With racquet and paddle games on the rise, it can be difficult to keep them all straight. While many of these fun and friendly games are similar, there are big differences that are worth noting. If you’ve ever wondered what the deal is with pop tennis and how this game differs from pickleball, you’re not alone! These two sports are commonly confused even though their differences outweigh their similarities.
Whether you’re a pickleball guru and want to know more about pop tennis or a pop tennis enthusiast curious about the sport with the funny name, we’ve got an amazin’ breakdown of pop tennis and what differentiates this sport from pickleball!
What is Pop Tennis?
Pop tennis is a scaled-down version of tennis which makes it great for all ages. Played on a traditional tennis court, the game is played on the inner court, minimizing the area played.
While the traditional tennis net size and height is kept the same, pop tennis paddles are small and solid compared to the traditional tennis racquet. Pop tennis balls may look identical to traditional tennis balls but pop tennis balls have 25% less compression than a tennis ball. This allows for people of all skill levels to play this POPular game.
Learn more about pop tennis in this helpful video:
So while pop tennis sounds similar to pickleball, there are a few key factors that differentiate the two games. Let’s jump in!
Pop Tennis Racquet vs Pickleball Paddles
While pop tennis racquets and pickleball paddles are similar in shape, there are a few noteworthy differences. Pop tennis racquets are made from carbon fiber and have a memory foam core with a hard surface. Being no more than 18.5” long, the pop tennis racquet is free of strings but does have small holes through the surface. Contrastingly, pickleball paddles are made out of a variety of materials - aluminum, Nomex, and polypropylene - and free of any holes in the paddle.
Need help finding the perfect pickleball paddle? Check out our paddle guide here!
Pop Tennis Balls vs Pickleballs
The only thing that pop tennis balls and pickleballs have in common is their color, otherwise, they’re as different as it gets! Pop tennis balls look almost the same as regular tennis balls with the soft, fabric finish and white curved lines. However, regulation pop tennis balls have large green dots on them to decipher the correct compression level (25% less than a tennis ball). On the other hand, pickleballs are made of polymer and have holes throughout the ball, similar to a wiffle ball.
Pro tip: don’t have a pop tennis ball around? Grab a standard tennis ball and puncture it to release some of the air. This will result in a similar compression to pop tennis balls. Thanks, POP Tennis!
Pop Tennis Courts vs Pickleball Courts
Pop tennis is played on a regular tennis court, using the inner 60’ x 21’ space. Pickleball nets are 20’ wide and 36” tall, whereas pop tennis nets are typical 31-36”’ tall and 20-27’ wide. Pickleball, however, isn’t played on the same court as tennis. Pickleball courts are unique to pickleball with a court design measuring 20’ x 44’ in dimension.
Pop Tennis Scoring vs Pickleball Scoring
Pickleball scoring is as unique as the game’s name. Scoring is called out as three numbers: 1) serving team score 2) receiving team score, and 3) server number (one or two). Server number one stands on the left, server number two stands on the right. A unique rule about pickleball is that the server on the right starts the game, which is why you call zero-zero-two. To start a pickleball match, the server would call “zero-zero-two.” As each team scores, the score’s count goes up by one. For more detail on scoring and rules, check out our beginner’s guide to pickleball.
Unlike pickleball, pop tennis scoring is identical to regular tennis. The server calls the score before hitting the ball, and each score goes as follows: love (zero points), 15, 30, 40, game point.
Pop Tennis and Pickleball
The best part about these two sports is that they can be loved and played by people of all ages and all athletic abilities. These social games were made to get everyone involved and playing, family and friends included.
Ready to dive deeper into learning about pickleball? Check out how to play pickleball: the ultimate beginner’s guide!