Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball Balls- Everything You Need to Know!

Are you a pickleball enthusiast who can’t decide between indoor or outdoor balls?

Well, look no further because we’ve got everything you need to know about the significant differences between these two types of pickleballs. Pickleball has grown in popularity over the years, and different equipment variations are required for various playing conditions.

indoor vs outdoor pickleball balls
Kraska – Shutterstock

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs (indoor vs outdoor pickleball), which is better, and how to choose the right ball for your needs. So let’s get started!

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Major Differences: Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Indoor and outdoor pickleball balls may look similar, but they differ significantly. Let’s discuss some of the major differences that you know –

FeatureIndoor Pickleball BallsOutdoor Pickleball Balls
Number of HolesA smaller number of holesA larger number of holes
DiameterSmaller in diameter (typically 0.43 inches)Slightly larger in diameter (typically 0.282 inches)
WeightLighter in weightHeavier in weight
HardnessSofter and less denseHarder and denser
DurabilityLess durableMore durable

Hole Numbers

The number of holes in the pickleball balls used for indoor play differs from those used for outdoor play.

number of holes

Generally, pickleball balls used indoors have 26 holes, while those designed for outdoor use have 40 holes. This difference helps to make each game more suited to its environment. For example, the extra 14 holes on an outdoor ball help it move more quickly through windy conditions or over rough surfaces.

Indoor balls are heavier and slower, so they don’t roll too promptly on hard court surfaces. It helps keep the game balanced when playing competitively indoors and outdoors.


One of the game’s most essential elements is the ball’s size and diameter. Indoor balls are usually slightly larger than outdoor balls, measuring 0.43 inches, while outdoor pickleball balls measure 0.282 inches in diameter.


The size difference allows different strategies to be used based on where you are playing. It provides a more comfortable grip when using indoor or outdoor paddles with varying sizes of handles.

Additionally, pickleball balls made with durable plastic last longer than those made with soft foam. This is when played outdoors on concrete surfaces. As a result, they are more durable and resilient to more complex surfaces such as asphalt or concrete courts.

The ideal hole diameter for indoor and outdoor pickleball balls should be 0.25 – 0 .35 inches depending on the ball type used. It ensures that air pressure remains consistent, which will help keep the ball moving steadily throughout playtime. No matter what surface it’s being played on or if it gets wet from rain or misting water during playtime outside!


Indoor pickleball balls are generally lighter than outdoor ones, typically weighing around .8 ounces or 22.7 grams. Outdoor balls are usually heavier, averaging 1 ounce or 28 grams. The weight difference between the two affects the game’s speed; indoor pickleball is faster-paced due to its lighter ball, whereas outdoor play is slower because of its heavier ball.

weight of pickleball
Ron Alvey – iStock

Additionally, there is a notable difference between the materials used for each type of ball; indoor ones are mainly composed of plastic, while outdoor ones often have a rubberized surface that helps them rebound more effectively off court surfaces like concrete or concrete asphalt.

Proper care should also be taken when storing each type of ball, as they require different conditions to maintain optimal performance levels. Indoor balls should be stored at room temperature, while outdoor ones should not be exposed directly to sunlight as this can fade them over time.


Indoor pickleball balls are usually made with a softer material designed not to leave marks on floors or walls. These balls also tend to have slower speeds, creating an easier game to learn and enjoy.

Outdoor pickleball balls are often made out of harder materials such as plastic or rubber, which helps them last longer when playing outdoors. Outdoor pickleballs typically have a faster speed than indoor ones, making them more challenging for experienced players.

Additionally, some outdoor balls may contain tiny holes throughout the surface, which allow air to flow through their center, helping them travel further distances when struck properly by paddles during play.


Pickleball balls are designed to withstand indoor and outdoor play, ensuring long-lasting durability.

The most common type of pickleball ball is made of plastic composite material. This type of ball is excellent for indoor and outdoor courts regardless of the surface because it takes more wear and tear than other types. It also has a higher bounce rate, which keeps the game playing longer.

Additionally, some pickleball balls are designed for indoor or outdoor play; these have different bounce characteristics, allowing players to adjust their game accordingly. For instance, an outdoor ball may be slightly stiffer, so it will not be affected by windy conditions as much as an indoor one.

Furthermore, many manufacturers now use UV-protected materials to give the balls increased longevity outdoors in harsh weather conditions. Indoor pickleballs last longer because they are not exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.

However, they require regular cleaning and maintenance to maintain their durability and performance standards over time.


Is indoor pickleball different than outdoor?

Yes, indoor pickleball is different than outdoor. Indoor pickleball is typically played on a hardwood court with no wind and a lower ceiling, which can affect the trajectory of shots. The ball also tends to move slower on an indoor court than on an outdoor one due to the lack of wind. Additionally, indoor courts typically have shorter boundaries, allowing for faster-paced play compared to outdoor courts.

Can pickleball be played on the gym floor?

Yes, pickleball can be played on a gym floor. Many gyms have painted pickleball courts on their floors, and some will even provide the necessary equipment to play. It is essential to check with the gym before playing to ensure that pickleball is allowed and any rules or regulations that need to be followed.

What sport is closest to pickleball?

The sport that is most similar to pickleball is badminton. Like pickleball, badminton involves hitting a shuttlecock back and forth over a net. Both games also have similarities in court size, serve technique, and rules of play.


Here was everything you need to know about indoor vs outdoor pickleballs.

In conclusion, indoor and outdoor pickleball balls differ in a few ways. Indoor pickleball balls are typically made of plastic, while outdoor pickleball balls are usually made of rubber. Additionally, indoor pickleball balls have holes that help them move more slowly through the air than their outdoor counterparts. It’s important to consider these differences when choosing the right ball for you and your game.

Select your ball wisely for indoor and outdoor pickleball. See you on the courts!

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