There are so many racket sports in the world - 31 to be exact, that it can become a little confusing to tell the difference, especially when some are so similar to one another.
However, unlike badminton, where traditional rackets are used, pickleball involves the use of wooden paddles - so are there any similarities between the two?
In this post, we will be looking at how pickleball took some of the ideas of badminton to create an entirely new game as well as comparing the two sports to see how they differ.
What Is Pickleball?
Pickleball is something of a hybrid sport that involves aspects of various other racket sports like table tennis, badminton and regular tennis. Unlike badminton which dates right back to the 1800s, although there is suggestion it goes back many thousands of years. Pickleball is a much newer sport, having only been invented in 1969 in the USA.
Over recent years, this game has grown in popularity, and more and more people are looking to get involved - it’s little wonder when you see how the elements of other games are brought together to create something so unique and fun.
Badminton mainly focuses on cardiovascular health, precision and agility, although there are other physical demands involved. However, pickleball was created with an all-round workout in mind. The sport focuses on various areas of fitness and physical health, including balance, mobility and dexterity.
It is also ideal for those who are looking to burn calories and is often favoured by people looking to lose weight.
Badminton would not be suitable for this reason as carrying extra weight can mean that your mobility and stamina is reduced - and this is essential in badminton. That being said, the game does not discriminate, and anyone is welcome to take part.
What Are The Similarities Between Badminton And Pickleball?
Since pickleball has taken some inspiration from its older cousin, badminton, it won’t come as a surprise that there are many similarities between the two games.
However, it is important to point out that these are superficial and are about as close in nature as football and rugby - they both involve a ball and are played on a field, but that is about it.
Two or four players can play both sports. Usually, when four players are involved, this makes two teams of two, more commonly referred to as a double match.
Also, both of these games take place on a court, but the pickleball court is far smaller than its badminton counterpart, and the net is much lower to the ground, at just 36 inches.
Furthermore, the two games both involve players hitting a ball or shuttlecock between them and the rules are slightly similar, although, as we will learn, later on, one is far more complicated than the other.
Whilst pickleball does offer a more general kind of workout; the two games are physically demanding. Players must be able to remain coordinated and stay active during play.
What Are The Differences Between Badminton And Pickleball?
While there are a lot of things that are similar about the two games, it is evident that they are also vastly different and each game has its own benefits and advantages.
Badminton uses a shuttlecock - this projectile is weighted at one end and traditionally made from feathers, normally from geese or ducks but there are many cheap plastic models on the market - especially where children’s badminton sets are concerned.
In contrast, pickleball is played with a ball. However, unlike tennis which features a solid ball, pickleball players use a ball with holes. These are quite similar in nature to those you would see in wiffleball and other sports like this.
Furthermore, the equipment that the players use to hit the ball differs significantly. Of course, badminton players use a very lightweight racket, but pickleball players use a solid wooden paddle which is far more massive than the equipment used on the badminton court.
Pickleball, whilst it comprises aspects of several other sports, is far easier to understand and pick up than badminton. Badminton features some complex rules that take newcomers to the game a little while to learn. Once you embed them in your memory, however, they will be with you for life.
There has been much suggestion that pickleball can be learned in as little as 15 minutes, making it ideal for people who want an easy-going sport. This comes as a surprise since it takes its roots from so many different sports whereas badminton is an off-shoot of just one game - tennis.
One of the clear differences between the two sports is that in a game of badminton, the shuttle must not touch the ground, whereas, in pickleball, the ball is free to hit the floor at any time without it affecting play.
Additionally, the types of strokes used in the two games are vastly different - badminton players tend to use both over and underhand shots. In contrast, pickleball normally only requires underhand strokes.
Badminton is often compared to many other games that involve a shuttle or ball and a racket, and it can become confusing to understand the difference between all of these sports.
In short, pickleball does draw a lot of inspiration from badminton, but there are some blindingly clear differences between the two.
Pickleball is much newer than badminton and uses slightly different equipment - a paddle and ball as opposed to a racket and shuttle. What’s more, pickleball has far less complicated rules and is often chosen for its simplicity and how easy it is to learn.
There are benefits to both games, and the two provide players with equally good physical fitness advantages. One thing is for sure, you will undoubtedly notice the difference when playing one game and then the other.