that requires a lot of movement, making it a great option for players looking to improve their cardiovascular fitness.

2. Good for Hand-Eye Coordination

Because badminton requires players to hit a shuttlecock with a racket, it’s a great sport for improving hand-eye coordination.

3. Worldwide Popularity

Badminton is a popular sport around the world, which means there are plenty of opportunities to play and compete at all levels.

Cons of Badminton

These are some of the very common cons to badminton:

1. High Skill Level Required

Badminton can be a challenging sport to master, particularly for beginners. It requires a lot of practice and skill to become proficient.

2. Risk of Injury

Like pickleball, badminton also comes with a risk of injury, particularly to the knees and ankles, which can be affected by sudden changes of direction on the court.

Overall, both pickleball and badminton have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

Whether you prefer the fast-paced, high-energy game of badminton or the more social, low-impact nature of pickleball, both sports offer a great way to stay active and have fun.

Which One Is Best For You – Pickleball Or Badminton?

Pickleball is a popular sport that’s been gaining in popularity in recent years. It’s a relatively new sport that combines elements of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. 

Pickleball is known for its smaller court size and slower ball speed, making it a great option for players of all ages and abilities. 

If you’re looking for a low-impact sport that’s easy to pick up and play, then Pickleball might be the perfect choice for you.

In case you’re a pregnant woman, still you can play pickleball but before you get there. I’d like you to give a look to my guide about Can you play pickleball while pregnant?

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more fast-paced, high-intensity sport, then Badminton may be the better option for you. 

Badminton is known for its quick movements, high jumps, and fast shuttlecock speed. It requires quick reflexes, good hand-eye coordination, and a high level of physical fitness.

If you’re up for the challenge, Badminton can be an incredibly rewarding sport to play.

When choosing between Pickleball and Badminton, consider your age, fitness level, and personal preferences. 

If you’re looking for a sport that’s easy to learn and doesn’t require a lot of physical exertion, then Pickleball may be the best choice. 

But if you’re up for a challenge and enjoy a fast-paced, high-intensity sport, then Badminton may be the way to go.

Ultimately, both sports have their own unique advantages and can be a lot of fun to play. Give them both a try and see which one you enjoy the most.


In conclusion, while pickleball and badminton have some similarities, they are also distinct sports with their own unique pros and cons. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and fitness goals when deciding which sport to play. 

Whether you choose pickleball or badminton, both sports offer a fun and challenging way to stay active and enjoy some friendly competition.


Q1. What are two differences between pickleball and badminton?

The main differences between pickleball and badminton are the size of the court and the equipment used. Pickleball is typically played on a smaller court with a solid paddle and a plastic ball, while badminton is played on a larger court with a lightweight racket and a feathered shuttlecock.

Q2. Can pickleball be played on a badminton court?

Yes, pickleball can be played on a badminton court as long as the net height is adjusted to the proper height for pickleball (36 inches at the center of the court).

Q3. Which sport is most similar to pickleball?

Pickleball is most similar to tennis in terms of gameplay, as both sports involve hitting a ball over a net with a racket. However, pickleball has some unique rules and equipment that set it apart from tennis.

Q4. Is the pickleball net the same as badminton?

The pickleball net is similar to a badminton net in terms of height, but it is wider and shorter than a standard badminton net. A pickleball net is 36 inches high at the center of the court and 22 feet wide, while a badminton net is 5 feet high at the center of the court and 20 feet wide.

Q5. Can I wear badminton shoes for pickleball?

Yes, you can wear badminton shoes for pickleball as long as they provide good support, cushioning, and traction. However, pickleball shoes are specifically designed for the sport and may offer better performance on the court.

Q6. Are tennis sneakers good for pickleball?

Tennis sneakers can be worn for pickleball, but they may not provide the same level of support and traction as shoes designed specifically for pickleball. Pickleball shoes have features such as a non-marking sole and extra lateral support to help players move quickly and safely on the court.

Q7. Is pickleball hard on the knees?

Pickleball is generally a low-impact sport that is easy on the knees, but players who already have knee problems should take precautions to avoid exacerbating their condition. Wearing proper footwear, warming up before playing, and using proper technique can all help reduce the risk of knee injury.

Q8. Is badminton a harder sport than tennis?

It’s difficult to compare the difficulty of badminton and tennis, as they require different skills and strategies. Badminton requires quick reflexes, agility, and explosive power, while tennis demands more endurance, strategic thinking, and shot accuracy. Both sports can be challenging in their own ways.

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