Racquetball vs Tennis: clash of the titans

racquetball vs tennis

Racquetball vs Tennis: clash of the titans

Although Tennis is a worldwide popular sport, Racquetball has its devoted followers and it is rapidly gaining popularity. Both of these games require a lot of strength, focus, and strategic thinking. Tennis was there first, but Racquetball has brought something new and fresh, and indeed – something more dynamic.

Tennis and Racquetball are often compared side by side by sports enthusiasts. They are similar, but they do have their differences. Today we will list all the similarities, the differences, and help you resolve the question – which one is better for you?

A short history lesson of both sports

The history of Tennis can be traced back to the 12th century. During that time there was a popular game called ‘’jeu de paume’’ (“game of the palm”), which had very simple rules. There were no racquets, no nets, and no lines. Even after 800 years, the game still exists today and it is called real Tennis in Britain, court Tennis in the USA, and royal Tennis in Australia. 

This ancient game has set the foundations for the Tennis we all know and love today, coming a long way through history. Rules were set, equipment was made. Tennis gained its largest popularity somewhere in the early 1960s when everyone started obsessing over this sport.

Games similar to Tennis we know today include Racquetball, Pickleball, and Squash. 

Racquetball is a bit of a younger sport, invented in the 1950s by Joe Sobek during the Korean War. His original idea was to invent a sport similar to Tennis that people can enjoy in limited indoor spaces, with similar dynamics and equipment. 


Court sizes

The rules of the game are the same in essence, although there are some notable differences. The Racquetball court is significantly smaller at 20ft by 40ft, and it also includes 20ft high walls which are essential to the gameplay. Another notable difference is that the Racquetball court doesn’t have a net as Tennis does.

The Tennis court is sized at 78ft by 39ft, and it also has markings for singles and doubles. The net that we mentioned before is 3ft high, standing in the middle of the court, separating players. Since Tennis doesn’t have walls enclosing the court like Racquetball, any ball hit that lands outside the markings is considered out of bounds, and the point is conceded to the opposing player.

Tennis and Racquetball equipment

Racquetball vs Tennis ball: both sports use a hollow ball. But they vary in size and color. 

We all know the ball used in Tennis is 2.7 inches in diameter. It is covered in fuzzy wool and is often fluorescent.

In Racquetball, the size of the ball is different -2.25 inches in diameter, made of rubber and it is most often blue.

One more important difference between Tennis and Racquetball is the equipment. In Racquetball, it’s a must to wear protective glasses and gloves. 


Also, the shoes are different. Racquetball shoes need to provide the player with enough traction due to the smoother play and terrain. 

Tennis racket vs Racquetball racket: Racket vs Racquet

Are there even differences between these since they sound so similar? Well, yes of course. Racquets are more compact, with a more aerodynamic design. Similar materials are used for the manufacturing of both – rubber, graphite, and synthetic nylon.

Can you use a Tennis racquet for Racquetball? Or can you play Racquetball with Tennis rackets? Although these two look similar, there are important differences. For example, Tennis rackets can be up to 29 inches and Racquetball racquet is more compact, with a 22-inch limit. It is designed to follow the game’s specific dynamic and you will achieve the best effect if you use a racquet for Racquetball. Since rackets are much larger in size, that could be an obstacle in the game and can lead to injuries. 

Racquetball vs Tennis exercise: How many calories are burned on the court?

Both of these sports are great cardio training. They can keep your body healthy and your joints flexible. They are great if you just started your journey to get fit.

Let us now see how many calories are burned while playing Tennis. Although Tennis players look cool at every moment, like they haven’t sweat a bit – the truth is of course quite different.

For an hour of play, you can burn somewhere between 575 to 775 calories on the Tennis court. If you are not playing against the opponent, you can burn around 350 or 500, all depending on the game intensity. And now that we mentioned intensity….

Did you know that with Racquetball you can burn up to 800 calories if you play vigorously? When you are focused on your game, you won’t even notice the level of intensity!

So Racquetball vs Tennis calories? Racquetball is the clear winner in this category. 

In conclusion

Although similar, the fact is that in this clash of the titans, no one really wins since the rules are different. Both sports are fun and exciting and nothing stops you from enjoying both. Racquetball is a bit younger and modern and it can be an amazing workout for both your body and the soul. 

Just like a game of chess, your mind needs to think strategically. Yet opposed to a chess game, your body needs to follow that beautiful flow. Beauty is in motion and playing sports, no matter if you choose Tennis or Racquetball, is the key to longevity.

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