Understanding Pickleball Ball Size
When it comes to playing pickleball, pickleball ball size is an important factor to consider.
The official pickleball ball size is between 2.87 inches and 2.97 inches (73 mm to 75.5 mm) in diameter, and the ball weight should be between 0.78 ounces and 0.935 ounces (22 grams to 26.5 grams).
Pickleballs are hard, hollow plastic balls, somewhat like a wiffle ball.
Lighter balls are normally used on indoor courts, while heavier balls are normally used outdoors. Pickleballs have between 26 and 40 holes.
The size of the ball matters because it affects the way the ball bounces and how it travels through the air.
A ball that is too small or too light will not travel as far, while a ball that is too big or too heavy will be difficult to control.
Balls with larger holes may also catch more wind and are harder to control.
Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball Balls
Even though some players don’t care whether they are using an indoor or outdoor pickleball ball, type of ball you use can make a big difference in your game, especially if you’re playing outside.
Indoor and outdoor pickleball balls are designed to perform differently based on the surface you’re playing on, the climate, and other factors.
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls.
Indoor Pickleball Balls
Indoor pickleball balls are designed to be used on indoor courts.
They are typically slightly smaller and lighter than outdoor balls, typically closer to 2.874″ / 73mm and 0.78oz / 22g.
They are more affected by wind if played outdoors.
They have fewer but larger holes (normally 26), which makes them quieter and less painful when they hit someone.
They also have a softer texture than outdoor balls but are less durable.
The most common color is yellow, but they can be found in orange, green, pink, and blue.
Outdoor Pickleball Balls
Outdoor pickleball balls are designed to be used on outdoor courts, which are typically harder and more abrasive than indoor courts.
An outdoor ball is larger and heavier than an indoor ball, typically closer to 2.072″ / 75.5mm and 0.935oz / 26.5g.
They have more but smaller holes than indoor balls (normally 40).
These features make them more durable on outdoor courts, and allow the balls to sail through the wind a bit easier.
This means that it’s more likely to go where you hit it. The most common color is yellow or orange, but they can be found in different colors.
Design and Structure of Pickleball Balls
Pickleball balls are designed with specific specifications to ensure fair play and consistent performance.
In this section, we will discuss the two main design aspects of pickleball balls: hole design and surface texture.
Keep in mind that pickleballs don’t travel as fast as tennis balls. Pickleball balls travel between 25 and 45mph.
A tennis ball travels around 124 mph (200 km/h).
Pickleball balls have 40 circular holes drilled into them, which are evenly distributed across the surface of the ball.
The holes are designed to reduce wind resistance, making the ball easier to hit and control.
The size and placement of the holes are carefully regulated to ensure that the ball meets the official size and weight requirements.
The surface texture of pickleball balls is smooth with a ridge or seam that runs around the circumference of the ball.
The ridge or seam is designed to help players grip the ball and create spin, which can be used to control the trajectory of the ball.
The smooth surface also helps to reduce wind resistance and increase the speed of the ball.
Pickleball Ball Brands
When it comes to pickleball ball brands, there are a few that stand out in the market today.
In this section, we will take a closer look at three of the most popular brands: Dura, Onix, Franklin and Jug.
Dura is a well-known brand in the pickleball world.
The Dura Fast 40 is the most popular ball used in tournaments and is known for its durability and consistency.
It is made with a thick plastic material and has 40 small holes, which gives it a unique sound when it is hit.
The Dura Fast 40 is suitable for both indoor and outdoor play.
It is a good ball to have for most court types.
Onix is another popular brand in the pickleball world, known for its high-quality balls.
The Onix Fuse and Onix Pure 2 are two of the most popular balls for tournament use.
The Onix Fuse is a popular outdoor ball, made with a unique blend of plastic and other materials, which gives it a softer feel than other outdoor balls.
The Onix Pure 2 is an indoor ball, known for its consistency and durability.
Jug is a lesser-known brand, but it still produces high-quality pickleball balls.
The Jug brand offers both indoor and outdoor balls, with the Jug indoor softer ball being a popular choice among players.
The Jug indoor ball is made with a soft plastic material, which gives it a unique feel when it is hit.
The Jug outdoor ball is made with a hard plastic material and has a smaller number of holes than other outdoor balls.
Franklin is a well known pickleball brand and their Franklin X-40 ball has been the official ball for USA national tournaments since 2021.
Their color choices provide pickleball players with some great options especially if you have difficulty seeing certain colors.
They have orange, yellow, lime green and blue.
Official Pickleball Ball Size
Regulations and Approval of Pickleball Balls
Pickleball is a sport that requires a specific ball to be used during play.
The ball used in pickleball must meet certain regulations and be approved by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA).
Since 2021, the Franklin X-40 has been the official ball for the USA Pickleball’s National tournament, National Championship Series at Newport Beach and Regional Championship Series.
The USAPA has approved several different types of pickleball balls that meet the official specifications for size, weight, and bounce.
These approved balls are the only ones that are allowed to be used in sanctioned tournaments and events.
