Sports like tennis: A comprehensive list of all tennis-like sports

Sports like tennis: A comprehensive list of all tennis-like sports

Lenah Ann
April 15, 2024 at 2:20 PM
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Tennis Borussia Berlin logo
Tennis Borussia Berlin

Most people love tennis because it combines athleticism, skill, and strategy. Similar sports like tennis provide nearly the same experience that suits every taste and preference. They include classic favourites like badminton, squash, pickleball, and touchtennis.

Pickleball, tennis and badminton respectively
Judit Castillo (L) on 7 April 2024, Katie Boulter (C) on 13 April 2024 and Jonatan Christie (R) on 17 March 2024. Photo Tracy Wilcox, Aurelien Meunier, JUSTIN TALLIS. (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Table of Сontents:

These tennis-like games, which range from classic favourites to creative adaptations, provide players with many opportunities to compete and be physically active. Sports Brief explores a variety of sports like tennis and their distinctive features.

A list of the top 10 sports like tennis

After an in-depth analysis of various online sources such as DinkPro and Sports Foundation, Sports Brief has compiled a list of all tennis-like sports and their details.


Place/country of origin


England, United Kingdom

Soft tennis



Berlin, Germany

Qianball (Chinese tennis)



Acapulco, Guerrero

Ball badminton

Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India


Connecticut, United States of America

Squash sport

England, United Kingdom


United States of America



10. Touchtennis

New sports like tennis
People play table tennis at the Sheba Coffee Summer Slam in Liverpool, UK, in July 2023. Photo: @touchtennis (modified by author)
Source: Instagram
  • Founded: 2002
  • Origin: England, United Kingdom
  • Format: Single or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

A scaled-down variation of tennis known as touchtennis is among new sports like tennis and is played on a smaller court using foam balls and shorter racquets (21 inches or 53 centimetres). The objective is to hit the ball over the net to land on the opposition court.

9. Soft tennis

Soft tennis, player Cheng Chu-ling
Taiwan's Cheng Chu-ling hits a return against Japan's Kurumi Onoue during their women's team soft tennis final match on 4 October 2023. Photo Jade Gao. Modified by author.
Source: Getty Images
  • Founded: 19th Century
  • Origin: Japan
  • Format: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

Soft tennis is a type of tennis played with lighter racquets and a softer, more flexible ball. It is usually played on a smaller court with different regulations than regular tennis. Soft tennis is played by one person (singles) or two people (doubles). Scoring and awarding of points is similar to that of lawn tennis.

8. Crossminton

Other sports like tennis
Lori Skerl (L) playing crossminton in Match 2018. On the right are crossminton rackets and a ball. Photo: @crossminton.ico, @motti.7 (modified by author)
Source: Instagram
  • Founded: 2001
  • Origin: Berlin, Germany
  • Team members: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

Crossminton is one of the most famous sports like tennis and badminton. It is played in racquet style without a net. The game aims to earn points by making the shuttlecock land inside the opponent's court using racquets to knock it back and forth over a particular region.

7. Qianball (Chinese tennis)

  • Founded: 19th Century
  • Origin: China
  • Team members: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

According to Sportsmatik, qianball, or Chinese tennis, originated in China but was popularised in Denmark, where it has its organisation, KFUMs BoldKlub (Danish branch of YMCA sport). The game is similar to tennis and squash, but the courts have a smaller circumference.

Qianball tennis players position themselves on the same side of the net on a court when playing. Nets are also placed on the same side of the court.

6. Padel

Padel general court view
A view of a padel court during a Hexagon Cup padel tournament between Alejandra Alonso and Paula Josemaria vs Bea Gonzalez and Claudia Fernandez. Photo Guillermo Gutierrez
Source: Getty Images
  • Founded in: 1960s
  • Origin: Acapulco, Guerrero
  • Team members: Usually doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

As reported by Sky Sports, padel is one of Europe's fastest-growing grassroots sports. It was invented in Mexico in the 1960s and has grown in Britain, where it is nationally recognised. Padel courts are designed for four players and are roughly 25 per cent smaller than a tennis court.

The balls have a smaller diameter and less force. Top footballers, including Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gerard Pique and Francesco Totti, reportedly have paddle courts in their home gardens.

5. Ball badminton

Sports like tennis and badminton
Ball bandminton racket (L) and ball (R). The game is popular in Tamil Nadu, India, where it was invented. Photo: @quamahbeer91 (modified by author)
Source: Twitter
  • Founded in: 1856
  • Origin: Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Team members: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

The ancient Indian sport uses a woollen ball and a racket. The aim is to knock the ball across a net and hope the opponent fails to return it. In the fast-paced game, players must possess talent, reflexes, good judgment, agility, and wrist control.

