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What is The Difference Between Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Historically, pickleball started as an outdoor sport at Bainbridge Island in Washington State in 1965. But what is the difference between pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls?

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

Eventually, the sport moved indoors, and the balls and courts were built specifically for the usage of this new style of play.

Pickleball is now one of the most popular games in the United States, with an estimated 2.8 million pickleball players nationwide.

The game is played both indoors and outdoors, but there are some key differences between the two types of play.

What Is Pickleball?

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis.

The net height for pickleball play is 34” at the center and 36” on the sidelines. This is a couple of inches shorter than a tennis net which is 36” at the center. 

The pickleball game is played on a court with a net and can be played both indoor environment and outdoors. A tennis court is a popular location for outdoor use.

Pickleball is a popular sport in the United States, with an estimated 2.8 million players nationwide. 

Indoor pickleball balls are much different in weight and looks than outdoor balls. 

Though there aren’t a uniform color for all balls, white and yellow balls are the most common. A Jugs ball is also the perfect practice ball when starting. 

Common pickleball balls are Dura Fast, Onix Pure, and Onix Fuse G2. The Dura pickleball is made specifically for outdoor use but can be used indoors. 

How To Play Pickleball

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

Pickleball can be played on a variety of surfaces, including hard courts, clay courts, and indoor or outdoor pickleball nets. 

Outdoor pickleball courts require a particular ball. Pickleball brands make sure that the types of pickleballs that they sell are the best pickleball for that purpose. 

Indoor courts are sometimes on gym floors which can make it tricky to hit, but the floors’ smooth surface can help keep up a rally and makes it easier to get a new ball. 

It is a personal preference for what type of court to play on. Different types of balls can help give a consistent bounce if they are designed for indoor use or outdoor. 

The game can be played as singles or doubles, and the object of the game is to score points by hitting the ball over the net and into your opponent’s court. 

Players can only hit the ball once before it must go over the net, and each point is scored when an opponent is unable to return the ball or hits it out of bounds.

Great pickleballs to check out are the Gamma Photon indoor pickleball and the Onix Fuse indoor pickleball. Many players find that the easiest way to start the sport of pickleball is to use plastic balls such as Onix Fuse Indoor Balls!

The playing surface of outdoor pickleball play is a great time to test out different balls to find the one for you!

So if you’re looking for a fun and engaging new sport to try, why not give pickleball a chance? Whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors, pickleball is a great way to get active and have fun.

Outdoor Pickleball

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

Outdoor play for pickleball is typically played on a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt. 

The outdoor balls used for this type of play are larger and heavier than the indoor pickleball balls, making them a bit easier to hit. 

This usually results in longer rallies than in indoor games.

However, compared to their indoor counterparts, outdoor players always need to look out for the weather conditions because poor weather lessens the chance of a good bounce. 

Though outdoor games can be risky, many people’s preference isn’t indoor pickleball courts. 

Indoor Pickleball

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

In contrast, indoor pickleball is played on a wooden floor or tile, as these indoor surfaces provide the most bounce and roll for the ball. 

Indoor pickleballs are much softer and lighter making them easier to play with on courts and gyms. The smooth plastic and shorter rallies also allow players to move quickly around the court.

Indoor pickleball might be more desirable because you will be playing at an ambient temperature and won’t have to worry about it being too hot or too cold.

Also, indoor pickleball balls vs outdoor balls have larger holes coming in a variety of bright colors like a bright green or red! They also have smaller holes to account for the different environments.

No matter which version of the game you choose, pickleball is a fun, challenging sport and a great thing that millions of people worldwide enjoy. So why not join in on the fun and give it a try today?

The Construction Of The Ball

There are some differences between an indoor and outdoor pickleball ball. 

An indoor pickleball is typically made of a plastic and has larger holes. This is because indoor pickleball balls vs outdoor balls are commonly used on tile or wood floors and don’t need to be as durable.

The Onix Fuse indoor pickleball provides the best flight technology and the most authentic bounce available. This kind of ball is specifically, used for indoor play and has an exceptional seam.

Outdoor pickleball, by comparison, tends to have more reinforcements in its construction in order to withstand the elements and the outdoor surface they will be played on. 

They are made of denser, stronger plastic which makes them slightly heavier and more wind resistant. You usually won’t find any made out of a soft plastic as those are much easier to break.

