Pickleball vs Ping Pong – A Smashing Comparison in 2024

Alex Jones

Pickleball or Ping-Pong? What game do you play? What’s the difference between the two? I enjoy playing both, but I’m always asked – what’s the difference between them?

Ping-Pong and pickleball are often considered to be the same sport by many people. After all, both games involve paddles and balls. It is important to note, however, that the two sports differ significantly. Check out our guide to pickleball vs Ping Pong.

What is Pickleball?

The sport of pickleball was first played in 1965. There are elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis in this paddle sport. A backyard game invented for children, it has become increasingly popular over the years.

In pickleball, a paddle with holes is used to hit the ball, and it is played alone or in doubles. A net similar to a tennis net is used in the game, which is played on a badminton-size court.

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What is Ping-Pong?

Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a paddle sport played by two or four players. During the 1880s, it began in England. In Europe and Asia, it’s called table tennis because Parker Brothers trademarked the name Ping-Pong. 

Played with paddles and a white plastic ball, Ping-Pong involves hitting a small ball with a paddle. Nets are placed in the middle of a table for the game to be played.

Pickleball Vs Ping Pong: Beginner’s Guide

pickleball vs ping pong

The Ball

Ping-pong and pickleball use different-sized balls. Ping-pong balls are only 2.7 inches wide, while pickleballs have a diameter of 2.875 inches. Pickleballs are made of plastic and have holes, whereas Ping-Pong balls are solid and do not have any holes.

The Net

There are also differences in the size of pickleball and ping-pong nets. There is a 36-inch net for pickleball and a 30-inch net for ping-pong. On the table, these nets are also positioned differently. Ping-Pong’s net is placed 3 inches away from the table, while pickleball’s is placed midway between the two ends.

There is also a difference in how high the pickleball net is in comparison to the Ping-Pong net. Ping-Pong balls are higher off the ground than those used in pickleball. With it, players are not concerned about hitting the ball over the net when they volley back and forth.

The Paddle

The materials used in pickleball paddles and ping-pong paddles differ. Materials such as wood, graphite, or composites are used to make pickleball paddles. It is almost impossible to find paddles made of anything other than wood for ping-pong.

The speed, weight, and durability of a paddle can be affected by its material. Paddles for pickleball and ping-pong weigh approximately 7 to 8 ounces each.

The Table

It is a wooden table for pickleball and a Ping-Pong table for Ping-Pong, but they are different sizes. It has a size of 9 by 5 feet for Ping-Pong, and 6.5 by 3.5 feet for Pickleball.

A slanted top on the Ping-Pong table makes hitting the ball more challenging when you’re playing against someone who is good at the game. Unlike slanted tables, pickleball tables do not have slanted tops.

The Court

There are different sizes of courts for pickleball and ping-pong. Ping-pong tables are 9 feet long by 5 feet wide, while pickleball courts are 44 feet by 20 feet. It is more challenging and tiring to play pickleball on a smaller court because players have to move around more. Additionally, pickleball courts have lines similar to tennis courts, whereas ping-pong tables do not.

The Scoring

There is a difference in scoring systems between pickleball and ping-pong. A pickleball game is won by the player or team that scores 11 points first. You must, however, win by two points. Additionally, you must win by two points. Players or teams are awarded points based on their score in Ping-Pong. Ping-pong matches consist of five games, while pickleball matches consist of three games.

The Serving

There are different rules for serving in pickleball and ping-pong. During pickleball, the ball must be hit underhanded into the non-volley zone. Prior to going over the net, the ball must bounce once. As long as it passes over the net, the ball does not have to bounce in Ping-Pong.


Ping-pong and pickleball are both well-known sports, but pickleball is a new sport. The availability of pickleball courts is also limited since they aren’t as prevalent. The United States has about 35,000 pickleball courts spread over 9,000 locations. The number of pickleball courts outside the U.S. is estimated to be 60. It is estimated that there are 300,000 Ping-pong tables in the world.


In contrast to Ping-Pong, pickleball has a higher level of intensity. There is more movement around on the smaller court because it is smaller. There are more people on the court because pickleball is also a doubles game. The chaos and intensity can increase as a result. Due to the fact that it’s a singles game, Ping-Pong isn’t as intense as other games.


It is relatively inexpensive to participate in either sport. In order to participate in either sport, you only need a few pieces of equipment. Pickleball courts aren’t as accessible as Ping-Pong tables, which can cost around $100. There is also no difference in the cost of rackets and balls between the two sports. It can cost around $5 for a 12-pack of ping-pong balls, and around $13 for a 3-pack of pickleball balls.

The professional sports

All things table tennis are governed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Clubs are located almost everywhere in the world. There aren’t yet as many pickleball leagues in the United States thanks to the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association). Professional Ping-Pong leagues are also more common than professional pickleball leagues.

Equipment for protecting yourself

There is no protective gear required for either sport. Due to the larger and heavier pickleball ball, some people prefer to wear gloves when playing pickleball. If you wear gloves, you will be able to grip the paddle more easily. Pickleball players may also wear eyeguards when playing the game. Ping-Pong balls come at you slower than the ball coming at you in this game.

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Pickleball Rules vs Table Tennis Rules

Pickleball vs Ping Pong

When talking about pickleball with friends, many people say: ‘It’s like table tennis, except you stand on the table!’.

Due to their similar rule sets, the two games are quite similar. A ball must bounce once on each side of the court before being returned; it must cross the net; and it must stay within the confines of the court.

In addition to these similarities, pickleball also has a ‘kitchen’, which is called a ‘non-volley zone’ by the USAPA rules. There is no volleying allowed in this area on either side of the net.

In table tennis, volleys aren’t allowed anywhere on the court, unlike in basketball.

Some people refer to pickleball as ‘tennis meets table tennis’ because it functions like ping pong in the non-volley zone while playing more like tennis in the volley zone.

It is important to note that there is a difference in the style of serve among the rules. There is no difference between serving underhand and serving across the court in pickleball and table tennis. When playing pickleball, the ball must go directly over the net and into a service box. Serving and returning are done on both sides of the net in table tennis.

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Benefits of Pickleball vs Ping Pong

In addition to being great workouts, both sports can be very enjoyable as well. You don’t need a lot of equipment to play either game, and they’re both easy to learn. Sports have a number of benefits, including:


  • It can be played indoors or outdoors
  • Playing doubles is a great way to socialize
  • Due to the fact that you have to move around more, it is a more intense workout
  • It’s easier to hit the ball because it’s bigger and slower


  • There is more focus on singles in this game
  • It’s up to you how fast you want to play
  • It’s more challenging because the ball is smaller and faster
  • Regardless of your skill level, you can play with anyone

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What should I wear to play?

Playing either sport doesn’t require a lot of clothing. Wear clothing that is comfortable and allows you to move easily. Playing pickleball on a smaller court sometimes requires wearing shorts or a skirt.

Keeping your eyes protected from the sun is another reason you should wear a hat or visor. Choosing what to wear should also take into account the temperature inside and outside. A jacket isn’t necessary if you’re playing indoors, for example.

Is Pickleball Easy to Learn?

The sport of pickleball is easy to learn. Playing the game doesn’t require you to be in great shape, and the rules are simple. The game can be challenging, however, if you want to master it. In addition to being easy to learn, ping-pong is also a fun sport to play.

There are more strokes available than in pickleball, but the basic rules are similar. The different strokes you can use in Ping-Pong also make it difficult to master. If you’re interested in improving at either sport, take some lessons.


Does playing ping pong prepare you for pickleball?

Yes. Pickleball players are able to impart spin (top, side, and slice) to their serves and volleys by using table tennis skills. Shooting at the net and returning/blocking them.

Which sport is easier to learn, pickleball, or ping pong?

The larger paddle and slower pace of pickleball make it easier for beginners to learn.

Can I play pickleball on a ping pong table?

No, the court for pickleball is larger than that of a ping-pong table.

Is pickleball more suitable for seniors?

Yes, pickleball’s social aspect and lower physical demands make it appealing to older adults.

Do I need a partner to play ping pong?

No, ping pong can be played as singles or doubles, depending on your preference.

Are there professional leagues for both sports?

Yes, ping pong and pickleball both have professional leagues where top players compete.


In addition to providing endless health benefits, both games are enjoyable to play. Hand-eye coordination, flexibility, and stamina can be improved through this activity. In addition to reducing stress and improving mood, both sports can help reduce stress.

There are many benefits to each sport, but these are just a few. Find out which one you prefer by trying them both. There’s a good chance that you’ll have a lot of fun.

Both sports are my favorite. It’s so hard to choose just one! However, pickleball would be my favorite if I had to choose. While I play, I have the opportunity to socialize while I work out. There is something for everyone in it.

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Alex jones

about Alex jones

As a freelance writer, I primarily write articles for Pickleball Click. With over 17 years of experience in playing pickleball, I have developed a deep love for this exciting and fast-growing sport.

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