A Deep Dive into Pickleball Balls – Types, Standards, and Performance

A Deep Dive into Pickleball Balls – Types, Standards, and Performance, Dink Authority

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When it comes to playing pickleball, the type of ball you use can greatly impact your game. To ensure fair play and consistent gameplay, the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) has established specific standards for pickleball balls. In this blog post, we will explore the USAPA pickleball ball standards, with a particular focus on the differences between indoor and outdoor balls, including the number of holes.

Weight and Size:

The USAPA has set guidelines for the weight and size of pickleball balls to ensure uniformity across games. The standards for both indoor and outdoor balls are the same:

  • Weight: USAPA mandates that pickleball balls weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces (22-26.5 grams). This weight range provides a good balance between playability and control.
  • Size: The diameter of pickleball balls must fall between 2.87 and 2.97 inches (7.29-7.54 cm). This size range ensures consistency in shot accuracy and comfort during gameplay.

Construction and Material

The construction and materials used in pickleball balls contribute to their performance and durability. While the USAPA does not specify the exact material, most pickleball balls are made from durable plastics like polyethylene or similar compounds. These materials offer a combination of durability, responsiveness, and consistent flight characteristics.

Number of Holes

One notable difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls is the number of holes. The USAPA standards define the following:

  • Indoor Balls: Indoor pickleball balls have 26 holes. These balls are designed for use in gyms, sports complexes, or any indoor pickleball court. The 26-hole configuration ensures a slightly slower and more controllable flight, allowing players to execute precise shots with ease.
  • Outdoor Balls: Outdoor pickleball balls, on the other hand, have 40 holes. These balls are specifically designed for outdoor play on harder surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. The increased number of holes helps reduce wind resistance and enhances the ball’s stability, making it more suitable for outdoor conditions where wind can affect its trajectory.

Ball Approval

To ensure compliance with the established standards, the USAPA has an approval process for pickleball balls. Manufacturers must submit their balls for testing and evaluation to receive the USAPA approval seal. This seal indicates that the balls meet the weight, size, construction, and color requirements set by the USAPA.

Check out the USA Pickleball website for a full database of approved brand and models!

Note: It’s important to check the specific rules and regulations of the venue or tournament where you play, as they may have preferences regarding the type of balls used. Additionally, different ball manufacturers may offer variations within the USAPA standards, so it’s always a good idea to try different balls and choose the one that best suits your playing style and the playing environment.

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