This extra weight helps the ball bounce better on an outdoor pickleball court. The official ball a lot of players use is the Franklin X-40. With durable plastic, this type of pickleball plays well on any surface.

The Diameter and Weight of The Ball

Pickleball equipment and indoor and outdoor pickleball balls can also differ in diameter. 

These balls can range from 2.87 to 2.97 inches in diameter.

Indoor balls typically have fewer holes but balls with bigger holes have 26 holes compared to 40 of an outdoor ball. The number of holes does matter and can affect how you play. 

Both indoor pickleballs vs outdoor balls have specific requirements regarding the weight. 

The balls weight is between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces. 

For an indoor ball they usually weigh around 0.8 ounces because they are lighter. An outdoor ball usually weighs 0.9 because it tends to have a heavier body.

There are weight regulations in place to ensure that both sides of a match have an equal chance of winning the game.

Pickleball manufacturers do a good job creating balls that will last for a long time that are either softer plastic or harder plastic, depending on the conditions.

Particularly, the Jugs ball is one of the original balls used for indoor pickleball.

Remember, harder plastic is best for hitting your top balls outside. 

Tips On Pickleball Playing

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

Choosing the right type of ball for your game is essential to optimize your performance and have more fun.

1. Indoor pickleball can be played on hard courts, while outdoor pickleball should only be played in an outdoor setting.

2. Play your best and compete to win, but always keep things in perspective. If a match or game is getting heated, it’s okay to take a break and regain your composure before continuing.

Competitive players have to be supervised by a tournament director for this reason. 

3. To improve your game and become a better player, practice regularly. If you have access to an indoor court that’s open for public use, try going early in the morning or after work when there will be fewer people around.

Find a pickleball machine at a college rec center or a country club to practice hitting plastic balls to improve your game. 

4. Watch other players and see their techniques to improve your skills. Common questions can probably be answered on online forums or in instructional videos.

5. When playing outdoors, be aware of the wind and sun conditions. These can affect the trajectory of the ball and make it more difficult to control.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start playing pickleball! Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, remember to have fun and enjoy the game.

Picking the right ball and type of court to play the game of pickleball will help ensure maximum performance!

Pickleball Style

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

Overall, each style of play has its own unique advantages depending on your skill level and preference.

If you’re just starting, outdoor pickleball may be a good option as the larger ball is easier to hit. 

When using Wiffle balls and tennis balls to start out, it is essential to have a strong pickleball paddle

Having a ball with durable practice is ideal for solid gameplay compared to indoor play, which has many soft spots.

Compared to its outdoor counterparts, indoor play is usually done inside somewhere you need to be a member of.

If you are looking for your first pickleball paddle the Franklin Sports is a great option.

The sport is popular among all ages and skill levels, whether that be casual players or professionals, and there are many resources available to help you learn how to play. 

For more information you can go to USA Pickleball Association website to learn more about the rules, rankings, and tournament play. The official USAPA rules apply for recreational, social, organized play. 

Finally, we hope that these tips and information help you become an amazing Pickleball player!

pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls

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Indoor and Outdoor Pickleballs: The Must-Know Differences

Tuesday 10th of January 2023

[…] Both indoor and outdoor balls have different flight techniques and bouncing patterns. […]

Beverly Youngren

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

Oh my...another article where writer did not do their research! Pickleball paddles ...not racquets. At least our sport was spelled correctly.


Monday 4th of July 2022

There is almost as much wrong as there is right. Many things are the total opposite. I’m not getting paid to edit this, so I won’t attempt to make all the corrections, but just the first two.

First of all, it started out as an outdoor sport, in Washington state in 1965.

Secondly, the net hight is 34” in the center and 36” on the sidelines. That is a couple of inches shorter than a tennis net, which is 36” at the center.

This from the article is TOTALLY WRONG!:

"The net is also lower for outdoor play (3’11” compared to 3’3″), making it easier for players to reach over and hit the ball on their opponent’s side of the court during tournament play.”

Okay, a couple of bonus corrections for no charge.

It’s against the rules to reach over the net and hit the ball on the opponent’s side. (One exception, but not worth getting into here.) Lastly, 3’11” is taller than 3’3”, but neither have any relationship to pickleball.


Monday 4th of July 2022

Wow! So much misinformation in this article, beginning with the very first sentence. Please do better research before writing an article!

Michael Rocheleau

Monday 4th of July 2022

Sarhscoop at has no clue. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much wrong here.

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The Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleballs