Skip to Content

The Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleballs

Historically, pickleball was an indoor game played on either a wooden floor or tile. Eventually, the sport moved outdoors, and outdoor pickleball balls and courts were built specifically for the usage of this new style of play. We’ve got the scoop on pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls!

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 indoors and outdoors, but there are some key differences between the two types of play.

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, racquetball, and table tennis. The game is played on a court with a net similar to tennis, and players use paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball over the net.

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

Outdoor Pickleball

Outdoor 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.

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.

This usually results in longer rallies than in indoor play. However, 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

Indoor pickleball is played on a wooden floor or tile, as these indoor surfaces provide the most bounce and roll for the ball. The indoor pickleball is smaller and lighter than its outdoor counterparts, making it more challenging to hit in indoor games.

However, the smooth plastic and shorter rallies also allow players to move quickly around the court.


Overall, each style of play has its 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, it is essential to have a strong pickleball paddle. A ball with durable plastic is ideal for solid gameplay compared to its indoor counterparts, which have many soft spots. 

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 pickleballs have bigger holes built in and come in a variety of bright colors! Where as outdoor has smaller holes. They also have a smaller number of holes to account for the different environments of that type of ball.

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?

There is a difference between pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls.

What Is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. The pickleball game is played on a court with a net and can be played indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t require lot of players.

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 pickeleballs are made of soft plastic and have fewer holes (but larger in size) than outdoor balls which have a heavier body and more holes (but smaller in size).

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

Outdoor pickleballs are harder with common brands such as Dura Fast, Onix Pure, and Onix Fuse G2. A Dura pickleball is the perfect ball for beginners and seasoned players! 

Additionally, Franklin Sports make excellent rackets if you’re looking for your first one! 

How To Play Pickleball

The game is 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.

A different type of pickleball is used for indoor use and outdoor courts. Players can only hit the ball once before it goes over the net, and each point is scored when an opponent cannot return the ball or hits it out of bounds.

Pickleball can be played on a variety of surfaces, including hard courts, clay courts, and indoor or outdoor pickleball nets. An outdoor pickleball court requires a particular ball. Pickleball brands make sure that the pickleballs they sell are the best 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.

Great pickleballs to check out are the gamma photon indoor pickleball and the Onix Fuse indoor pickleball. Onix fuse indoor balls are a great kind of ball to start with. 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 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. 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.

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 resin filled with a small amount of air. This is because indoor pickleballs are commonly used on tile or wood floors and don’t need to be as durable as an outdoor balls. It also has larger holes.

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.

The filling of an outdoor pickleball is also different, as sand is typically used instead of air in order to give the ball more weight. This extra weight helps the ball bounce better on outdoor surfaces.

The Diameter Of The Ball

Pickleball equipment and indoor and outdoor pickleballs also differ in diameter. An indoor pickleball is typically 2.9 inches in diameter, while an outdoor pickleball is larger, measuring 3.0 inches in diameter. The extra size of the outdoor ball helps it bounce better on rougher surfaces.

You will be able to tell a slight difference in pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls. There are many different types of pickleballs.

The Weight Of The Ball

Both indoor and outdoor pickleballs have specific requirements regarding the weight; the official USAPA rules state that they must also weigh the same, 1.5 ounces or less. This is because 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. Remember, harder plastic is best for hitting your top balls outside. 

Additionally, your ball must have an exceptional seam. If your ball isn’t almost perfectly smooth, your hits on the bright green outdoor courts won’t be as strong!

The official ball from the USA Pickleball Association’s outdoor pickleball doesn’t have a visible seem either. 

Tips On PickleBall Playing

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 correct type of court to play the game of pickleball will help ensure maximum performance!


Remember to keep in mind that choosing the proper court could also help. If you find that you slide around better than run, maybe try an indoor court. Conversely, if you like having something solid to hold you in place, an outdoor court might be the place for you!

Indoor and outdoor pickleballs may look similar, but they are quite different in their construction and performance on certain surfaces.

Choosing the right ball for your game is essential to optimize your performance and have more fun. Hard balls are best for the outside, and softer balls are ideal for the inside. Be careful to bring a hard ball inside because the weight could damage the walls or net if you’re not careful. 

Remember pickleball indoor vs outdoor balls will differ.

Also, pay close attention to your racket. Sometimes, a ping pong or even tennis racket could be mistaken for a pickleball racket, so make sure that you buy or rent the correct one!

A tennis racket works for a beginner, but buy a real pickleball racket once you are ready to take your game to the next level!

Finally, we hope that you found these tips and information helpful, and best of luck in your future pickleball endeavors!

Get the scoop on more like this:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


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.


Monday 4th of July 2022

The author of this article has clearly never played Pickleball. Please remove this article as it is filled with misinformation and does not correctly describe Pickleball. I’m not sure what the author is trying to describe as it is so far off from Pickleball. The ONLY true statement in this article is if you play indoors you don’t have to worry about the weather. Otherwise the article to total trash !


Monday 4th of July 2022

This is the most accurate information I've ever seen. I do like the fact that outdoor balls are filled with sand to help them bounce better. And beginners definitely should start with a tennis racket before choosing a proper pickleball racket.

It's very good advice that competitive players need to be supervised at all times by a tournament director. I don't know how many times I've nearly come to blow with 70 year old women because they got heated during play. Fortunately, the tournament director was overseeing our rec play and tackled that old coot before she could throw her racket at me.

Kudos to the best pickleball article ever. Well done.


Monday 4th of July 2022

@DennisTPM, the authors head is filled with sand 😵‍💫


Sunday 3rd of July 2022

If you don’t know it’s a Pickleball paddle and not a racquet, you do not know enough to write an article about Pickleball.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleballs