To an outsider, pickleballs might look like wiffle balls, and to a beginner, a pickleball might look like a commodity with all the balls the same. However, a pickleball is very different from any other ball and there are a variety of pickleball options such as indoor and outdoor. How do you know the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs?
The biggest difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs is the number and size of the holes. Indoor balls are usually 26 holes larger, while outdoor balls are usually 40 holes smaller. The weather and court surface affect ball choice, which in turn affects weight, hardness, texture and durability.
In short, everything is different between indoor and outdoor pickleball. They may be two sides of the same coin, but depending on which one you choose, you may find the game more difficult or easier due to their vast differences and unique purposes. Let's examine 5 main differences between indoor and outdoor pickleball.
How do you know the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs?
To the untrained eye, the inner and outer pickle balls can appear quite similar. Once you hold an inside and outside pickleball or place them next to each other, the differences become apparent.
Of course, there are exceptions to these 5 differences, but in general, most indoor and outdoor balls are unique in the following ways:
- Number of holes:Indoor balls have 26 holes, outdoor balls have 40.
- hole diameter:Indoor balls have larger diameter holes than outdoor balls.
- Weight:Outdoor balls tend to be heavier than indoor ones.
- Tenacity:Outdoor balls are generally made of harder plastic than indoor balls, which contributes to more bounce.
- Durability:Because outer pickleballs are harder, they tend to break faster than softer inner pickleballs.
While each brand and type of pickleball has different specifications to make it unique,USA Pickleball created metrics for their governing body to approve a pickleball.
Let's take a closer look at 5 of the differences between indoor and outdoor pickleballs.
1. Number of holes
While the pickle balls may appear to be plastic, don't be fooled! Each ball is carefully designed with holes for a very important job: maintaining the consistency and trajectory of your shots.
Outdoor balls have a very tight 40 holes, while indoor variants typically have a wider 26 holes.But why?
It's all about staying true to every shot and counteracting as many external factors as possible, like wind or surface.The numerous smaller holes in the outdoor pickle balls provide more stability for playing in windy conditions.
Believe it or not, those little holes disrupt the aerodynamics for more realistic jumping and shooting.
Each hole is beveled in the plastic of the pickleball and is a uniform size and location on the ball, although there are some exceptions to this, as some outer pickleballs have two size holes in the same ball.
USA Pickleball - Number of holes in a Pickleball (2.D.8.)
"The ball must have a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 40 circular holes..."
Official manufacturer guidelines do not specify the number of holes per indoor or outdoor playing situation. So technically you could have a 26 hole outdoor ball.
That is one of the reasons why you can find a 32 hole ball for outdoor activities.
2. Hole diameter
The diameter of the holes in a pickleball varies dramatically by make and model, and certainly between the inner and outer balls.As you know, indoor pickleballs have wider holes than indoor pickleballs, but do you know how much wider?
How wide are the inside and outside pickleball ball holes?
On average, the internal holes of pickleballs are 40% larger in diameter than external pickleballs, typically larger than 0.43 inches. This is a significantly larger diameter compared to the average 0.282-inch diameter for outdoor pickle balls.
This data was obtained by measuring 10 of the most common internal and external pickleballs on the market today. While there are certainly discrepancies beyond this little informal survey, it's at least useful as a guide to understanding how much bigger the holes are in indoor pickleballs.
USA Pickleball: diameter of the hole in a pickleball (not a ruler)
There are no specific regulations regarding hole diameters for indoor and indoor pickleballs. billboard.
Outdoor pickleballs typically weigh more than indoor pickleballs. This is one of those points that many players are aware of but don't necessarily realize how different the weights are.
It would make sense for outdoor pickleballs to be heavier than indoor pickleballs for a few simple reasons.
First, the holes add weight. Although indoor pickleballs have fewer holes (26 total) than outdoor pickleballs (40) due to their significantly larger diameter (40% larger on average), the26 indoor pickleball holes cover more surface area than 40 outdoor pickleball holes.
This means there is more negative space on the inside pickleballs, which contributes to a lighter weight.
The second reason is more of a logical approach.Due to external conditions, such as wind disturbances, it would be more beneficial to have a heavier ball for outdoor play in order to keep the ball on its intended course.
