Your Easy To Read Quick Guide To Understanding What Pickleball Ball is Right for you!
Sizes, Weights, Materials, Colors, and More!
Pickleball is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States and other countries around the globe. As a relatively new sport compared to other established racket sports such as tennis, many questions arise regarding the equipment used – especially when it comes to pickleball balls.
In this comprehensive guide, we cover everything you need to know about pickleball balls. From their sizes and weights to the differences between indoor and outdoor pickleballs, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out more!
What Type of Ball is Used in Pickleball?
Unique to the sport, pickleball balls are hollow, perforated plastic balls that are relatively lightweight. Resembling a wiffle ball, pickleballs must meet specific criteria in order to be approved for play.
How Big is a Pickleball?
The approved size of a pickleball ball is determined by the sport's national governing body, which is the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association). To be approved for game use, pickleball balls must:
- diameter between 2.874 inches (7.30cm) and 2.972 inches (7.55cm)
- circumference 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)
Pickleball Ball Dimensions
By meeting these requirements, pickleball balls are designed to provide a consistent playing experience. However, variations in size, weight, and materials can still occur. Let's explore these differences below.
Pickleball Ball Sizes & Weights
There are a range of pickleball ball sizes and weights to choose from based on your playing preferences. Some may prefer a heavier ball for increased control, while others might want a lighter ball for faster gameplay. Players can choose from a variety of options to find their perfect fit.
What Is A Pickleball Made Of
Pickleball balls are typically made from high-grade plastics (PP) that offer durability and consistency during play. They also come in a variety of colors, such as white, orange, yellow, and green. The choice of color will mostly be dictated by personal preference or visibility requirements during matches. There are also more eco frienldy pickleball balls that are made from a TPE is more recyclable and made from less toxic chemicals. It has a softer bounce making for more fun rallies and matches.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball Balls
Pickleball balls can be categorized as indoor or outdoor based on their design and intended use. Indoor balls usually have larger holes and are lighter in weight, allowing for better control and slower flight through the air. Indoor balls generally have 26 holes. Outdoor balls, on the other hand, have smaller holes and are heavier, making them more durable and better suited for play on hard court surfaces. Outdoor balls generally have 40 holes. (sometimes 36)
The Speed of Pickleball Balls
A pickleball ball's speed greatly depends on its weight, material, design, and the playing conditions. The size and number of holes in the ball, along with the material used, will affect the ball's flight and speed, which can differ between indoor and outdoor versions. A typical game will see speeds of 15mph to 40mph. A pickleball can get up to 60mphs. You are going to want to get out of the way of that one!
Im A Beginner What Ball Should I Use?
You can use either ball indoor or outdoor. First time players wont notice a difference until they get a better feel for the game. Just getting out there and playing is the best thing you can regardless of what ball you have.
Im A Pro Pickleballer What Ball Should I Use?
There are many high quality pickleball balls out there. You should also find an outdoor one that is USAPA approved. And research what tournaments near you are playing with so you can practice with that ball as well!
Understanding the various aspects of pickleball balls – including their sizes, weights, materials, and types – will help you choose the perfect ball for your playing style and improve your overall game experience. Whether you're new to the sport or a seasoned player looking to refine your skills, this ultimate guide provides you with all the information you need on pickleball balls. Happy playing!