Decoding the Pickleball Ball: A Comprehensive Guide

Did you know that pickleball, a game mixing tennis, badminton, and table tennis, is more popular than ever? Over 3 million people play pickleball in the U.S. And it's catching on around the world too. It's loved by people of all ages and abilities. Today we learn about the dynamics of the pickleball ball.

One key thing in pickleball is the ball. Its size, weight, material, and colors affect the game. We'll look at what makes a pickleball unique. This includes whether it's best for playing indoors or outdoors. Plus, we'll give tips on picking the right pickleball for you.

Outdoor Pickleball Ball

Key Takeaways:

  • The game's popularity is growing, with over 3 million players in the U.S.
  • Pickleball balls have key features like size, weight, material, color, and hole number.
  • There are different types for indoor and outdoor play, depending on the court surface.
  • Pickleball is great for everyone, young or old, making it perfect for family fun.
  • Choosing the right ball is important for a fun and winning game.

What Ball is Used in Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fun sport mixing tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Its ball is special; it's a hollow, plastic ball with holes similar to wiffle balls. This special design makes the game fair and fun in tournaments and other events.

The pickleball ball is sized between 2.874 inches and 2.972 inches in diameter. It has a circumference of 9.029 inches to 9.337 inches. This size is just right for players to enjoy the game and have a fair chance at winning.

These balls have to be a certain weight too. A pickleball ball weighs between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces. This light weight helps players move and hit the ball with ease.

The balls are made from strong plastic for a reason. This material is tough and can handle the game's fast hits and quick moves. Many different plastic types are used, all aiming for a long-lasting ball that's tough enough for serious play.

Pickleball balls come in many colors, but they must all be the same color, except for special marks. Yellow is the most common color, but you might see orange or red too.

The pickleball ball is made for a mix of toughness, easy control, and fun. The size, weight, material, and color rules make sure everyone has a good, fair game.

After learning about the pickleball ball's key features, we'll now dive into the different sizes and weights you might see.

Pickleball Ball Sizes and Weights

The size and weight of pickleball balls matter a lot in the game. The United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) sets the rules. This makes sure games are fair and equal for everyone.

Pickleball balls must be between 2.874 inches (7.3cm) and 2.972 inches (7.54cm) wide. This size is perfect for good control without sacrificing stability. It lets players hit the ball just as they plan.  

The ball's weight is also key, falling between 0.78oz (22.11g) and 0.935oz (26.51g). This range gives the right amount of bounce and speed. It leads to more exciting and thoughtful plays.  You can also fit several pickleball balls in your PB Pro bag with no problems.

Following these rules on size and weight means the game stays the same for everyone. No matter the brand of the ball, players enjoy fair and skill-building matches.

Importance of Size and Weight

The right size and weight of a pickleball ball are critical. They affect how the game flows directly. Aerodynamics, balance, and how the ball responds to hits are all shaped by these aspects.

With the correct size, players can guess where the ball will go. This skill helps them move strategically. It means games are more about quick thinking and accuracy.

The weight even impacts how strong shots can be. The ideal weight allows players to hit hard while keeping the ball under control. This is essential for good and fair play.  

Knowing the significance of pickleball ball size and weight is useful for all players. It makes your game better and more fun for you and your friends.

Materials and Colors of Pickleball Balls


balls are key in the game because they handle a lot of hits. They're made from tough plastic to keep them working for a long time. Each brand has its special type of plastic, bringing unique features to the court.

The color of the balls follows rules set by the USAPA. The balls are all one color, except for some marks. Most are yellow, but you can also get them in orange and red.

"The plastic makes pickleballs last through tough games. The color rules make the court look good and fair."

Players like having lots of colors because it helps them see the ball better. Some find it easier to follow against the court, while others just like certain colors.

So, the type of plastic and ball color make a big difference in how the game looks and plays. This is true for new players and ones with lots of experience.

Brand Comparison: Materials and Colors

Let's look at different brands and what their pickleball balls are made of and what colors they come in:



Color Options


Durable Plastic

Yellow, Orange, Neon Green


High-Quality Polymer



Premium Plastic



Advanced Polymer

Yellow, Orange, Neon Green

These brands give many options in materials for different play styles and favorite colors. Players can pick what suits them best and helps them shine on the court.

Choosing the right pickleball ball involves thinking about how durable it is, how it looks, and personal taste. Testing various brands and colors is the best way to find the perfect one for you.

Why Do Pickleball Balls Have Holes?

Holes in Pickleball Ball

Holes are a unique part of pickleball balls’ design. They serve a special function in the game, making it unique. This design links back to wiffle balls, which are plastic balls with holes used in similar games.

Wiffle balls have holes for a reason. The holes help create air drag. This results in a game that moves slower and is easier to control. Pickleball balls use this same idea to make the game easier for everyone.

Pickleball balls slow down in the air because of their holes. This makes it easier for players to hit the ball back. It encourages longer and more strategic plays. This slower pace also helps players of all skill levels enjoy the game.

A standard pickleball ball has 26 holes. These holes are evenly spread around the ball. They offer the right amount of air resistance for the game.

The holes in pickleball balls do more than just slow them down. They also help with spin and control. As the ball is hit, air passes through the holes. This extra air movement gives the ball spin. This spin improves a player's ability to place shots and makes the game more fun.

Key Points:

  1. Pickleball balls have holes to create air drag and facilitate a slower-paced game.
  2. The design of the holes originated from wiffle balls, which utilize perforations to achieve similar playing characteristics.
  3. These holes contribute to the accessibility, inclusivity, and strategic aspects of pickleball.
  4. The standard pickleball ball typically has 26 evenly distributed holes.
  5. The presence of holes affects the speed, spin, and control of the ball.

Understanding why pickleball balls have holes highlights the sport's uniqueness. It makes players see the game’s strategy more. No matter your skill level, these holes add fun and challenge to pickleball.

Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Balls

In pickleball, the ball you pick really matters for your game. Indoor and outdoor pickleball balls are made for different courts and settings. Each type has its own specific features.

Indoor balls work best on smooth indoor courts. They have some unique traits:

  1. Indoor Pickleball ball: They are lighter, which makes them easier to control indoors.
  2. Indoor Pickleball ball: Their bigger holes help playersspin the ball and aim with more accuracy.
  3. Indoor Pickleball ball: Made to grip well on smooth floors, they help you move better during games.

Outdoor balls, however, are built tough for outdoor play:

  • Outdoor Pickleball ball: They're heavier to deal with wind and outdoor conditions.
  • Outdoor Pickleball ball: With smaller holes, they're less likely to break on rough outdoor grounds.
  • Outdoor Pickleball ball: The materials used are strong for the challenges of outdoor playing.

The weight, hole size, and materials are what sets indoor and outdoor pickleball balls apart. Indoor balls help with control and spin, while outdoor balls are about lasting strength and stability. Picking the right ball for where you play can really boost your game.

Children and Pickleball Balls

Children love playing pickleball just like grown-ups do. They use the same balls as adults, but these balls are made to move slower. This makes the game perfect for players of all ages, even for young kids.

These special pickleball balls bring the family together for a lively game. Since both adults and kids use the same balls, everyone feels part of the fun. It's a great way for families to bond and enjoy time on the court.

"Playing pickleball with my kids has become our favorite family activity. We have so much fun together and it's a great way to stay active and connect with each other." - Sarah Thompson, parent

These balls are also a great way to introduce kids to pickleball. They move slower, which helps children develop key skills like coordination and controlling the racket. This makes it easier for kids to learn and love the game early on.

What's more, these balls are safe for children to play with. They're light and made of soft plastic. This means they're easy to handle and less likely to cause harm or damage.

Benefits of using pickleball balls for children:

  • Creates a fun and engaging family activity
  • Develops hand-eye coordination and racket skills
  • Provides a safe playing experience
  • Encourages a love for the sport from an early age

In the end, pickleball balls are perfect for kids and adults to play together. They are slow, safe, and encourage active family time. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone looking to have fun together.

The Speed of Pickleball Balls

Pickleball balls move between 15 and 45mph. This is slower than tennis balls or shuttlecocks. The type and how you serve the ball makes it go slower.

The ball's speed depends on its weight and how it's made. Pickleballs are plastic with holes. These holes reduce its speed as they let air through.

Top players can hit the ball at 60mph. But most players stay in the 15 to 45mph range.

Knowing the speed of the ball helps players play well. It lets them figure out where the ball is going. Then, they can stand and hit the ball just right. Learning about ball speed helps players get better.

Factors Affecting Pickleball Ball Speed

Many things decide how fast a pickleball ball goes:

  • Weight: Heavier balls move slower. Lighter balls speed up easier. The ball's weight must be in a certain range to meet the game's rules.
  • Construction: The ball's materials influence its speed too. The plastic with holes makes it lighter and slower.
  • Player Technique: How a player hits the ball affects speed. Skills like a strong swing or good wrist technique can make the ball go faster.

By understanding these factors, players can better their game. They can pick the right ball and work on their hitting. This helps them play stronger on the court.

"The speed of pickleball balls adds an exciting element to the game, challenging players to react and strategize accordingly. As you improve your skills, you'll begin to harness the ball's speed to your advantage, adding an extra level of finesse to your shots." - Pro Pickleball Player


In conclusion, the ball used in pickleball is very important. The ball's size and weight matter a lot. So does the material it's made from and its color.

Indoor and outdoor pickleballs are quite different. Indoor balls are lighter. They have bigger holes for more control and spin. Outdoor balls are made to be heavier and tougher. This is to handle rough ground better. It's vital to pick the right ball for where you're playing.

Pickleball isn't just for grown-ups. Kids have a blast playing it too. The game is fun because the balls move slower. This means all ages can play and enjoy.

To have a great time in pickleball, choose your ball wisely. Know the details and what to expect from each type. This will ensure your game is memorable and fun for everyone involved.


What is the standard size and weight of a pickleball ball?

A pickleball ball is a bit smaller than a baseball. It's between 2.874 inches (7.3cm) and 2.972 inches (7.54cm) in diameter. It weighs between 0.78oz (22.11g) and 0.935oz (26.51g).

What material and color are pickleball balls made of?

These balls are made tough from hard plastic. This helps them handle the sport’s hard hits. They come in bright colors, like yellow, orange, and red.

Why do pickleball balls have holes?

The holes in pickleball balls slow them down. This makes the game easier for everyone, no matter their age.

What are the differences between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls?

Indoor pickleball balls are light with big holes. They're designed for more controlled plays. Outdoor ones, on the other hand, are tough and made for rougher areas.

Can children use the same pickleball balls as adults?

Yes, kids and adults play with the same kind of balls in pickleball. The balls are slow-moving, so they're fun for everyone.

How fast do pickleball balls travel?

These balls go between 15 and 45mph. Top players can even hit them at 60mph.