What Kind of Ball is Used in Pickleball

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Is a pickleball just a wiffle ball? Why have I seen different sized pickleballs on different occasions? What qualities should I look for in a pickleball?

If you’re new to the sport, you’re probably wondering what kind of ball you need to get started. 

Here’s everything you need to know about pickleballs!

What Are Pickleballs? 

In pickleball, a specific type of ball is used that’s distinct from other racket sports. A pickleball is a perforated plastic ball, somewhat similar in appearance to a wiffle ball. These holes are designed to allow the ball to travel through the air with stability.

There are two primary types of pickleball balls:

  1. Outdoor Balls

These balls usually have 40 smaller holes and are made to be more durable to withstand the rougher surfaces of outdoor courts. They are slightly harder and can travel faster than indoor balls.

  1. Indoor Balls

Indoor balls typically have 26 larger holes and are softer than outdoor balls. They are designed for smoother indoor surfaces and generally have a different bounce characteristic than outdoor balls.

Both types come in various colors, with the most common being white, yellow, or neon green. It’s important to note that, like all sports equipment, balls can wear out and should be replaced regularly for consistent play. If you’re participating in a tournament or official play, there might be specific approved balls that you’re required to use.

What is a Pickleball Made Of? 

A pickleball is made of durable, hard plastic. It’s a lightweight, perforated ball designed to fly straight and bounce consistently. The type of plastic and the manufacturing process can vary between brands, but the goal is always to produce a ball that meets specific size, weight, bounce, and flight criteria suitable for the sport of pickleball.

Circumference of a Pickleball Ball

The circumference of a regulation pickleball ball typically ranges between 7.874 to 8.25 inches (20 to 21 cm). It’s essential to note that different balls might be on the higher or lower end of this range, but they should still fall within these standards to be considered regulation size for official play.

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Ball Used in Pickleball FAQs

What is the Ball Called in Pickleball?

Just like its namesake, the ball used in pickleball is literally referred to as a ‘pickleball’ 

Is a Pickleball Just a Wiffle Ball? 

No, a pickleball is not just a wiffle ball. While both are perforated plastic balls, they have distinct differences in size, hole pattern, and design. A pickleball is specifically tailored for the sport of pickleball, with variations for indoor and outdoor play, whereas a wiffle ball is designed for a baseball-like game. The bounce, rigidity, and purpose of each ball are uniquely suited to their respective sports.

Can You Use a Wiffle Ball for Playing Pickleball

While you can technically use a wiffle ball for a casual game of pickleball, it’s not ideal due to differences in size, weight, and hole pattern. A wiffle ball won’t provide the same performance or bounce as a standard pickleball ball, and it’s not suitable for official or organized play. For an authentic pickleball experience, it’s best to use the designated equipment.

What Color Pickleball is Best?

Yellow is a color that tends to stand out against many backgrounds. On both indoor and outdoor courts, the bright yellow color can be easier for players to see, especially in varying light conditions.

Other popular colors include white and neon green. Keep in mind, there’s no rules about which color pickleball you select. It’s all about personal preference

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