4. Racquetball

Racquetball - Women's Singles
Paola Longoria of Mexico plays a shot during the Racquetball Women's Singles against Monserrat Mejia at Parque Deportivo Estadio Nacional on 24 October 2023. Photo: Andy Lyons. (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images
  • Founded in: 1950s
  • Origin: Connecticut, United States of America
  • Team members: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

The court used for racquetball is inside and has four walls. Players use solid racquets to smash a hollow rubber ball against the walls to outwit their opponent and win points. Racquetball and tennis use identical rackets with similar heads, faces, handles, and bats.

However, unlike most racquet sports, like badminton and tennis, there is no net to knock the ball over. The contemporary racket in these sports often comprises a rubber grip, a graphite frame, and synthetic nylon for the string mesh that crosses the face.

3. Squash sport

Squash sport
Lau Tsz Kwan (L) of China competes against Yoo Jaejin of South Korea in the Squash Men's Team in the Asian Games on 26 September 2023 in China. Photo: Yang Bo. (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images
  • Founded in: 1860s
  • Origin: England, United Kingdom
  • Team members: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

Racquet sports like squash are played on four-wall enclosed courts. Players strike a little rubber ball against the front wall to outwit the opposition and score points. In Lawn tennis, players hit the ball towards the opponents, while in squash, they hit the ball against a wall as the opponents attempt to return it to avoid conceding.

2. Pickleball

Professional women pickleball players
Arielle Butler in action during day four of the 2024 APP Vlasic Classic - Delray Beach at Delray Beach Tennis Center on 6 April 2024 in Florida. Photo: David Berding
Source: Getty Images
  • Founded in: 1965
  • Origin: United States of America
  • Team members: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

Pickleball incorporates table tennis, badminton, and tennis aspects. Players compete on a smaller court using a plastic ball with holes and a solid paddle. Players volley back and forth to earn points by striking the ball past their opponents.

Like the racket sport, pickleball is played on rectangular courts with matching lines on the floor and a net dividing the playing area. Both games require players to knock a ball over a net using a paddle that resembles a racquet.

1. Badminton

Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yu Jung playing badminton
Huang Yaqiong (red) of China returns the ball to Korea's Chae Yu Jung (C) and Seo Seung Jae (R) during their Mixed Doubles semi-final match on 13 April 2024. Photo: Fred Lee
Source: Getty Images
  • Found in: 1870s
  • Origin: India
  • Team members: Singles or doubles
  • Venue: Indoor or outdoor

Badminton is a racquet sport using lightweight racquets and shuttlecocks. Players try to hit the shuttlecock over the net so that it lands on their opponent's court. Athletes earn a point when they strike the shuttlecock with the racquet and land in the half of the court occupied by the opponent.

Frequently asked questions

Participation in sports like tennis, such as pickleball, racquetball, squash, or badminton, provides similar physical and social benefits. Here are the frequently asked questions about sports like tennis.

Tennis-like sports range from classic favourites to creative adaptations of the sport. They include badminton, pickleball, and padel. Other sports like tennis include Racquetball and Crossminton.

Are there any indoor tennis-like sports?

Several tennis-like sports are played indoors, including squash, racquetball, table tennis, and platform tennis.

What are some beginner-friendly tennis-like sports?

Due to its slower speed and smaller court than tennis, pickleball is considered a beginner-friendly sport. Beginners can also quickly learn table tennis and badminton.

What is the hardest racket sport in the world?

The most challenging racquet sports are, theoretically, tennis and table tennis. Because of this, the rallies are usually brief unless you are a top professional.

Final word

For athletes looking for excitement and competitiveness, many possibilities are available in the vast and diverse world of sports like tennis and football. You may find sports like tennis to fit every taste and inclination, ranging from traditional favourites like badminton and squash to cutting-edge adaptations like pickleball and touchtennis.

READ ALSO: Tennis retirement age: When do tennis players retire?

Sports Brief has published an article detailing the tennis retirement age. The renowned sport is one of the world's most famous indoor sports, with millions of fans worldwide. It is known for its elegance, strength, and durability. Click on the link above to discover more about its retirement age.

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Lenah Ann
Lenah Ann is a Kenyan-based content creator with 2 years of experience. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and Communication from Dedan Kimathi, Kenya in 2021.