To be approved by the USAPA, a ball must meet the following specifications:
- Diameter: between 2.87 to 2.97 inches
- Weight: between 0.78 to 0.935 ounces
- Bounce: between 30 to 34 inches when dropped from a height of 78 inches onto a granite surface plate that is a minimum of 12 inches by 12 inches by 4 inches
- Color: The USAPA also requires that the ball be a single, uniform color except for identification markings, but there are no restrictions on what color the ball can be
- Holes: The ball should have a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 40 circular holes and proper marking for supplier and the USA Pickleball Competition” or “USA Pickleball Approved” seal for non-competition.
When it comes to tournaments, the rules regarding pickleball balls are strict. Tournament directors must ensure that all balls used in the tournament are approved by the USAPA and meet the official specifications.
Players are not allowed to bring their own balls to tournaments. Instead, the tournament director will provide the balls for all matches. This ensures that all players are using the same type of ball and that there is no advantage given to any one player.
If a ball is damaged during a match, the player must immediately notify the referee or tournament director. The damaged ball will be replaced with a new, approved ball.
Factors Affecting Pickleball Ball Performance
When selecting a pickleball ball, it’s important to consider the factors that can affect its performance.
Two significant factors that can impact the ball’s performance are weather conditions and the playing surface.
Effect of Weather
Weather conditions can have a significant impact on the performance of pickleball balls.
Windy conditions can affect the ball’s flight, making it difficult to control.
Hot weather can cause the ball to bounce higher, while rainy conditions can make the ball heavier and more challenging to hit.
It’s essential to choose a ball that is appropriate for the current weather conditions to ensure optimal performance.
Effect of Playing Surface
The playing surface can also have a significant impact on the performance of pickleball balls.
Concrete and asphalt surfaces tend to be faster, with the ball bouncing higher and moving more quickly.
On the other hand, smooth floors tend to be slower, with the ball bouncing lower and moving more slowly.
It’s important to choose a ball that is appropriate for the playing surface to ensure optimal performance.
In summary, when selecting a pickleball ball, it’s essential to consider the weather conditions and the playing surface to ensure optimal performance.
By taking these factors into account, you can select a ball that is appropriate for the current conditions and enjoy a more enjoyable and successful game.
Pickleball Ball vs Wiffle Balls
If you’re new to pickleball, you might be wondering what the difference is between a pickleball ball and a wiffle ball.
While they may look similar, there are a few key differences that set them apart.
- Pickleballs are smaller than wiffle balls. Wiffle balls measure between 2.86″ and 3.82″ (7.2644mm to 9.7028mm), while pickleballs are between 2.874″ and 2.972″ (73 mm to 75.5 mm).
- Pickleballs are heavier than wiffle balls. Wiffel balls weigh approximately 0.70oz (19.84g) while pickleballs are between 0.78oz (22g) and 0.935oz (26.5g)
- Pickleballs have more holes and a larger surface area. Wiffle balls have fewer holes (18-26), but they are larger holes making the ball lighter with less surface area. Pickleballs have between 26-40 smaller holes.
The size, weight, and number of holes make a big difference when it comes to ball control, susceptibility to wind and weather, and gameplay.
FAQ – Pickleball Ball Size
What is the regulation size of a pickleball ball?
A regulation pickleball ball must have a diameter of between 2.874″ and 2.972″ (73 mm to 75.5 mm), and weigh between 0.78oz (22g) and 0.935oz (26.5g). This size and weight are standardized by the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) and the USA Pickleball Association
What is the difference between outdoor and indoor pickleballs?
Outdoor pickleballs are designed to withstand the wear and tear of playing on rough outdoor surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt. They are made of hard plastic and have larger holes to make them more aerodynamic. Indoor pickleballs are made of softer plastic and have smaller holes, making them slower and easier to control.
Are there different pickleball balls?
Yes, there are different types of pickleball balls designed for different playing conditions. In addition to outdoor and indoor pickleballs, there are also balls designed for high altitude play, balls that are quieter for noise-sensitive communities, and balls that are specifically designed for practice and training.
What is the best outdoor pickleball ball?
The best outdoor pickleball ball will depend on your personal preference and playing style. However, some of the most popular different brands for outdoor pickleballs include Onix, Dura, and Franklin.
What is the best indoor pickleball ball?
Again, the best indoor pickleball ball will depend on your personal preference and playing style. However, some of the most popular brands for indoor pickleballs include Jugs, Onix, and Franklin.
How do I choose the right pickleball ball for me?
When choosing a pickleball ball, consider your playing style and the conditions in which you will be playing. If you play mostly outdoors on rough surfaces, you may want to choose a harder, more durable ball. If you play mostly indoors, a softer, slower ball may be a better choice. Additionally, consider the brand, price, and reviews of the ball before making a purchase.
How long do pickleball balls last?
The lifespan of a pickleball ball will depend on the quality of the ball and how often it is used. On average, a pickleball ball can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It is important to inspect the ball regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or flat spots, and replace it as needed to ensure fair play.