In the world of racket sports, it can feel a little overwhelming because there are so many games. Each of these games is very similar in so many ways, so it is not surprising that a lot of people might struggle to understand the difference between sports like ping pong and paddleball.
But don’t let that put you off getting involved in the action; once you understand how each of these sports works, it is easy to see how vastly different they are, despite using some similar equipment.
In this article, we are going to be looking at ping pong vs paddle ball and learning more about each of these intriguing games.
Get To Know Ping Pong And Paddleball
To properly understand the similarities and differences between these two games, it is important to get to know each of them and how they are played.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the details surrounding each of these racket sports.
Ping pong is a hugely popular game across the world, and many people play it as a hobby sport - a lot of fans will purchase a ping pong table in the home and use it on a family game night, for example.
The game is officially called table tennis, but the sound of the ball earned it the loving nickname of ping pong, and despite the game being invented way back in Victorian England, this name has stuck through the years.
The game was originally designed as a way of still being able to play tennis when the weather was bad during the winter months. The sport took much of its inspiration from its older brother, lawn tennis, and this is evident when we see it being played.
Ping pong, or table tennis is played on an indoor court and involves a large playing table that features a net across the middle. This is highly resemblant of tennis, but in this version, rather than a stringed racket, players use a solid wooden paddle with a textured piece of rubber across it.
The game is played with a lightweight, small plastic ball and the points system is very similar to tennis. Players must try to hit the ball to a location on the table where they cannot return it. Unlike regular tennis, ping pong players must remain at the end of the table. In tennis, the players are free to move about the court.
The game is played by either two people in a singles match or by two teams of two players in a doubles match.
Paddleball is played on a large indoor court that is roughly the same size as a badminton court, although a little smaller in length. This game is also played using a solid paddle, and while they were traditionally made from wood, many paddleball paddles are now made from graphite.
In this game, players hit a small rubber ball against a wall; this is more similar to squash than tennis. However, it is worth remembering that since tennis was the first racket game to be invented way back in the early 1800s, all other racket sports take some inspiration from this.
There are two main versions of the game, one-wall paddleball and four-walled paddleball. As the names may suggest, this is in relation to how many playable walls the court has.
During play, each player takes turns to serve the ball and tries to win a point - only the player who has served can win a point in that round, and this is true of many other sports like this. The winner is the first person to reach a score of either 15, 21 or 25 and this is determined prior to the game beginning.
How Are Ping Pong And Paddle Ball Similar?
Because ping pong and paddleball are both racket sports, it is understandable that without having seen both of them being played, one might assume that they were the same thing. Primarily, this is because both of these sports make use of a solid paddle and a ball during play.
You will also notice that both games are played on an indoor court, and tournaments will occur between either single players or doubles teams.
But this is where the similarities end and you may be surprised to learn that these sports are far more different than they are the same.
How Are Ping Pong And Paddle Ball Different?
The differences between ping pong and paddleball are vast; when you think about the set-up of each game, this becomes even more apparent.
Whilst both games are played on an indoor court, ping pong uses a table to hit the ball across whereas paddle ball players strike their ball against a wall - the two games couldn’t be further apart in this respect.
What’s more, ping pong requires a greater level of focus and concentration and less physical exertion, although that isn’t to say that the game doesn’t require some physical effort. In contrast, paddleball is more physically demanding owing to the fact that the players must move around the court for the duration of the game. This is a great sport for improving your fitness levels, and many people engage in it as part of a wider weight-loss or calorie-burning program.
Where equipment is concerned, the paddles are quite similar, but the type of balls that are used in each game could not be more different. In paddleball, a rubber ball is used, whereas a ping pong ball is hollow, plastic and far smaller.
Ping pong and paddleball are both very popular games, and there are many players of each game around the world. Owing to the nature of the equipment and some aspects of play, some people assume that the two are one of the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are several obvious differences between the two games and depending on your physical and mental skill, either one of them might be a suitable hobby for you.
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