If you’ve just started playing pickleball, or are thinking about starting, one thing you might be wondering about is the size of the average pickleball.
There’s a reason for the size, after all, and it’s definitely worth knowing if you plan on buying pickleballs.
Pickleball has also seen a sudden surge in popularity over the last few years, so you wouldn’t be the only person thinking about pickleball sizes!
So to point you in the right direction, here’s a full guide on pickleball size, including which pickleball ball you should use and how to choose the right pickleball size.
This guide will also look at the weight of pickleball walls, what pickleball colors (see also: What Color Pickleball Should You Use? [Ball Color Guide])mean, the size of pickleballs compared to other racket balls, and more.
Put simply, for everything you need to know about pickleball (see also: Pickleball 101: Everything You Need To Know About The Sport)balls, keep reading!
What Type Of Ball Is Used In Pickleball?
When pickleball first started (way back in the ‘60s), a Wiffle ball was used to play pickleball.
A Wiffle ball is used in the baseball-style sport of the same name, which is a lightweight ball made of plastic with a hollow interior and visible holes.
Wiffle balls were used in the early days of pickleball, however. Now there are balls used specifically for pickleball, which look similar to Wiffle balls. But they are not the same!
Against International Federation of Pickleball and USA Pickleball standards, a pickleball ball must weigh between 0.78 ounces and 0.935 ounces (between 22.1 grams and 26.5 grams), and have between 26 and 40 circular holes that are evenly spaced out.
As for size, pickleballs must also measure between 2.87 inches and 2.97 inches (between 73 millimeters and 75 millimeters).
What Is The Average Pickleball Size?
Since pickleballs measure between 2.87 inches and 2.97 inches (between 73 millimeters and 75 millimeters), the average size of a pickleball is somewhere in the middle.
So here’s the answer: The average pickleball size is around 2.92 inches (74 millimeters) in diameter.
This is the average size of a pickleball, but not the typical size used in pickleball games, as the size of the ball also depends on whether the pickleball game is played indoors or outdoors!
Are There Different Sizes Of Pickleballs?
Pickleball balls come in different sizes. This is because pickleball is played both indoors and outdoors, resulting in different conditions where a certain size of pickleball is required.
Typically, the size of a pickleball ball used indoors is 2.87 inches in diameter and the size of a pickleball ball used outdoors (see also: 7 Best Differences Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleball)is 2.897 inches in diameter.
That might not seem like a big difference, but it does affect how the pickleball travels in the air when hit and how it bounces, especially on different court surfaces.
For outdoor pickleball, other important factors come into play and affect how the ball travels, such as wind. Harder court surfaces will also require greater pickleball durability.
So, overall, smaller and lighter pickleballs are used for indoor pickleball while bigger and heavier pickleballs are used for outdoor pickleball to account for the court surface and wind strength.
What Is The Weight Of Pickleball Balls?
Pickleballs generally weigh between 0.78 ounces and 0.935 ounces (between 22.1 grams and 26.5 grams).
This is the standard set by the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) and USA Pickleball Association (USAPA).
Typically, pickleballs used for indoor play will be lighter than pickleballs used for outdoor play.
As mentioned above, this is because outdoor pickleball involves factors like rougher court surfaces and wind resistance, requiring bigger, heavier, and more durable pickleball balls.
Do Indoor And Outdoor Pickleballs Have The Same Size Holes?
Pickleballs have between 26 and 40 holes, depending on the size of the ball. So what’s important to remember here is that different sizes of pickleballs do not always have the same number of holes.
In general, smaller pickleball balls will have fewer holes (as low as 26 holes) while larger pickleballs will have more holes (up to 40 holes).
On top of that, the holes themselves are not the same size for all pickleballs. Small pickleball balls will have larger holes while bigger pickleball balls will have smaller holes.
What Do Pickleball Colors Mean?
Pickleballs come in a range of colors, including yellow, green, blue, pink, and orange. Despite that, pickleball colors don’t mean anything in particular or refer to anything, such as size or weight.
In fact, these bright colors are chosen for pickleballs simply because they offer high visibility.
Similar to yellow tennis balls (which are officially called “optic yellow”), bright yellow pickleball balls are a popular color as they are easy to see when traveling in the air.
Are Tennis Balls The Same Size As Pickleballs?
Tennis balls typically measure between 2.57 inches and 2.70 inches (65 millimeters and 68 millimeters) in diameter, an official standard set by the International Tennis Federation.
Compared with pickleball balls, which are between 2.87 inches and 2.97 inches (between 73 millimeters and 75 millimeters) in diameter, this means that tennis balls are slightly smaller than pickleballs – something that might come as a surprise!
Despite that, pickleballs are lighter, weighing between 0.78 ounces and 0.935 ounces (between 22.1 grams and 26.5 grams) while tennis balls weigh between 1.98 ounces and 2.1 ounces (56 grams and 59.4 grams) – more than double the weight of pickleball balls.
Pickleball Balls Vs Wiffle Balls
Wiffle balls were used for pickleball back when the sport was first being played. They are still sometimes used for casual play, but it’s now far more common to see pickleballs being used.
In competitive tournaments, pickleball balls are required!
So what’s the difference between pickleballs and Wiffle balls?
Wiffle balls are around the same size as pickleball balls, measuring between 2.86 inches and 29.4 inches (72.9 millimeters and 74.8 millimeters) in diameter.
Where Wiffle balls differ, however, is that they’re much heavier than pickleballs–around 2.4 ounces (70 grams)—and have fewer holes of a different shape.
How To Choose The Right Pickleball
Now that you know the various sizes of pickleballs, as well as the number of holes and the weight of pickleballs, which pickleball should you use?
Generally, for outdoor pickleball, you want to use a bigger, heavier pickleball with more holes. This improves visibility of the pickleball, increases the durability of the pickleball on hard surfaces, and helps the pickleball travel in wind.
For indoor pickleball, on the other hand, you typically want to use a smaller, lighter pickleball with fewer holes. This simply improves the bounciness of the ball on indoor surfaces.
As for color, you can choose any color of pickleball you prefer, as long as it’s easy for you (and other players) to see!
Pickleball balls typically measure between 2.87 inches and 2.97 inches (between 73 millimeters and 75 millimeters), which accounts for various factors like bounciness, durability, and playing conditions.
As a result, the average pickleball size is 2.92 inches (74 millimeters) in diameter. Still, make sure to choose the right pickleball size for playing indoors or outdoors!