The Rise of Pop Tennis: A Modern Adaptation of a Classic Game


Pop tennis, formerly known as paddle tennis, is a rapidly growing racket sport that has gained popularity since its inception in 2015. With a smaller court, no doubles lanes, and a lower net, pop tennis offers a unique and fast-paced gameplay experience. This article will explore the history of pop tennis, the reasons behind its increasing popularity, and its similarities to other similar sports.

A Brief History of Pop Tennis

The origins of pop tennis trace back to 1898 when Episcopal minister Frank Peter Beal invented the game in Albion, Michigan. Beal’s vision of creating recreational activities for neighborhood children led to the spread of the sport in Lower Manhattan. In 1915, the first pop tennis tournament was held, and the United States Paddle Tennis Association (USPTA) was formed the following year. By 1941, paddle tennis was being played in nearly 500 American cities. It is worth mentioning that Murray Geller, a player in the 1940s and ’50s, played a crucial role in shaping the modern version of the game by introducing features such as an enlarged court and an underhanded serve.

Pop Tennis Today

In recent years, pop tennis has gained significant traction, especially in countries like Dubai and Egypt, where local leagues and tournaments are organized regularly. The smaller court size of pop tennis creates a strong emphasis on net play, making it a highly competitive and reaction-based game. Unlike traditional tennis, which has separate courts for singles and doubles, pop tennis uses the same court for both formats, with doubles being the dominant form of play. This not only encourages teamwork and communication but also adds to the overall excitement and intensity of the game.

Similar Sports

While pop tennis has its distinct characteristics, it is worth noting its similarities to other racket sports. Platform tennis, invented in 1928 in Scarsdale, New York, shares some similarities with pop tennis. The primary difference between the two is the court size, with the platform tennis court being 6 feet shorter and fenced with taut chicken wire. Padel, on the other hand, is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court that is about half the size of a traditional tennis court. Padel has gained massive popularity in Spain and Hispanic America. Another similar sport, pickleball, which was invented in 1965, also utilizes a similar court size and paddle but uses a plastic “wiffle” ball.


Pop tennis has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, attracting players of all ages and skill levels. With its fast-paced gameplay, emphasis on net play, and growing presence in international tournaments and leagues, pop tennis has firmly established itself as a sport to be reckoned with. Whether you’re a fan of traditional tennis or looking to try something new, pop tennis offers a unique and exhilarating experience. So grab a paddle, step onto the court, and join the pop tennis revolution today!

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