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Indoor Vs Outdoor Pickleball – What’s the Difference

Indoor Vs Outdoor Pickleball - What’s the Difference

Understanding the differences between indoor and outdoor pickleball is essential, whether a beginner or an experienced player. Whether adjusting to different court surfaces or changing your strategy due to varying wind conditions, understanding these information points can help you become better acquainted with this exciting sport.

As the popularity of pickleball continues to grow, use our definitive guide on indoor vs. outdoor pickleball to know about all the features and characteristics.

Understanding Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball

It is essential for anyone who wants to play this game. Here we have mentioned some key differences.

The Difference in Court Size – Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball

Indoor pickleball courts typically have smaller playing areas than outdoor courts. Indoor court sizes range from 20′ x 44′ (for competitive play) to 16′ x 32′ or 18′ x 36′. Outdoor courts, however, can range from 30′ x 60′, 40′ x 80′, and even as large as 60′ x 120′. 

While the size of an outdoor court does offer more room to run and cover your opponent’s shot, indoor courts often provide a faster-paced game due to their smaller size.

In addition, many recreational players find that an indoor court offers them a more intimate atmosphere for friendly matches. No matter which court you choose, ensure it is ideal for your skill level and the type of play you prefer.

One thing is sure whether you’re playing outdoors or indoors: pickleball is a great sport that players of all ages and abilities can enjoy. All you need is to make sure it’s suited for your needs to get the most out of this fun and unique game. 

Equipment Differences – Racks, Paddles, Balls


Both indoor and outdoor pickleball have different designs. 

Indoor paddles have less weight and smaller faces, allowing players to generate more spin on their shots. 

Outdoor paddles often have wider faces and are heavier, giving them more power but making them more difficult for beginners. 

Both varieties of paddles ought to have a secure grip for better shot control.

Ball and its behavior 

The type and behavior of the ball used in indoor and outdoor pickleball also differ significantly.

Outdoor balls tend to move faster due to the hard court surfaces, making them more challenging to control on dinks and other short shots. Moreover, outdoor pickleball is made with hard and thick plastic shells to withstand harsh weather because of its 40 holes on the surface.

On the other hand, the balls made for indoor pickleball moves slower due to the softer court surface, making them easier to control and creating a higher risk of injury if hit too hard. The hard rubber ball, used in indoor pickleball, has a 2-inch diameter.

Playing Style Comparisons for Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball

Indoor and outdoor pickleball can vary significantly in terms of playing style. 

Indoor courts usually have a hard surface, while outdoor courts have softer materials like dirt or sand. Since the ball doesn’t bounce as high indoors as outdoors, players must adjust their game accordingly. 

Outdoor pickleball typically allows for more aggressive play, as the court surface and wind conditions provide more opportunities for power shots. Indoor players, however, must focus on accurately placing shots to take advantage of the court’s size. When playing outdoors, 

It’s essential to factor in weather conditions like sun and wind. Sunlight can make outdoor courts slippery and hotter than indoor courts, so players need to adjust their strategies accordingly. 

Wind can also affect the trajectory of shots, so players should account for this when playing outdoors. While both indoor and outdoor pickleball requires strategic play and accuracy, they each reward different types of skill sets. Outdoor play typically encourages more aggressive power shots, while indoor courts tend to favour finesse and precision.

Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball – Pros and Cons

Indoors Pickleball 


  • Indoor pickleball is a great way to play in any weather or time of year.
  • Indoor courts are smaller, allowing faster-paced games and more significant challenges.
  • Furthermore, more players are often available at indoor courts due to their convenience and accessibility.
  • Complete control on walls and netting 
  • No need for extra accessories like sunglasses or hats .


However, there are some downsides to playing indoors that must be taken into consideration. 

  • First, indoor courts may be more expensive due to renting and maintaining space.
  • Additionally, playing inside can become pullover time since the same settings are used repeatedly.

Outdoor Pickleball


  • Outdoor pickleball is relatively inexpensive.
  • They offer a larger playing area without interference of other players on the court . 
  • Playing outside provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and nature.
  • More Affordable outdoor game 
  • Players can also adjust their playing distance to suit their skill level and playing style. 


However, some considerations must be taken into account when playing pickleball outdoors.  

  • Weather can be unpredictable, and extreme temperatures or winds can make it challenging to play.
  • Additionally, outdoor courts must be more consistent in quality than their indoor counterparts. 
  • Little Bit difficult to retrieve the ball due to the long distance.
  • Finally, outdoor courts may be more difficult to find since many areas still need public outdoor 

Impact on Gameplay and Strategy

The differences in court surface, equipment, and ball type each impact how their game is played and strategized. Outdoor pickleball requires more power and accuracy to control the ball, while indoor requires a softer touch with greater control of spin and placement.

Depending on the court’s surface, different strategies may be used in each setting. For example, outdoor players might opt for more aggressive positioning due to the faster-moving balls, while indoor players might focus more on fitness shots. Overall the key difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball requires players to adapt their game to succeed in each setting.


How to tell the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball?

Indoor and outdoor holes easily differentiate by the number of 24 holes, weight, and hardness. The indoor ball is lightweight and not too hard. Whereas an outdoor ball is heavier and hard with 40 holes.

How many holes does an outdoor pickleball have?

Outdoor pickleball has 40 holes.

What is indoor pickleball?

A Pickleball played inside the covered area is called indoor pickleball.

Are there different types of pickleball?

Absolutely, but usually, there are two types of pickleball: indoor and outdoor.

No matter what type of court you can choose to play, understanding the difference between indoor vs outdoor pickleball is vital to the game. The difference may vary in surface type, size, and material of court; the environment makes the indoor and outdoor games a completely different experience.

Playing indoors delivers more control, an even playing surface, and consistency due to fewer external elements. Conversely, playing outdoors can give an unpredictable outcome; however, it can become just as enjoyable as an indoor game with practice. Pickleball is a fun, active sport with opportunities for every kind of player.


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