What is a Pickleball Made of? – PickleballMate

Before digging into the features of a pickleball, it is important to know all the details regarding the pickleball game.

How this game was invented, and what are the procedures and techniques involved in playing a pickleball game.

Pickleball was first played in 1965. It accidentally came into being by a family of America on a nice sunny holiday when the family was united and getting bored, so they started playing a game similar to badminton and tennis using similar tools but having different rules and techniques. The history of pickleball is quite interesting.


An American family started to play badminton in their in-house badminton courtyard, but due to a lack of badminton rackets, they started playing with tennis rackets found in their old storage area. Tennis balls and tennis rackets were used, and the game was started by four family members in their badminton courtyard. They found the game so entertaining that they invited their friends and families along with every weekend, and that’s how this game got into popularity. Now it has been played at national and international tournaments.  You Can also check the Best Pickleball Shoes.

Special tools have been designed for pickleball, and slight changes have been made to the pickleball court.

The court net has been lowered from 60″ used in a badminton match to 36″, and pickleball rackets have been modified as larger in size than the tennis rackets and smaller than the badminton rackets.

Pickleball is the most interesting feature of the pickleball game. The game is designed differently for indoor and outdoor tournaments having soft plastic/rubber material having multiple holes in it, making it lightweight and airy.

To know all about pickleball, it’s important to know the basic highlights of how to play this game.

How to play pickleball:

Pickleball is played in both outdoor and indoor areas within its court. The court is designed in such a way that the maximum length is maintained at not more than 44 feet and the width not more than 20 feet.

The court is further divided into six sections with a 36 inches high net in the middle.

First, two sections are made in the middle beside both sides of the net, covering an area of around 7 feet on each side. These areas are called the kitchen or non-valley areas mean the players cannot foot into these areas unless the opponent hits the ball in the kitchen.

Besides the kitchen area, the court is further divided into two sections on each side, making a total of 4 sections where four players can play. These sections are the valley areas where players are supposed to play.

The opponents will position themselves diagonally while giving the serves.

There are a few rules to this game:

The service can be made only by keeping the ball in the air without hitting on the ground, and the player’s position would be outside the court borderline. The services shall be in a diagonal direction and should not touch the kitchen section of the opposite side, or else it will be a fault.  You Can also check the Best Graphite Pickleball Paddles.

The opponent should only hit the serve in the valley area and is not allowed to bounce the ball on the ground.

The player who hit the ball to the net or out of the court would be at fault, and the point will be given to the opponent.

Now let’s find out how this pickleball is made and with which material:

Initially, when the game was invented, wood was used to make pickle balls having 20-40 holes. With the advancement in the game, a lot of industries started manufacturing professional tools that can be used at an international level, making the ball with graphite and plastic materials and in various colours.

However, the ball varies for outdoor and indoor games.

Outdoor pickleball is supposed to be slightly heavier in weight than the indoor ball to stand the wind or any environmental pressure. However, the indoor ball is made of lightweight material and has more number of holes.

In factories, pickleball is made with thermoplastic material where the plastic is melted and poured into steel molds and then cooled down at a very low temperature. The molds are designed separately for indoor and outdoor pickleball.

Normally for outdoor pickleball, 32 to 40 holes are made in the mold with equal gaps in between, and for indoor pickleball, the molds are prepared with 20-26 holes drilled in them.

The material also varies in outdoor and indoor balls.

Thermoplastic resin is used for outdoor balls, and graphite or light plastic is used for indoor balls.

The first brand that made pickleball was known as Cosom. Cosom used plastic material for the first time 50 years ago, but the holes they drilled in the mold were bigger, making the ball affected due to outdoor wind. Hence cosom’s ball was not suitable for perfect pickleball shots.

Afterward, new brands came into existence, evolving pickleball’s material, design, and color with time.

Now, cosom is not manufacturing the balls anymore, and a variety of other balls are successfully manufacturing the pickleball that is used for national and international level tournaments.

With the Tremendously increasing popularity of this game not only in America but also in other countries, legal authorities have come into existence, defining the new regulations for pickleball equipment manufacturing and usage.  You Can also check the Best Edgeless Pickleball Paddles.

Two of the well-known authorities are the International Federation of Pickleball and the USA’s development of pickleball.

What is an outdoor pickleball made of?

As discussed earlier, the outdoor pickleball is meant to be slightly higher in weight than the indoor pickleball. Well-known brands involved in manufacturing outdoor pickleball are TOP and ONIX. Approved by the Association of USA pickleball, these brands are manufacturing high-quality pickleball using circular molds.

The plastic used in outdoor pickleball is of high quality because of the exposure it has to face while playing on rough and hard surfaces.

The average weight of an outdoor pickleball is approximately 0.9 ounces.

The difference in weight indoors and outdoor is essential to keep the balance of the game in difficult environmental situations.

The heavier the ball used in outdoor pickle matches makes the game more intense and fast. The players can hit the ball harder so that the wind does not affect the speed of the ball, making it pop at a higher speed. The holes of the outdoor ball vary for each manufacturer. However, outdoor balls are made with more holes but are smaller in size to stand the wind without hindering the pop speed.

Durability is lesser than the indoor ones because of exposure to hard strokes and rough surfaces.

Indoor pickleball, material, and design:

Indoor pickle balls have lesser exposure to hard surfaces and wind and are less exposed to hard strokes. Hence manufacturers use a kind of softer plastic and graphite material molded into the circular molds with a number of holes.

Holes are comparatively lesser in number but larger in size, allowing the air to pass easily, making it easier to pop from one side to another even with softer strokes.

Indoor pickleball is more durable even with the use of soft plastic material because of lesser speed and softer strokes.

Also, the surfaces on which these are played are smooth and have less friction.

They are also lesser in weight, approximately 0.8 ounces, and less bouncy in nature, enabling the player to have full control over the strokes.

Pickleballs made with foamy material:

Another material used in outdoor and indoor pickleball is soft rubber or foam to avoid noise.

While playing indoors or outdoor, the noise of pickleball matches might cause disturbance to the surrounding people. For that purpose, some brands have made them with foam and rubber material, making them bouncy and noise-proof at the same time.

However, this foamy pickleball is not recommended for professional tournaments.


While pickleball was started with a fun purpose and with the passage of time, it has evolved tremendously and has become one of the most popular games in the world, especially in the USA.

The rules seem quite complex, but once you start playing it, it is almost next to impossible to stop.

Frequently asked questions:

Why is the name pickleball assigned to this game?

There are two variations in this regard. Some researchers say that Joel Pritchard, who was the first to invent this game, named it pickleball because it is a mixture of racket-supported games such as ping pong, table tennis, and badminton. At the same time, others say that Joel named this game by the name of his favorite dog, Pickle.

What is the most widely used material used in pickleball?

Although this ball was started with wood material, with the game’s evolution now, the brands are using soft-plastic or thermostat resin and graphite for the indoor pickleball and hard-plastic material for the outdoor pickleball.

Some companies are also using foam to make noise-proof pickleball.

What is the difference between the height of the pickleball net and a badminton net?

The pickleball net is slightly lower than a badminton net. However, the height varies from side to middle. The sides measure 36 inches, whereas the middle part is slightly lesser in height which is approximately 34 inches.

How does a pickleball differ from a Wiffle ball?

Both the pickle and Wiffle balls are very identical with slight variations. The weight of the pickleball is slightly more than the Wiffle ball, and there are more holes in the pickleball.

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