There are other components like materials in the game, but more on that in a bit.
What is the difference in weight between the inner and outer pickleballs?
Outdoor balls technically weigh more than indoor balls, but the difference is nominally less than 1%. Based on a small sample of indoor and outdoor pickleballs, the average indoor pickleball weight was 0.917 ounces, while the average outdoor pickleball weight was 0.925 oz.
Within the ball sample, the greatest variation was with the outside pickleballs, with the lightest pickleballs weighing .897 ounces.
USA Pickleball - Peso das Pickleballs (2.D.4.)
"The ball must weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces (22.1 and 26.5 grams)."
There are no weight restrictions by class, such as B. A minimum or maximum for indoor or outdoor pickleballs. And based on the basic research for this article, it appears that the sweet spot for ball weight is shared between indoor and outdoor pickleball.
Weight may not affect playability as much as aerodynamics due to hole patterns and sizes.
Everyone knows that pickleballs are made of plastic; you can tell by looking at them. But not all plastics are created equal, and there are certainly a variety of plastics that brands will use to make pickleballs.
Pickleball hardness is measured using what is called a hardness test, which uses Shore D values for plastics. It's just a fancy scientific way of rating the hardness of hard rubbers and plastics on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the hardest.
From the common plastics and hard rubbers used in pickleballs, they cover a wide range of typical hardnesses. The scale below gives you a general idea of where each material scores, although it can certainly be higher or lower depending on the ball:
- LDPE - Low Density Polyethylene: 40-50
- HDPE - High Density Polyethylene: 60-70
- PP - Polypropylene: 70-83
- PET - Polyethylene terephthalate: 85-95
In general, TPE balls (often referred to as thermoplastic rubber) are much spongier than HDPE balls. And this is an important part of determining the materials used for indoor and outdoor pickleballs.
Arguably, the hardness of a pickleball has the biggest impact on its performance. And three metrics that directly or indirectly assess the hardness of a pickleball: hardness, compression, and rebound.
Which is harder: indoor or outdoor pickleballs?
Outdoor pickleballs are usually more difficult than indoor pickleballs. This is mainly due to the materials of construction and thickness used in the manufacture of certain balls, as well as the weight. A harder ball plays faster, while a softer ball is ideal for indoor pickleball courts, resulting in a slower pace.
The inner and outer pickle balls are made of plastic, but it's the type of plastic that sets them apart.The internal pickleballs are made of a softer plastic for a lightweight profile. This type of plastic is more prone to friction.
Outdoor pickleballs are made of thicker, harder, and heavier plastic to increase the durability of the outdoor ball.
USA Pickleball - Pickleballs Toughness (2.D.7. No longer needed)
Hardness used to be a required measurement for pickleball approval of pickleballs in the United States, but this has been repealed.However, to get a general idea of hardness, the rule required pickleballs to have a Shore D of 40-50, which would be on the low to medium limit of plastic hardness.
It is important to note that there is no general rule of thumb for hardness, rebound, or compression specifically associated with inside or outside balls, but there are compression and rebound standards for all pickleballs.
Contrary to what many beginners think, pickleballs will lose their shape and won't last a lifetime, and that's true of both indoor and outdoor pickleballs.Look no further than a heavy duty outdoor ball. Over time, temperature, and use, you will find that a ball will crack as you play.
Durability is greatly affected by the materials and construction of each pickleball, but in general, the harder the material, the more likely it is to have a shorter lifespan.
Materials like TPE have such high elastic properties that they are much more difficult to break or change shape. Whereas the harder plastics seem to break if you look at them from the wrong side.
What kind of pickleball is more durable?
Inner pickleballs tend to be more durable, as they tend to use softer plastics than the hard plastics of outer pickleballs. The tougher plastic in outdoor pickleballs makes them prone to ripping, tearing, and losing shape. Inner balls often have soft spots towards the end of their life.
No ball lasts forever, but on average an inside ball will last much longer than an outside ball.
USA Pickleball - Durability of Pickleballs (2.D.1.)
"The ball must be made of a durable material..."
It's not the most specific regulation, is it? Application-wise this can be tricky, but if there's one thing players hate more than anything else, pickleballs that don't last very long would top the list.
Can you use indoor pickleballs outdoors and vice versa?
Can you flip the script and use an outdoor pickleball if you're playing indoors, or an indoor pickleball if you're playing outdoors?
Technically, you can use a pickle ball indoors outdoors and vice versa, but this is not recommended. Using an indoor ball outdoors is a worse idea than using an outdoor ball indoors because an indoor ball is too light, not designed for wind disturbance, plays too slow, and is not the proper construction for outdoor courts. fresh air.
It is much more common to play an outside ball indoors than vice versa, but the ideal would be to use one ball indoors and one away. If you bring an indoor ball to play outside, be prepared to get interesting looks from others.
Let's talk a little more about that.
Indoors, the conditions on the pickleball court are incredibly predictable. While wind conditions cause a lot of discussion on the subject, there is still one major factor that gets overlooked and that is the sun.
If you play pickleball at noon in Florida during the summer, you might think this affects a pickleball made of a lighter plastic, which is more common in balls than outdoor ones.
The right pickleball questions
The truth is, it's important to always use the right pickleball for the right conditions. Indoors and outdoors are very different environments and therefore require different balls to provide the best gaming experience.
You can use pickleballs indoors and outdoors, but for optimal playing comfort, you must use the correct type of pickleball. And under no circumstances should you try to play an inside ball to the outside. It will only leave you incredibly frustrated.
So while you can tell the difference between pickleballs just by looking at tThe number and size of the holes, other factors such as weight, hardness, and durability combine to create five factors that make indoor pickleballs completely different from outdoor pickleballs.
Outdoor balls have a thicker plastic, smaller holes, and are a bit heavier. These contribute to the ball coming off the paddle faster and harder than indoor balls. The outdoor balls have smaller holes to make them less affected by wind and the thicker plastic helps with durability.What is the difference between pickleballs? ›
The difference between indoor pickleballs and outdoor pickleballs is that indoor balls have fewer holes with 26 larger holes and is designed for indoor play on indoor surfaces. An outdoor ball has 40 smaller holes, is slightly heavier with a thicker wall and works best on outdoor surfaces and in the wind.Is there is difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball rackets? ›
With the lighter and softer plastic, often indoor pickleballs can not be slammed as hard and typically, lead to longer rallies! With the lack of elements, indoor pickleballs will also have a much longer lifespan on the court.What's the difference in pickleball balls? ›
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls? Indoor pickleball balls are meant to be played indoors and are thus lighter, softer, and quieter. They have fewer holes drilled into them and are easier to control. Their outdoor counterparts are generally heavier, durable, and better for power shots.What are the 5 basics of pickleball? ›
Essentially the five rules of pickleball are that the ball must stay inbounds, there should be one bounce per side, serving must be done at the baseline, the service can't land in the no-volley zone, and the game ends at 11, 15, or 21 points.How many holes do outdoor pickleballs have? ›
Most outdoor balls have 40 holes, indoor balls usually have 26 although there is no set number for indoor vs. outdoor balls. Some are made with a different number of holes, like the P7 that has 32.What color are indoor pickleballs? ›
Both indoor and outdoor pickleballs come in many colors but the most common are yellow, white and orange because these colors tend to be easier to see. Indoor pickleballs have larger and fewer holes tending toward the 26-hole design rather than the 40-hole design.Are indoor and outdoor pickleball courts the same size? ›
For a start, the pickleball court dimensions are exactly the same regardless of whether they are for outdoor or indoor use. Aside from dimensions, both indoor play and outdoor play share other similarities, such as the general rules of pickleball and pickleball net height.What are the three 3 key things you should focus on in pickleball? ›
Drill, Practice, Play
Most people enjoy playing pickleball. And I suspect, the vast majority of pickleball players only play. However, if you want to improve you must spend time practicing and drilling. Taking time to practice and to drill is important if you want to improve.
OFFICIAL OUTDOOR PICKLEBALLS – Dura is Official Ball of the US Open Pickleball Championships & the USAPA National Pickleball Tournament. APPROVED FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY – Dura Pickleballs are USAPA/IFP approved for sanctioned tournament play.
4.0 Skill-Level is a term used to describe players who are capable of consistently executing at above a 3.5 skill-level. The 4.0 player will distinguish themselves from the 3.5 player by possessing increased skills and strategy, or by more speed, power, or consistency.What are 5 common mistakes that a beginner pickleball players often make? ›
- Rush When Serving. The fast fire nature of pickleball keeps us moving through points smoothly and with few breaks. ...
- Take Their Eyes Off The Ball. ...
- Wear The Wrong Shoes. ...
- Don't Move Their Feet. ...
- Panic. ...
- Wrapping Up: Add In Some Practice Time.
- Volley serves must be underhand.
- Scoring in doubles includes three sets of numbers.
- Sides alternate serving in doubles.
- There's a method to remove the advantage of serving first in doubles.
- The ball must bounce once per side after the serve.
To start a pickleball match, the score will be called zero, zero, two. This means that as soon as the serving team commits a fault, the other team gets to serve.Can indoor pickleballs be used outdoors? ›
You can definitely use indoor pickleballs outside on a calm, still day without any wind. And you can use outdoor balls indoors if you are good at avoiding being hit by them and there's nothing breakable in the room! But getting the right ball for the location you are playing is always the best option.How much wind is too much for outdoor pickleball? ›
So, wind—especially strong winds (anything about 15-20 miles per hour)—can cause the pickleball to move in crazy and unexpected ways, which makes hitting a pickleball pretty difficult at times.What kind of shoes are best for indoor pickleball? ›
Many new players come to pickleball from other sports. For instance, running shoes are built to move in one direction, usually. Pickleball shoes are designed to favor multi-directional movement with lateral stability and support. Tennis shoes are ideal for pickleball as well.What is the quietest pickleball ball? ›
The Gamma Foam Quiet Pickleball is the solution for players who want a quieter game. Instead of plastic, these balls are made of a quiet foam.What color pickleball is easiest? ›
Many players tell us the red is easiest to see when playing indoors, so give them a try if the standard colors have given you trouble. They have the same gentle feel and high bounce as the popular Jugs Indoor Pickleballs, so you won't be missing out on quality.What is the best surface for outdoor pickleball? ›
Asphalt or Concrete both provide an acceptable base for pickleball courts. Make sure to review surfacing requirements before having the base installed, as there are recommended specifications for slope, drainage, and surface finish, and overall construction.
What is the Height Clearance for a Pickleball Court? Pickleball is played both inside and on outdoor pickleball courts. It is recommended that an indoor vertical height clearance of between 18- and 20-feet is maintained above the court.What color are outdoor pickleball balls? ›
You'll usually see pickleballs in a bright, vibrant yellow/green color, too. That's to help with visibility. Much like the orange ping pong balls you see, having a color like this allows the ball to stand out in pretty much any environment. That's so everyone has a fair chance of seeing the ball.What is the #1 mistake beginner pickleball players make? ›
1. Scooting up after the serve. The most common mistake I see is that after serving, they scoot up a bit. The problem with this is that the return server is going to hit the ball as deep as possible, and if you've scooted up following your shot, you'll have to run back or will have a very hard time returning the shot.What are 2 essential tips for playing pickleball? ›
Keep your paddle high, near your chest; your reaction time will be quicker. Keep the ball in play -- let your opponent make the mistakes. Seventy-five percent of all rallies are won or lost because of unforced errors, many of them at the baseline. Return your baseline shots to the center line as often as you can.What is the most powerful shot in pickleball? ›
The overhead smash is the most aggressive offensive shot in pickleball. The smash is a forceful hit executed as high in the air as the player can reach and directed downward at a sharp angle into your opponent's court.What is the most important skill in pickleball? ›
Dinking. Dinking is essential to any pickleball strategy. This is a move that isn't just an important part of your arsenal but should be your primary skill. Anyone that's been to a pickleball training camp will tell you the same.What size grip is best for pickleball? ›
Measure the distance from the bottom lateral crease (the middle of the three), up to the tip of your ring finger. This measurement will be somewhere between 4 and 5 inches, and should be the perfect circumference for your pickleball grip. Simple as that.What age is senior pro pickleball? ›
A Senior Rated event is open only to players who are 50+. Comment: If a Tournament Director wants to allow players under 50 to play in a Senior Rated event, it then becomes simply a Rated event and must be open to players of all ages.Can a 70 year old play pickleball? ›
Active older adults are especially drawn to the fun sport: The SFIA report notes that among the 1.4 million “core” participants — defined as those who play at least eight times a year — 60 percent are 55 or older and more than 33.7 percent are 65 or older.What does 5.0 mean in pickleball? ›
5.0 Skill Rating. FOREHAND | BACKHAND | SERVE / RETURN: Hits all shot types at a high level of ability from both the forehand and backhand sides including: touch, spin, and pace with control to set up offensive situations. Has developed good touch from all court positions.
