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The News Website for Glendale High School


The News Website for Glendale High School


Pickleball Is Better Than Tennis

Paddle or racket?
Jonathan Moore

When it comes to pickleball and tennis, both communities are surprisingly polarized, even though the games are, for the most part, widely similar. The main differences between the two games are the distinction between strength and technique and the different types of balls they use. 

A lot of tennis players look down on those who play pickleball, because pickleball players run less and can’t hit the ball as hard. However, this is ridiculous, because pickleball players, even at a beginner level, are right up at the net volleying and hitting the ball at anywhere from one-to-three-second intervals. This requires incredible reflexes and cognitive ability. Pickleball also requires paddles, while tennis players use rackets. 

One of the main contentions between the sports is how hard a player can hit the ball. A wiffle ball, at a professional level, can be hit at about 24 MPH. A tennis ball however, can be hit at about 125 MPH. These two speeds are considered average at a professional level, and they also mirror each other at a beginner’s level. However, in tennis, there are about six total hits before someone scores, while pickleball averages over double that. 

Additionally, if you have watched or played tennis, you know that there’s considerable strength needed and a lot of running involved. In pickleball, the two players normally stand right up against the net, volleying hit after hit. No running across the court is necessary, just pure reflex, recognition, and cognition. 

In pickleball and tennis, the server gets the point, and after each point, they rotate to the other diagonal corner of the court. In other words, if the person who is receiving the serve wins the rally, they get to serve, while the server receives the point. This makes pickleball a lot more interesting to watch AND play, because the matches last upwards of eleven points. 

Tennis players, on the other hand, need four points to win a game, six games to win a set, and two sets to win a match. That seems like a lot of unnecessary math, bad scoring, and overall convolution. Nobody who is watching tennis for the first time knows what in the world is going on with the points, but pickleball’s point system is so simple. 

Again, pickleball is better than tennis, because instead of watching two people hit the ball really hard and run around, or just give up when the ball is “too far”, pickleball takes place right in front of the opponent. It’s incredibly fast-paced and there are some really cool rules. For instance, you can step around the net and spike it to the other opponent’s court, and you can hit the ball twice in one hit if the paddle makes a clean, sweeping motion. 

You can also still spike the ball or hit it really hard, but that doesn’t work, because of this type of hit called “dinking”. Yes, it is silly, I’ll admit, but it takes a lot of skill to be good at it. You have to hit the ball RIGHT over the net to lead to the faster-paced, chest-to-chest, paddle-to-paddle rallies. 

Spin on the ball also matters way more in pickleball, because the players are so close to one another. You can see when someone is good at it or not, which is an important part of watching any sport. 

Ultimately, people shouldn’t just look down on a sport, because it looks like it requires a lower effort. These games are both challenging, no matter how you look at it. 

Overall, the faster reflexes and the quick thinking needed in pickleball make the sport much more interesting to watch. Pickleball is also way more fun to play as duos. So please don’t just say something isn’t a “real sport” without first looking at what the players have to do to succeed. 

Get your paddles, Nitros!

About the Contributor
Joshua Flint
Joshua Flint, Staff Writer
Joshua is a junior at Glendale High School. He is the vice president of the marching band and a member of color guard, and he is also the vice president of the Debate Club. He likes reading science fiction, practicing new tricks for color guard, and playing video games.
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