Spec Tennis vs. Pickleball

What Are The Differences

Spec Tennis and pickleball share the same court size but aside from that they are 100% different sports. They use different equipment and have different rules, techniques, strategies and scoring systems. See the video & chart below to help you understand the true differences.

Court Size

44 feet long x 20 feet wide. Spec Tennis can also be played in the service boxes on a tennis court.

44 feet long x 20 feet wide

Court Type

Spec can be played on all court types: hard, clay, and grass.

Pickleball can be played on hard court only


Spec Tennis uses an 18” perforated foam core paddle that is oval shaped and weighs 10-11 ounces.

Pickleball paddles are up to 16.5” in length and often have a polymer core. They are typically more rectangular in shape and weigh 7-8.5 ounces.


Spec Tennis uses an orange dot low compression tennis ball (made of rubber & felt). The ball is 50% slower than a regular tennis ball. The ball bounces higher and wind is not a factor.

Pickleball uses a plastic whiffle ball. Pickleball players regularly have to reach and play balls that are just a few inches off the ground, and wind has a negative effect on a pickleball.


Spec Tennis DOES NOT observe the ‘kitchen’ rule.
This means that you can volley the ball from anywhere in the court, regardless of where you are standing.

The “Kitchen” rule is the biggest feature of pickleball. The “kitchen” is a rectangular area that extends 7 feet from the net on each side of the court. In pickleball, you are not allowed to volley (play the ball out of the air) if you are standing in the kitchen. If you go in the kitchen and play the ball, you must let the ball bounce.

"Two Bounce" Rule

Spec Tennis does not have a "Two Bounce" rule. The player receiving the serve must let the ball bounce before hitting it. The serving team has the freedom to ‘serve & volley’ if they choose.

Pickleball has a 2-bounce rule, where the ball must bounce once on each side of the court before anyone is allowed to volley.


Spec Tennis uses a simple scoring system:
•Every rally counts as a point for the team/player that wins
•The same server serves 1 full game
•Only 2 numbers are called, ex: 3-2
•Win 4 points to win 1 Game
•Win 4 games to win 1 Set
•Win 2 Sets to win a Match

Pickleball uses a complex scoring system for doubles where 1) your team can only score points
when you’re serving and 2)both players on your team get to serve before the other team gets to
serve. The result of this is you have to call out 3 numbers when calling the score, for example
4-1-2, with the last number representing your server number.


Can be played a doubles (2 vs. 2) or singles (1 vs. 1).

Can be played a doubles (2 vs. 2) or singles (1 vs. 1), although
Singles pickleball is a lot less common than doubles.


While spin can be imparted on the ball in both sports, it’s easier to generate spin + generate
greater spin in Spec Tennis due to the type of paddle & ball that are used.

Because of the type of paddle & ball that are used in Pickleball it is more challenging to hit with spin.


Spec Tennis has no noise issues. The sound of the tennis ball hitting the foam core paddle
produces a low pitched sound that can be compared to the sound of people playing tennis.

Pickleball can be associated with noise complaints as the high pitched sound produced from the
plastic ball hitting the solid paddle can resonate for a great distance. Lawsuits have arose, and in some instances pickleball courts have shut down or banned pickleball.

Ready to Get Started? Try Spec Tennis Today!