“Yes, I'm in good shape for an 80-year-old, but there is an end in sight, and I do not want to crawl to that end. Pickleball has given me a way to be active for a couple of hours, break a sweat, and feel really good about myself.” Contact us at email@example.com.Can you use an indoor pickleball outdoors? ›
You can definitely use indoor pickleballs outside on a calm, still day without any wind. And you can use outdoor balls indoors if you are good at avoiding being hit by them and there's nothing breakable in the room! But getting the right ball for the location you are playing is always the best option.What are the two types of pickleball that can be played? ›
Your First option is an indoor pickleball. Indoor pickleballs are made with a softer plastic which makes them quieter than outdoor balls. Your second option is a foam pickleball ball. Foam balls are not USAPA approved but can still be used for casual play.What is the official outdoor pickleball? ›
OFFICIAL OUTDOOR PICKLEBALLS – Dura is Official Ball of the US Open Pickleball Championships & the USAPA National Pickleball Tournament. APPROVED FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY – Dura Pickleballs are USAPA/IFP approved for sanctioned tournament play. HIGH-PERFORMANCE PICKLEBALLS – Dura balls fly true, straight, and fast.How many holes do indoor pickleballs have? ›
Most outdoor balls have 40 holes, indoor balls usually have 26 although there is no set number for indoor vs. outdoor balls. Some are made with a different number of holes, like the P7 that has 32.What color pickleball is best for indoor play? ›
Many players tell us the red is easiest to see when playing indoors, so give them a try if the standard colors have given you trouble. They have the same gentle feel and high bounce as the popular Jugs Indoor Pickleballs, so you won't be missing out on quality.Can you play off your body in pickleball? ›
It is a fault if a ball hits any other part of the body. Hand Hitting the Ball: Balls hit by the paddle hand below the wrist while holding the paddle, are legal. It is a fault if a ball hits any other part of the body.What are 3 faults in pickleball? ›
A fault occurs when: A serve does not land within the confines of the receiving court. The ball is hit into the net on the serve or any return. The ball is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side.Why do seniors play pickleball? ›
Racket sports boost the cardiovascular system which helps prevent many of the unwanted problems of older age like hypertension, stroke and heart attack. Pickleball gives you a good aerobic workout without as much stress and strain on joints and muscles, as mentioned above.What age is seniors in pickleball? ›
A Senior Rated event is open only to players who are 50+. Comment: If a Tournament Director wants to allow players under 50 to play in a Senior Rated event, it then becomes simply a Rated event and must be open to players of all ages.
With simple rules and inexpensive equipment, pickleball can be enjoyed by all ages and is a great physical activity for seniors.What does a 4.0 pickleball player look like? ›
The 4.0 player will distinguish themselves from the 3.5 player by possessing increased skills and strategy, or by more speed, power, or consistency. Consistently hit to their opponents' weak side when possible. place their volleys with a good degree of accuracy.
3.5 Skill Rating. FOREHAND: Improved stroke development with moderate level of shot control. BACKHAND: Learning stroke form and starting to develop consistency but will avoid if possible.What makes a 4.5 pickleball player? ›
4.5+ Skill Level
Comfortable with all the rules of pickleball. Controls and places both the serve and return of serve. Generally consistent in their play, understands match strategy and uses a variety of specific shots to affect their strategy.