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THE GUIDE TO CHOOSING PICKLEBALL BALLS

What ball is used in pickleball?

Pickleball uses a special kind of ball. These balls are made of lightweight hollow plastic and have holes in them, similar to wiffle balls. To be used in official games and tournaments, pickleballs must meet specific standards.

How big and heavy should a pickleball ball be?

The size of the pickleball ball that is allowed for use in games is decided by the main organization overseeing the sport, which is the USAPA. To be accepted for use in games, pickleball balls must:

  • Possess a diameter that is between 2.874 inches (7.30cm) to 2.972 inches (7.55cm)
  • Possess a circumference that is between 9.029 inches (22.93cm) and 9.337 inches (23.72cm)

In order to achieve USAPA approval, pickleballs should also:

  • Be uniformly colored
  • Have between 26 to 40 holes
  • Register between 40 and 50 on the Durometer D scale of hardness when tested at an ambient temperature of 70°F (plus or minus 5°F)
  • Exhibit a bounce between 30-34 inches (76.20cm - 86.36cm) when dropped from a height of 78 inches (198.12cm) at an ambient temperature of 70°F (plus or minus 5°F)

To be approved by the USAPA, a pickleball needs to weigh between 0.78 oz (22.11g) and 0.935 oz (26.51g). While it's common for players to choose heavier balls for outdoor play and lighter ones for indoor play, there are no official rules distinguishing between indoor and outdoor balls. As long as a pickleball falls within the weight range of 0.78 oz (22.11g) to 0.935 oz (26.51g) and meets the other mentioned requirements, it can be used on any pickleball court.

 

Pakle offers pickleballs that meet the above standards. To better suit various scenarios, different models of balls are provided.

What are pickleball balls made of?

Pakle's pickleballs are made from environmentally friendly polypropylene (PP) and come equipped with exclusive manufacturing processes to ensure the balls are sturdy, durable, and long-lasting, while maintaining consistent performance and shape.

Why do pickleball balls have holes?

The hole on pickleballs cause air resistance, slowing down the game. This slower pace makes pickleball easier for everyone, whether young or old, to play. This design has played a crucial role in the success of pickleball by making the sport inclusive for people of all ages.

What's the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls?

Outdoor pickleball is usually played on a modified tennis court, whilst indoor pickleball often takes place on a gymnasium floor.

Because of the different playing surfaces and environments, outdoor pickleballs and indoor pickleballs differ in a number of ways. Outdoor pickleballs need to accommodate for and mitigate the impact of wind and a tougher playing surface. Therefore outdoor pickleballs feature smaller holes and are considerably tougher than indoor balls.

In contrast, indoor pickleballs are manufactured with fewer, larger holes and are usually lighter and softer than outdoor balls.

The table below compares the different specifications and characteristics of indoor vs outdoor pickleballs:

Pickleball Ball Comparison Table

Indoor Pickleball Outdoor Pickleball
Holes 26 large holes 40 small holes
Material Soft plastic construction Very hard plastic construction
Weight (range)* 22.11g (0.78oz) - 24g (0.855oz) 25.5g (0.9oz) - 26.51g (0.935oz)
Diameter (range)* 2.874" (7.30cm) - 2.897" (7.36cm) 2.897" (7.36cm) - 2.972" (7.55cm)
Drag & Speed High drag & low speed Low drag & high speed
Control & Spin Easier to control & add spin to shots Harder to hit precise shots & add spin
Rallies Long rallies are frequent with indoor balls Long rallies are rare with an outdoor ball
Durability More durable & long-lasting Tend to have a shorter lifespan
Noise Quieter than outdoor balls Make a relatively loud noise when hit

 

Do children use the same pickleball balls as adults?

Kids and adults play with the same pickleball balls, making the sport enjoyable for families. The pickleball ball moves at a moderate speed, making it simpler to hit back compared to a tennis ball. This increases the likelihood of everyone having a fun and entertaining game, no matter their age or skill level.

How long do pickleball balls last?

A pickleball ball will typically last for 4 to 5 games before it starts to lose its shape and bounce. The ball will usually still be fine to practice with, but would have to be replaced during a regulated game or tournament. The longevity of a pickleball ball will also depend on factors such as the force and spin that players elicit on the ball, and the playing surface.