Your Game, Their Words: Pickleball Content Written By Pros.

Outdoor vs Indoor Pickleballs

Indoor Vs Outdoor Pickleballs: The Must-Know Differences


Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that people of all ages enjoy. Pickleball is a sport that a person can enjoy both indoors and outdoors, which is one of its finest characteristics. You might be thinking that playing indoors and playing outdoors have no differences. Yet, there are differences when it comes to Indoor Vs Outdoor Pickleballs.

Indoor Pickleball Court

Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor pickleball, there are different rules for both. So if you’re a beginner or an experienced player, it’s important to understand the differences between indoor and outdoor pickleball. Further, indoor and outdoor pickleball has distinct characteristics that affect how the game is played and the level of skill required.

This article will explore the must-know differences between indoor vs outdoor pickleballs including about the balls, rules, surfaces, and much more. By understanding these differences, you’ll be able to select the right equipment and play pickleball.

Types of Pickleball Balls

There are two versions of pickleball: indoor and outdoor. The distinctions between the two categories are quite evident; every player must be mindful of them. Also, the majority of pickleball manufacturers produce both varieties.

Let’s check the differences between indoor vs outdoor balls.

Indoor Pickleballs

Future of Pickleball courts

The indoor pickleball balls feature larger holes as compared to outdoor pickleballs. Further, they are airier and made from softer plastic. Also they feature fewer holes and are often more softer and simpler to control than their outdoor counterparts. This is because they are meant for indoor pickleball courts. On the other hand, it may be fairly difficult to smash an indoor pickleball since it often has more drag than its outdoor version.

As a result of indoor pickleball balls’ lightweight construction, indoor balls tend to be quieter and less unpleasant than their outside counterparts.

Indoor pickleballs are often textured more than the outdoor pickleball. This allows for greater spin. In addition, they have longer rallies and they are somewhat smaller and lower in weight. An indoor pickleball is less likely to break than the outdoor ball. Additionally, whenever an indoor ball wears, soft areas begin to appear.

Because of the light construction of indoor pickleballs, the indoor pickleballs are particularly susceptible to wind because of the larger holes since smaller holes can help factor in wind resistance. Hence, you should avoid outdoor play using indoor pickleballs.

Outdoor Pickleballs

outdoor pickleball court

Outdoor pickleball balls are composed of plastic with a smooth finish, which offers them a more durable and heavier body. Further, outdoor balls tend to be quite bigger than indoor ones.

In addition, outdoor balls have forty pierced holes. The outdoor balls feature robust structure and hard plastic for better durability. The smaller holes allow them to withstand wind.

Outdoor pickleballs are heavier, have numerous holes, and are quite painful to be struck by! Because they have lower drag than indoor pickleballs, outdoor pickleballs may be struck with greater force and ease. Hence, this makes outdoor play faster compared to indoor play.

An outdoor pickleball will leave the paddle far more rapidly and with more force than an indoor ball. The fact that outdoor models are more difficult to manage makes the gameplay more exciting, since it will need considerable dexterity to control them.

An outdoor pickleball will get out-of-round or crack soon, so stockpile outdoor pickleball balls accordingly.

In general, the outdoor ball’s longevity is dictated by the playing style, temperatures, and playing surface. And because outdoor balls are prone to go out-of-round, you should check their roundness often. So this is possible by striking the ball with spin and watching its movement. Because of their weight, outdoor pickleballs tend to be louder than indoor versions.

Note that the ambient temperature affects outdoor balls, which become harder in lower temperatures. As a result, it might increase the likelihood of cracking.

Pickleball Ball Requirements

The USA Pickleball Association has extremely strict specifications that a pickleball must fulfill, which we will discuss in the next section. However, achieving these requirements is not the end of the journey. For formal approval, a pickleball must appear on the USAPA’s list of authorized pickleballs. Periodically, the list is updated.

There are several pickleball models on the list of permitted models. To distinguish between these types, each ball must include the manufacturer’s logo and be of a consistent color. In addition, each ball should be tested. Check it on a granite surface by bouncing it or a 12-by-12-by-4-inch area. Furthermore, the temperature range for the bounce test must be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Official USAPA Requirements: 

  • The ball’s material should be slick and contoured.
  • The pickleball ball should have a uniform color and manufacturer’s logo.
  • The pickleball’s diameter must lie within 2.87 and 2.97 inches.
  • The pickleball ball should weigh between 0.78 and 0.9335 ounces.
  • The ball’s out-of-round variation should not surpass +/- 0.02 inches.
  • The ball should bounce 30-34 inches when dropped from 78 inches.
  • The pickleball must be between 40 and 50 on the Durometer D scale.
  • The pickleball should have 26 to 40 regularly spaced spherical holes.

Some Common Questions Regarding Pickleball Balls

Can an outdoor pickleball ball be used indoors?

Yes, you can use outdoor pickleballs inside, although they may not bounce as effectively on a gym floor. Most beginner pickleball players may not see a difference. Once a player gains expertise, they will discover that they prefer indoor play using indoor pickleballs.

What distinguishes indoor pickle balls from outdoor pickle balls?

Some distinguishing features of indoor vs outdoor pickleballs, is that indoor balls feature fewer holes with 26 bigger holes and are ideal for use on indoor surfaces. Due to its lightweight structure and relative quietness, most players, particularly casual players, choose using indoor balls to play outdoors.

However, the outdoor ball features 40 smaller holes. Indoor balls are constructed of lighter, softer plastics, whereas outdoor balls are constructed of denser, tougher plastic, making them slightly heavier.

Do Pickleball Balls Develop Crack During The Winters?

Playing Pickleball in Winter
Playing Pickleball in Winter – Yikes!

Yes, pickleball may crack in cold temperatures. If you play pickleball in cooler temperatures, your pickleball may likely crack quicker than they typically do during ambient temperature.

How many holes does indoor pickleball balls have?

Roughly equivalent to outdoor pickleball, which has 40 holes, indoor pickleball has 26 holes.


Wiffle balls are occasionally used to refer to pickleball balls. However, they are distinct. Despite being made of plastic, Wiffle balls are smaller. They even have a distinct hole pattern than baseballs.

Additionally, indoor and outdoor pickleball balls have a similar appearance. Some pickleball players will likely not know whether they are using the right ball by seeing at it, holding it, or even if they first play with it. But with these differences, it will be easy to identify.

So, whether you are playing pickleball indoors or outdoors, enjoy your game and make sure not to hurt yourself.