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What Type Of Ball Is Used In Pickleball | Varieties & Features

What Type Of Ball Is Used In Pickleball | Varieties & Features

Are you curious about what type of ball is used in pickleball? If so, you’re not alone. Many players wonder about the unique characteristics of the official pickleball ball. The official pickleball ball is not your ordinary ball – it’s made of a thick and durable plastic material with specific characteristics that affect its performance. But what exactly are these properties, features, and how should you use them to your advantage? To answer all this, today, we’ll delve deeper into the pickleball ball attributes, qualities, and usage so, Let’s dive in.

Pickleball Ball Specifications

The official pickleball ball must meet certain specifications to be considered a legitimate ball for the game. The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) regulates pickleball balls’ size, weight, bounce, and hardness. The official ball should have a diameter of 2.87 to 2.97 inches and weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces. Similarly, the standard ball’s bounce height should be between 30 and 34 inches when dropped from a height of 78 inches. These specifications ensure that the ball is suitable for pickleball rules.

Is Pickleball Played with Wiffle Balls?

Pickleball is not played with traditional Wiffle balls but is often confused due to their similar appearance. While Wiffle balls are made with thin plastic and have a distinct oblong shape, pickleball balls are made with thicker plastic and are circular with smaller holes. Pickleball balls are designed to provide better control and durability than Wiffle balls, which can easily crack or break during play. Additionally, pickleball balls are engineered to provide a specific bounce level, while Wiffle balls are not regulated for consistency. The type of balls used in Pickleball is typically manufactured using a process called injection moulding. The manufacturing process comprises injecting molten plastic into a mould, followed by cooling and solidification to achieve the desired shape.

Beginners typically use softer balls to develop their skills and familiarity with the game. In contrast, advanced players tend to use more rigid balls that increase the speed and intensity of play.

Foam balls are also an excellent option for beginners or home practice due to their softness and lower risk of causing damage.

Do Pickleball Ball Holes Matter?

For meeting the pickleball game in its true sense, every detail counts, including the number and size of the holes on the ball. The regulation ball has a specific number of circular holes, ranging from 26 to 40, each with a diameter between 0.125 to 0.25 inches. The placement and number of holes in a pickleball ball are not just a matter of design but also significantly impact the ball’s flight path and overall performance. A well-constructed pickleball ball with precisely placed holes allows players to experience a consistent and predictable level of play.

These holes are strategically placed to reduce wind resistance and create a uniform bounce. They provide the ball with unique aerodynamic properties, making it capable of travelling through the air with a consistent speed and bounce. However, if the ball has too few or too many holes, it can significantly impact the game and make it more challenging to control the ball’s movement. Moreover, the size of the holes also affects the ball’s performance. Smaller holes make the ball faster and more predictable, while larger holes result in a slower and less predictable ball. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the number and size of the holes when selecting the appropriate ball for your gameplay.

Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleballs?

Pickleball balls are designed differently for indoor and outdoor play. First, consider your playing environment; suppose you’re playing indoors on a court with wooden or synthetic flooring; then an indoor ball would be more suitable. Indoor pickleball balls are made of softer plastic and have larger holes, making them slower and easier to control. On the other hand, outdoor pickleball balls are designed to withstand harsh elements, such as wind and rough surfaces. The more rigid plastic and smaller holes of an outdoor ball make it faster and more durable, ideal for playing on outdoor courts with concrete or asphalt surfaces.

Using the wrong ball can not only influence gameplay, but it can also cause damage to the ball itself. Indoor balls used on outdoor courts can quickly become damaged and lose shape due to the harder surface, while outdoor balls used on indoor courts may be too fast and difficult to control.

Top Pickleball Balls for 2023

Out of the numerous options available for outdoor play, the Dura Outdoor Pickleball provides an ideal combination of durability, control, and speed. Another excellent choice for outdoor play is the Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball, which boasts a seamless design that delivers a consistent bounce and reliable playability.

For indoor play, players often opt for the Jugs Indoor Pickleball, which features a softer plastic material and larger holes to provide a slower, more controlled gameplay experience. The Franklin X-40 Performance Pickleball is another excellent option for indoor play, offering consistent bounce and improved control for players.

When to Replace Pickleball Balls?

Over time, pickleball balls can lose their elasticity and become softer, spoiling their bounce and speed. Generally, replacing your pickleball ball every three to six months is recommended, depending on how often you play. If you notice that the balls are becoming soft or misshapen, it’s a sign that they need to be replaced. Additionally, if the ball loses its color or the holes become worn or enlarged, it’s time for a new set. It’s also worth noting that not all pickleball balls are created equal. Several factors leave impressions on the lifespan of pickleball balls. Heat, sunlight, and moisture exposure cause them to deteriorate more quickly. However, some brands and models may last longer than others, depending on the materials and construction used.

Best Ways to Preserve Your Pickleball Ball

  • Avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight is advisable to prevent any damage, which can cause the balls to warp or crack. 
  • To safeguard against any moisture damage, store them in a dry place.
  • To clean your pickleball balls, it is suggested that you utilize a moistened cloth or sponge for wiping.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners; using such substances may lead to surface damage to the ball.
  • Additionally, avoid hitting or throwing the ball against hard surfaces, which can cause it to lose shape and bounce. 

Bottom Line

The pickleball ball is a distinctively designed and lightweight plastic sphere featuring circular holes. The importance of understanding what type of ball is used in Pickleball cannot be overstated. Always use high-quality pickleball balls to get the most out of your game, ensuring that you have the appropriate ball for your level of play and enjoy your next court session to the fullest!


Is there a difference in pickleball balls?

Yes, Pickleball balls are classified into two types: indoor and outdoor. They both have a difference in their materials and construction.

What kind of ball is utilized in Pickleball?

A specific type of ball with holes is used in pickleball, which differs from regular tennis or any other ball.

Can pickle balls be recycled?

Currently, pickleballs are not recyclable, but there are efforts to change that. Franklin, a major manufacturer of Pickleball, is working on developing a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative for the future.

Can Pickleball Be Played With A Tennis Ball?

No, a tennis ball’s size and weight differ from a pickleball, which can affect gameplay and increase the risk of injury. 


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