Let’s face it, tennis can be conservative. Country clubs, all white clothing, and mostly polite soft clapping at tournaments.
Pickleball is louder.
More people having fun in a smaller area than tennis.
And, the sound of pickleballs hitting the paddle is startling to tennis players, who complain that “Pickleball is too loud!” This intrigued me, so we put it to the test and professionally recorded a pickleball hitting the pickleball paddle and compared it to a tennis ball strike. Surprise, surprise. PICKLEBALL IS 30% QUIETER THAN TENNIS!
But, there are other contributing factors, giving credibility to many tennis players’ complaints about pickleball being too loud and distracting to tennis players.
- The pitch of the pickleball hit is higher – a different sound draws attention.
- The pickleball court is smaller. Up to 16 pickleball players can compete in the same space as 4 tennis players.
- Pickleball points average 9 hits. Tennis averages 3.
- In pickleball matches the ball is in play nearly 30 minutes per hour. In tennis, it’s a maximum of 15 minutes, usually less.
Pickleball matches have at least 8 times as many pickleball strikes than tennis due to the increased number of players in the same area and the average length of each point, as well as the inevitable talking, laughing, and joking that is part of pickleball, setting it apart from tennis.
The result is that pickleball IS a louder game, but NOT because of the sound of the pickleball hitting the paddle!
Will this fact change tennis to be more casual and fun?
Let’s reconvene in the next year or two and find out. I certainly hope so. Fun = increased participation in BOTH sports!
Joe Dinoffer is a Master Professional in both the USPTA and PTR, has been recognized with numerous national awards including the 2019 City of Dallas Humanitarian Award for contributions to inner city tennis, and has conducted clinics and exhibitions in over 50 countries. Joe is the author and editor of 9 books and more than 20 DVDs, has more than 300 published articles in various tennis and pickleball magazines, and has aired many instructional tips on the Tennis Channel. Plus, Joe’s YouTube channel has more than 2 million views and growing! His latest book “Words, Wisdom, and Whimsy” is the second volume of an illustrated series called “Poems from the Heart.” In 1994, Joe founded OnCourt OffCourt, Ltd., a company dedicated to serving the tennis, pickleball, fitness, yoga, and physical education industries with innovative training aids and educational tools. Today, he has designed and manufactured more than 150 creative products being distributed and used in 100 countries worldwide.