Differences Between Indoor & Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Indoor and outdoor pickleball balls are designed to adjust to different playing environments and conditions. The major differences between these two balls lie in their construction and characteristics.

If you are a seasoned player, learner, or beginner, understanding the variation of ball types can greatly enhance your pickleball experience. This article studies the characteristics, materials, and performance aspects that set indoor and outdoor pickleball balls apart.

What is Pickleball?

Outdoor Pickleball

In the summer of 1965, Pickleball was founded on Bainbridge Island, Washington, by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. Within days, Joan Pritchard had come up with the name “pickleball.”

The three neighbors originally came up with the concept—using some old Ping-Pong paddles and a perforated ball on a badminton court—as a game to keep their bored kids busy on a rainy day.

Differences between Indoor Outdoor Pickleball Balls

The Basics

  • Pickleball is fun, like badminton, ping-pong, and tennis elements.
  • It can play indoors or outdoors with a badminton-sized court and a lightly modified tennis net.
  • We can Play with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.
  • Doubles or singles can play this game.
  • All ages and skillful can enjoy this game.

Rules of Pickleball Game

  • The ball must stay in bounds.
  • There should be one bounce per side.
  • Must serve at the baseline
  • The serve can’t land in the no-volley zone.
  • At 11 or 15 points, the game will end.

Pickleball Equipments

  • Court [The United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) regulation pickleball court size is 20 feet (6.10 m) wide by 44 feet (13.41 m) long ]
  • Net
  • Ball
  • Paddle

Each player needs a pickleball paddle, smaller than a tennis racquet but bigger than a ping-pong paddle.

Pickleball Balls colors

  • Bright Yellow
  • Orange
  • White
  • Neon Green

Players Clothes

Players can wear anything comfortable and suitable for the climate: athletic shorts, sweatpants, wicking apparel, and t-shirts.

Women wear lovely tennis skirts, polo shirts, sports bras, tank tops, and comfortable athletic shoes. You can wear tennis shorts, athletic shorts, a polo or a sweat-wick shirt for a male.

Indoor Pickleball

What is the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Balls?

Indoor balls are made of a softer plastic material. They have 26 smaller holes and are lighter in weight. This construction allows for better control and slower play, suitable for indoor courts. Outdoor balls are made of a harder plastic material to withstand rougher surfaces and outdoor elements.

They have 40 larger holes and are slightly heavier to withstand wind and outdoor conditions. The hole Diameter of Indoor balls is 43 inches, and the outdoor pickleball hole diameter is 282 inches.

WeightLight in weight – 0.8 OuncesHeavier weight – 0.9 Ounces
SkinSoft materialHarder 
Number of Holes26 holes40 holes
ControlEasy to control Hard
SpinMore spinLess spin
UsesThese balls can use for outdoor games as wellOnly for outdoor games

Indoor Balls: These are Designed for Controlled Play

These balls provide precise control and reduce the impact on the playing surface. The following are the key features and characteristics.

  1. Ball Material: These Indoor balls are made from a softer plastic material. It allows for better control and quieter play, making them ideal for indoor settings.
  2. Ball Color: Most indoor balls are bright yellow or white, ensuring high visibility against the indoor court’s background.
  3. Smooth Surface: The balls have a smoother surface compared to outdoor balls. This surface enables better control over shots, spins, and placement.
  4. Weight of a ball: Indoor balls are slightly lighter than outdoor balls, allowing players more finesse and shooting accuracy.
  5. Bounce: The bounce of indoor pickleball balls is lower than outdoor balls. This lower bounce facilitates longer rallies and strategic play.
  6. Durability: These are less durable than outdoor balls.
  7. Speed: Due to their softer construction, indoor balls have less speed and travel slower, making them easier to control and react to

Outdoor Balls: These are Designed for Durability and Wind Opposition

These balls are designed for increased durability, visibility, and wind opposition.

  1. Outdoor Ball Material: Outdoor balls are made from a harder plastic material, enhancing their durability and resilience against outdoor surfaces.
  2. Ball Color: Outdoor balls are usually neon or bright colors like orange or green. These rich colors provide better visibility in outdoor settings.
  3. Textured Surface: The surface of outdoor balls is textured to offer enhanced wind opposition. This texture helps stabilize the ball’s flight outdoors, reducing the effect of wind.
  4. Weight: Outdoor balls are slightly heavier than indoor balls. The added weight helps them withstand outdoor conditions and maintain stability during play.
  5. Bounce: Outdoor balls have a higher bounce compared to indoor balls. This higher bounce compensates for the softer playing surface typically found in outdoor courts.
  6. Durability: These are more durable and resistant to wear and tear from outdoor surfaces, including rougher playing conditions and exposure to sunlight.
  7. Speed: Outdoor balls are designed to withstand wind and outdoor conditions, so they are faster and can travel with more velocity.


Understanding the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls is essential for players seeking to maximize their performance on the court.

Indoor balls provide controlled play with lower bounce and smoother surfaces, while outdoor balls offer durability, wind resistance, and higher bounce.

You can optimize your pickleball experience and enjoy the game to its fullest.


What is the key Difference Between Indoor Pickleball and Outdoor Pickleball?

There are three differences.
Indoor balls have 26 holes, while outdoor balls have 40 holes. The hole Diameter of Indoor balls is 43 inches, and the outdoor hole diameter is 282 inches. Weight: Outdoor balls are heavier than indoor balls.

Can you play indoor Pickleball with outdoor balls?

You can use indoor Pickleball outside on a calm, still day without wind. You can use outdoor balls indoors if you are good at them to avoid being hit by them, and there’s nothing breakable in the room! But getting the right ball for the location you are playing is always the best option.

How do I choose a pickleball ball?

We suggest indoor pickleball balls with a diameter of around 2.8 inches. For outdoor pickleball balls, you may choose one with a 2.9-inch diameter.

Which type of Pickleball is used in outdoor tournaments?

The most dominant brands of outdoor Pickleball are TOP, Dura, and ONIX. All three of these balls have been approved for tournaments by the USA Pickleball Association.

How many holes does indoor Pickleball have?

26 holes.

Can you use outdoor pickleball balls indoors?

Yes. You can use outdoor pickleball balls indoors, but outdoor Pickleball does not bounce well on a gym floor.

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