Pickleball is emerging rapidly from the last few years and many new people like you are addressed with this game. But only a few know that pickleballs are of two different types – one is indoor pickleball and the other one is outdoor pickleball. But what is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball?
As an experienced pickleball player, I have a good knowledge about this game and equipment used in this game. So, I will explain every difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball that helps you to distinguish or identify the indoor and outdoor pickleball whenever you play this game next time. So, let’s start.
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball?
Pickleball is a perforated ball made of plastic which has many holes on its surface. And yes, there are two different types of pickleballs and they have a lot of differences between them that you need to know to identify them. So, let’s discover some differences between indoor and outdoor pickleballs:
Number of Holes:
You have definitely seen holes in pickleballs but have you ever thought about the reason behind these holes? Let me tell you that the reason for the holes is to maintain the flight trajectory of shots. The no of holes in indoor and outdoor pickleballs used to be different.
The outdoor pickleballs usually have 40 halls while the indoor pickleballs contain 26 holes. Moreover, the holes in outdoor pickleballs used to be smaller as compared to the indoor pickleballs. The more no of holes in outdoor pickleballs helps in outdoor conditions to maintain the trajectories of the shots in blowing wind.
According to the rules and regulations set up by USA Pickleball Association, the allowed Pickleball may have minimum of 26 circular holes and the maximum number can go upto 40.
There are no such rules regarding the number of holes in indoor and outdoor balls. So, an outdoor pickleball may have 26 holes as well but it is not so common to see such balls having less holes in outdoor pickleballs as compared to indoor ones.
Hole diameter in Pickleball:
Besides the difference in the number of holes in indoor and outdoor pickleballs, the size of the holes in indoor and outdoor balls also used to be different. Apart from this case of indoor and outdoor pickleballs, if you compare the hole diameter of two different manufacturers of either indoor or outdoor pickleballs then it will also have differences.
But in case of indoor and outdoor pickleballs, the outdoor pickleballs used to have smaller and more compact holes while the indoor ones often have wider or larger holes. The obvious reason behind this difference in hole diameter is the playing conditions in both the cases.
In indoor pickleballs, the average hole diameter is measured around 0.43 inches while in outdoor pickleballs, it used to be around 0.28 inches only.
Still, the USAPA doesn’t have any specific rules for keeping the hole diameter sizes different in indoor and outdoor pickleballs.
Weight difference in pickleballs:
Outdoor pickleballs are heavier than indoor pickleballs and the obvious reason for this is that you need heavier pickleballs when you play in an open and outdoor court where the wind factor is considerable for the trajectory of shots.
Now, if you are thinking that the outdoor pickleballs have more holes but still have more weight than the indoor ones, then the reason is that the hole diameter of indoor pickleballs used to be 40% larger than the outdoor ones.
Indoor pickleballs weigh slightly less than outdoor ones. The average weight of indoor pickleballs used to be 0.906 ounces and the outdoor pickleballs weigh around 0.925 ounces.
According to USAPA, the allowed weight for pickleballs ranges from 0.780 to 0.935 ounces. But, there is no specific weight range for the indoor and outdoor pickleballs.
Hardness of Pickleballs:
It’s obvious that the outdoor pickleballs used to be harder as compared to the indoor pickleballs. The weight of the outdoor pickleballs and the hard plastic material used in manufacturing, makes them harder. Their hardness helps them to maintain their trajectory of shots in winds in outdoor conditions.
The lighter pickleballs are used in indoor courts which are less hard. The hardness of the pickleball affects the pace of the ball after striking over the paddle. The more the hardness, the more will be their speed.
According to the USAPA, the hardness of Pickleballs should range between 40 to 50 Shore D (a scale of 1 to 100 used to measure the hardness). But there is no specific rules for indoor and outdoor pickleballs.
Can you use indoor pickleball outside or vice versa?
So, after knowing these differences between the indoor and outdoor pickleballs, if your mind hits the thought of using an indoor pickleball in an outdoor court or vice versa. Then let you know that there are two different cases here.
In the first case, can we use indoor pickleball in an outdoor court? So, the technical answer is a big no. Because the indoor pickleballs are lighter, specially designed in a way considering the conditions of an indoor court. There is no scenario of wind inside an indoor court. But if we use indoor pickleball in an outdoor court, then its trajectory is severely affected by wind.
The second case is can we use outdoor pickleballs in an indoor court? So, the answer is yes. But I will always recommend you to use indoor pickleball in indoor court and outdoor in outdoor court.
So, that’s all about the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs. I hope that now you will never fail to identify whether a Pickleball is indoor or outdoor. If you are still stuck somewhere then I am here to help you, just express your queries in the comments below.
If your friends and colleagues also face problems in identifying indoor and outdoor pickleballs, then what are you waiting for, go ahead and share this with your friends. Have a great day!