What is the Difference Between Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleballs?

Usually, curious beginners come across Indoor vs. Outdoor pickleballs and wonder which is better. Both of their names show that they are for different settings, so indoor pickleball is best for indoor settings and outdoor ones are for outdoors. Also, read the What to wear for Pickleball?

Indoor pickleball balls have 26 holes, and they feel light and squishy. An outdoor pickleball ball has almost 40 holes with a heavy weight and hard feel. You might be confused with the structure of the pickleball balls and their different features. So let us give you all the information you require about pickleball balls

We have also given you the requirements for pickleball balls during tournaments. Before we dive deep into Pickleball indoor vs. outdoor balls, let us tell you pickleball ball requirements. 

Standard Pickleball Balls Requirements: 

So, what does a pickleball ball look like? Pickleball balls have similar hard plastic material to that of Wiffle balls. Their shape and hole structure is also the same, but they differ depending on the type of pickleball balls. Also, check the How to Regrip your pickleball paddle?

Regardless, tournaments have standard pickleball features from the official USAPA (USA pickleball association). If you want to practice for competitive matches, having pickleball balls with under-given features will help improve your improvement. These are the requirements set by USAPA for pickleball balls, whether they are indoor or outdoor pickleball balls

  • Each pickleball ball should have evenly cut holes ranging from 26-40. 
  • They should have a hardness of 40-50 durometers. 
  • The weight of the balls should be within the range of  0.78 and 0.935 ounces.
  • Their dimensions should be a minimum of 2.87 inches or a maximum of 2.97 inches.
  • No need to worry about color as long as the whole ball is of one solid color. 
  • It should be able to bounce within a range of 30”-34,” and The variation of the ball should not surpass +/- 0.02 inches.
  • You should see the logo or name of the manufacturers and the seal of approval from USAPA. 

Remember these features so you can select ideal pickleball balls or tournaments. Now, let us see how indoor and outdoor pickleball balls are different. 

Also Check: Best Pickleball Paddles

Difference between Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball Balls?

As you know, there are two types of pickleball balls; outdoor and indoor. By telling you the difference, we also list both pros and cons so you can get a better idea of which type is better for you. 

Indoor pickleball balls:

Indoor Pickleball

  • Holes: Indoor pickleball balls have 26 even and completely circular holes. Many USAPA tournaments are held indoors, so these are usually USAPA-approved. Also, the shape of the holes is larger than the outdoor ones. 
  • Weight: These are light and small. Plus, due to their lightweight, you get more spin. You also get the extra texture on indoor pickleball balls. Also, read Where Did Pickleball Originate?
  • Material: Its construction material is soft plastic. And you will not get hurt by a shot of this softball. Another thing to know is that it gets softer and softer, which shows its decreasing life, but it never cracks. 
  • Designed for: This is designed to give a silent performance with less bouncing of the ball. The player gets adequate trajectory and control easily. 
  • Easy to control 
  • Lightweight 
  • Soft material 
  • Durable 
  • Quiet performance 
  • Allows longer rally 
  • Hard to slam
  • Less bounce and power 
  • Gets swayed by the wind 

Outdoor pickleball balls: 

outdoor pickleballs

  • Holes: This type has 40 evenly circular holes, and it’s rare to see them being used during tournaments. They still fall under the category of USAPA-approved pickleball balls. You will find their hole to be of smaller size as compared to indoor pickleball balls. 
  • Weight:  Outdoor pickleball balls have a heavyweight and large overall size.  The weight along with the material provides unwanted noise during their bounce. 
  • Material: The material used in their body is hard plastic. Just know that plastic cracks quickly and also hurts when it hits anyone. Also, check the How To Clean a Pickleball Paddle.
  • Designed for: Players who like a little challenge can go for this. You get quicker and more complicated shots with great spread and more bounce. 
  • Easily resists wind 
  • Simple to hit and slam 
  • Heavy and gives fast shots 
  • More bouncy 
  • Faster and short rallies 
  • Harder shots 
  • Hard to control 
  • Noisy 
  • Durability is affected by temperature and the ball cracks 

Indoor Versus Outdoor Pickleball Game: 

Indoor and outdoor pickleball matches or courts differ. It’s an apparent reason why the two types of pickleball balls are made with different features. Indoor pickleball matches have no obstacles like sun or wind, which is why a lighter ball is best suited. Whereas, you get both sun and wind outdoors, so the ball is made to withstand such forces. 

Indoor pickleball courts have gym wood surfaces, so a softball does not get damaged by bouncing. Whereas for concrete and hard surfaces, outdoor pickleball balls work best. It’s better to play indoors with indoor pickleball balls if you are a beginner

Pickleball players who hate crowded indoor spaces might like outdoor pickleball more. Although it’s pretty challenging with rough floor surfaces and natural factors, it can be fun if you have the right equipment. Wear appropriate sportswear too, so you don’t get too fatigued outdoors. Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleballs

Can you Use Indoor Pickleball Outdoors? 

Yes, you can, but we do not recommend it. You can use indoor pickleball balls in an open atmosphere if the weather is not windy. But using outdoor pickleball balls inside a pickleball court might cause more damage and is not worth it. But if you can control it and not get hurt, it’s possible to use outdoor pickleball balls indoors. 

Final Words:

Summing it up, The additional changes between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls are due to the variances between indoor and outdoor pickleball games. Indoor-specific pickleball balls are lightweight, flowier, and soft. Outdoor ones are designed to reduce windy interference, which makes them harder and heavier. Also, check the What is an Erne in pickleball?

An outdoor pickleball ball will bounce less and move significantly quicker. And your rally will be finished quickly. Whereas playing with indoor pickleball balls requires simple handling and less effort, resulting in longer rallies. Simply choose according to the setting and surroundings.  


  1. Do indoor pickleball balls have smaller holes or large ones?

No, the number of holes in an indoor pickleball ball is less, but the holes are more significant. 

  1. Which outdoor pickleball ball is the best?

You can choose TOP, Dura, and ONIX as these are approved by USAPA and offer durable outdoor pickleball balls. 

  1. What color do tournaments use pickleball balls?

The most common color of many pickleball balls is green or lime. There are no restrictions regarding color as long as it’s visible and uniform. 

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