Racquetball vs Pickleball: The Top 4 Differences You Need to Know

When it comes to sports, there are a lot of choices to make. Tennis, golf, badminton - the list goes on and on. But two of the most popular options are pickleball and racquetball. So, if you’re looking for a new sport to try, look no further because pickleball and racquetball are two great options to consider. Both of these sports are incredibly fun and provide a great workout, but they are quite different from each other.

Major differences between Pickleball and Racquetball

Pickleball and racquetball are two sports that share many of the same characteristics but have some key differences. While pickleball is a relatively new sport, racquetball has been around for decades. Both pickleball and racquetball require players to use a paddle or racquet to hit a small rubber ball.

  • In pickleball, the court is usually either an indoor or outdoor badminton-size court with lines added for pickleball. Racquetball courts are smaller than pickleball courts and typically feature four walls, a ceiling, and flooring made from different materials like concrete wood.
  • If we consider the major difference is in the type of ball they use. Pickleball uses a plastic ball with holes while racketball uses a rubber one without holes. Pickleball is much lighter than racquetball, making pickleball easier to play with less force required.
  • Pickleball also requires players to hit the ball over a lower net compared to racquetball which has a higher net. These differences make pickleball an ideal sport for beginners or people who don’t have a lot of experience playing racquet sports.
  • Points are also scored differently in pickleball and racquetball. In pickleball, points are awarded when one team fails to return the ball back over the net after it has been served or hit by the opposing team. In racquetball, however, points are awarded for any successful shot that is hit within the court boundaries. This makes pickleball simpler and easier to keep score.

Pickleball Vs Racquetball: Differences between The 2 Sports

Serve rules in Pickleball game

The serve rules in pickleball are different from that of racquetball. In pickleball, the player must hit the ball below waist level and must always let go of the paddle before hitting it. Additionally, pickleball requires players to keep their feet behind a designated back line when serving. Racquetball requires service from anywhere behind the short line but without any restrictions on how low they can hit the ball or what type of grip they can use on their paddle.

Scoring rules in the Pickleball game

Scoring is also different in pickleball compared to racquetball. Pickleball scoring is typically played to 11 points, however, it can also be done in win-by-two up to 15 points or Traditional pickleball (win by two up to 21). Racquetball is typically won when one side reaches 15 or 21 points, depending on the league.

Equipment used in Racquetball vs Pickleball

The equipment used for pickleball and racquetball is slightly different. In pickleball, players use a pickleball racket that is usually made of graphite and has an oval shape with holes along its frame for added control. Racquetball rackets are more traditionally shaped with no holes and are often made out of aluminum or titanium materials.

Court size of Pickleball vs Racquetball

Despite the fact that pickleball can technically be played indoors or outside, outdoor pickleball courts are more common. At first impression, a pickleball court resembles a tennis court. Even the center of the court has a tennis net! Racquetball played indoors has the added advantage of keeping players cool because it is played out of the sun and in air conditioning.

pickleball court vs racquetball court

The court size difference between pickleball and racquetball courts is quite large as well. Pickleball courts are much smaller, measuring 20×44 feet with a net height of 36 inches. Racquets sport courts measure 40×20 feet and have a net height of about 3 or 4 feet.

Paddle difference

When it comes to paddle, pickleball paddles is usually around 7-15 inches in length and have an edge guard to keep them from hitting each other during play. Racquets on the other hand tend to be larger, measuring up to 22 inches in length without an edge guard.

pickleball equipments vs racquetball equipments

Ball difference

The pickleball ball is also different than racquetballs as pickleball are slightly larger and weigh half as much compared to racquetballs. This can make pickleball easier for beginners to pick up as the lighter weight makes it easier to work on accuracy and control.

The shoe used in Pickleball vs Racquetball

The type of shoes used in pickleball vs racquetball is also something to consider. Pickleball requires a flat sole, non-marking court shoe with enough cushion for lateral movement. Racquetball requires a supportive and cushioned shoe with good traction for pivoting on the court.

Should You Play Pickleball or Racquetball?

When deciding if pickleball vs racquetball is right for you, it’s important to consider all these differences between the two sports. Pickleball is often considered more beginner-friendly due to its smaller size and lighter equipment,  while racquetball may be better suited for those looking for faster gameplay that involves more aggressive shots and serves. Pickleball is more about relaxation and fun, it is also taken as an exercise for old age.

However, racquetball may be better suited for those looking for faster gameplay that involves more aggressive shots and serves. Ultimately, it’s up to your preferences when deciding which sport will be best for you.  Good luck!

Bottom line

At the end of the day, pickleball and racquetball both offer a fun and competitive way to get active and stay in shape, so take a look at all the differences between pickleball and racquetball before deciding which one is right for you!

Consider your skill level and which one appeals to you more before deciding on one or the other. Whichever sport you choose, pickleball and racquetball are both great ways to have fun while getting exercise!

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