10 Games Similar to Tennis

Tennis is a sport that many all over the world play and love. But if you are not captivated by it, don’t be too quick to give racket sports a pass. There are other options out there and, who knows, one of these might just be what you’ll enjoy the most.

1. Badminton

Just like Tennis, Badminton is a game that requires rackets. However, instead of balls players hit a shuttlecock. This game can be played by two opponents (singles) or by four people with two players on each team (doubles).

Badminton matches are composed of three sets and whoever wins two or all of the sets is declared the match winner. Each game set in the classic format can be won by scoring 15 points first. There is now, however, a rally point format. Whichever team scores 21 points first, wins.

Fun facts: Badminton started out as a children’s game in ancient Greece and Egypt. It reached India in the 18th century where it was discovered by the British army who was stationed there at that time. When the British soldiers returned to the UK, they spread the game to their peers and, eventually, Badminton was launched as an official sport in 1873 by the Duke of Beaufort


2. Pickleball

Of course our favorite choice Pickleball! Similar to Tennis, this game can be played in doubles or singles. The court size, meanwhile, is the same size as that of Badminton’s. As for the rackets, the players use solid paddles. These are often made of wood but paddles made of composite-materials are accepted as well.

Unlike Tennis and Badminton where the players have more freedom in the way they serve the ball, Pickleball players are required to only hit at waist level. Serves are then done via an underhand stroke.

When a player commits faults (e.g. can’t return the ball, goes inside the non-volley area, or hits the ball outside the court bounds), then his opponent scores. Scores are based on the serves; whoever scores 11 points first (15 or 21 points in tournaments) and leads by two points wins the game.

3. Squash

Squash is all about playing indoors or somewhere enclosed.  Players alternate to hit the ball on the front wall. Whoever fails to do so loses a point. Just like Tennis, the court is rectangular. Matches are best of five sets and whoever achieves 11 points first, wins each set. Take 3 out of 5 sets and you’ll be declared the winner of the match. If you would like to compete professionally, tournaments are held throughout the year by the World Squash Federation.

4. Beach Tennis

Beach Tennis combines elements from Tennis and Volleyball games. As its name denotes, it needs to be played at a beach. There are actually two variants to this sport – Beach Tennis and Beach Tennis USA. The former is played using a paddle racquet while the latter requires a racquet and a Tennis ball and it follows the rules of beach volleyball. Beach Tennis Supplies

5. Racquetball

If none of the above is interesting to you yet, then check out Racquetball. The main difference between this and Tennis (and other racket sports) is the absence of a net. The court is still rectangular and subdivided into serve reception and service zones.

This sport can be played indoors or outdoors. Equipment for playing includes a racquetball racket (think of this as a stringed paddle or a cross between a paddle and a Tennis racquet). The ball used is the hollow rubber kind. Racquetball Supplies

6. Soft Tennis

If your main reason to seek an alternative for Tennis is that the balls are too hard and, perhaps, difficult to play – then, Soft Tennis might just be what you’re looking for. Instead of the usual Lawn Tennis balls, softballs are used.

The court is similar in size to a regular Tennis court. Matches can be done in singles and doubles format like the others on this list. The scoring and winner determination rules also follow that of Lawn Tennis.

7. Platform Tennis

Platform Tennis is yet another game that is just like Lawn Tennis. In fact, gameplay and scoring rules are highly similar, except for a few minor changes. The difference is that the court is way smaller, about a third in size of the usual Tennis court.

Another significant difference is the equipment. Players use a paddle that is designed with holes and is 18 inches long. The ball, meanwhile, is a 2.5-inch diameter sponge ball.

8. Basque Pelota

This sport originated in Spain and is considered to be the fastest moving ball sport in the world. So, if you have a need for speed in a racket game, this is perfect for you. Right now, Basque Pelota is operated by Jai Alai, a gaming enterprise in the US.

Basque Pelota players only play with one hand. Equipment used are either a wooden bat, a racket, or a frontis/fronton (basket positioned against a wall). Often, matches are played in doubles format and the court is divided by either a net or a line drawn on the ground. The International Federation of Basque Pelota oversees the gameplay rules.

9. Table Tennis

Another enjoyable racket sport that you can take up is Table Tennis. It is also called Ping Pong in the US. This game was born in England and is now played by enthusiasts around the world. In the competition scene, Chinese players have dominated Table Tennis games for around 20 years now.

To play Table Tennis, you would need a rectangular table. The setup is completed by a net right on the table’s center. Players use small rackets and a lightweight and small plastic ball. Just like Tennis, this game can be played in singles and doubles. Matches involve 7 sets that can be won by scoring 21 points with a 2-point differential.

10. Fives

Fives is another racket sport that involves walls. Although considered as a racket sport, what’s interesting about Fives is that players actually use their hands (bare or gloved) to hit and rally the ball. For this reason, this sport is also known as Hand-Tennis or Hand-Pelota. There are several variations to this sport affecting the gameplay.

Which One Will You Play?

As you can see, there are many interesting racket sports out there for you to choose from. Just because you don’t like Tennis doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a game of hitting the ball with a racket (a paddle or with your bare hands). Which one sounds interesting and which one are you dying to try? Let us know!

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