Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleballs: What’s the Difference?

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The best fact about pickleball is that it can play outdoor and indoors. Before detecting the diversity between outdoor and indoor play, we will define this play to some extent.

Pickleball is a blend of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It has played on courts that are smaller than the tennis courts. It’s popular in North America. The host country of this play is the United States.

Let’s talk about the differences between outdoor and indoor pickleball sports. You might be thinking, how can a play be different when you play inside or outside?

So, it has some variations that should be kept in mind, like pickleball balls. Pickleball balls are different for indoor and outdoor play. We will clarify the difference between them, and details about variations between both plays in this article.

What Does a Pickleball Look Like?

The best statement given for a pickleball is that it’s a crisscross between tennis and table tennis. It seems to be similar to tennis, but it’s not, as it features a small court like a badminton court.

So, you want to know, what’s a pickleball is or what does a pickleball look like?

The ball used in pickleball is different than a tennis ball. The balls made up of plastic use in pickleball, with nearly twenty-six to forty perforated holes in them. It mostly describes as a Wiffle ball.

The interesting fact of this play is, it plays indoors and outdoors both. The balls are different for both indoor and outdoor.

Let’s talk about this:

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball

The main difference between outdoor and indoor pickleball is of weather conditions and balls used in playing. Outdoor pickleball play demands planning according to weather conditions, whereas indoor do not. The balls are different and cannot use interchangeably.

Here, we have elaborated on the indoor and outdoor pickleball paddle. You will find the difference-based discrimination too.

By reading this, you will be able to choose the best according to your comfortability.

Outdoor Pickleball

Playing pickleball outdoor is a great enjoyment with little breeze and peaceful surroundings, but still, there is a chance of weather complications almost every time.

We have to be concerned about it. Because of this complication, we cannot enjoy the game as we want.

Because of weather conditions, we may distract during the play, which can make us anxious. It’s difficult to control pickleball balls while playing outdoor.

The people over the age of 50 or 60 play pickleball more than youngers. Outdoor play can be hard for them as they need to be secure during very high or low temperatures.

Indoor Pickleball

Playing pickleball indoors is easy as well as favorable. When we move towards outdoor pickleball, we have to be dependent on what weather demands. And when we choose to play indoors, any time you desire to play, you can go.

Furthermore, the ball is light in weight and easy to control in an indoor way, it’s good for the older ones. Most of the players of pickleball are of age between 50s to 60s, so indoor play suits them more.

Indoor play can be noisy or confusing as there are other sports too, that are playing in the arena. The other factor is that if we use the outdoor ball in indoors, it makes very much noise that’s disturbing for the players.

Types of Pickleballs

There are two types of pickleballs:

  • Indoor Pickleball Ball
  • Outdoor Pickleball Ball

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Balls

The main difference between pickleball balls indoor vs outdoor is that indoor balls are lightweight as compared to outdoor balls and also there are 26 holes only in indoor pickleballs while pickleball outdoor balls have approximately 40 holes.

Pickleball Indoor vs Outdoor balls
Pickleball Indoor vs Outdoor balls

There are few other differences, let’s explore.

Indoor pickleball Balls

The balls used for playing indoors like school gaming centers, gyms, or any other indoor playing area are smoother and easy to control.

In indoor pickleball play, the pickleball balls have larger holes, which are few (26 holes) and placed all together as compared to outdoor pickleball.

In this model, the pickleball is lighter, less bouncy, and softer in design; therefore, it can easily be controlled than the vice-versa models.

Weight of Indoor Pickleball ball
Weight of Indoor Pickleball ball

We know that in indoor games, the intervention of air is less or zero. Similarly, indoor pickleball play deals with the same scenario but gives pleasure to the players despite its lighter, softer, and less bouncy surface.

When you are going to play pickleball indoor, you should keep in mind that you can’t bounce it high as outdoor pickleball. Other than mentioned features, indoor balls have long life span than outdoor.

Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Outdoor pickleball ball is different in a sense, they are heavier than indoor pickleball. They generally make up of smooth plastic material that gives them a hard shape or harder body.

As you know, when we play outside, we have to be concerned about weather demands as well.

To resist the wind, the balls of outside play make heavier. The pickleball made for outdoor purposes does not have good life span as it can be cracked. It depends upon the style of the player, surfaces, and temperature as well.

Outdoor Pickleball ball Weight
Weight of Outdoor Pickleball ball

The pickleball made for outside play comes off the paddle rapidly, and it is harder to control as well. Outdoor mode needs more professionalism than indoor

Comparison between features of Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball balls

Features of Indoor Pickleball balls:Features of Outdoor Pickleball Balls:
It weighs about 0.8 oz (ounces).It weighs about 0.9 oz (ounces).
Indoor pickleball is lighter.Outdoor pickleball is harder and heavier than indoor pickleball.
It makes up of smooth plastic.It manufactures from plastic material that makes it hard.
There are fewer holes in the indoor ball, approximately 26 holes only.  In an outdoor ball, there are numerous holes about 40 holes per ball and these are smaller than indoor holes.
During play, if you get hit the ball you’ll not hurt much.If you get hit from the outdoor ball, It will hurt you more.
You can easily control indoor balls.  The control of outdoor ball seems more difficult than the indoor ball.
They made for soft court surfaces.They made to resist wind and for hard court surfaces.
Keep in mind, don’t bounce indoor balls high as outdoor balls.You can bounce this ball high.
Indoor balls are lighter, they don’t have to tolerate wind or any other weather complications.Outdoor balls are heavier to tolerate wind.  
They have a long span.They have a short life span so we have to change them more often.

The above-mentioned features are the basic differences that distinguish indoor and outdoor balls from each other. So, it is not reliable to play indoor pickleball with the balls of outdoor pickleball, and vice versa.

For instance, if we play indoor and use outdoor pickleball balls, it will make noise and create confusion in the play. 

Balls color collection for indoor and outdoor pickleball

If we move towards pickleball balls colors, there is no specification set by USAPA guidelines, but the colors have uniformity.

Mostly, the selected colors are yellow, orange, and green. In bright light, like outdoor, you should select bright colors like green, so that you can easily watch them.

If we see the popular color you have, yellow is most popular at outdoor and white and orange is popular in indoor.

Are there any color restrictions for pickleball ball?

No, there’s not, pickleball ball can be of any color. The pickleball should be of any uniform or consistent color. For outdoor play, yellow is the most popular, and for indoors, white and orange have typically seen.

Classification of Pickleball Balls

Classification of Pickleball balls
Classification of Pickleball balls

Guide for Construction of Pickleball Balls

Following are some guidelines for pickleball ball’s construction:


Pickleball ball should be constructed with robust material having even surface, without any design. Uniformity in color is the prerogative for the ball and any single color can be used for said purpose.

It is optional to have a ridge at the seam of the ball that will not affect the flight of the ball (as it works in a cricket ball).

Weight and Size

It should weigh between 22.1 to 26.5 gm (about 0.78 to 0.935 ounces). The size or diameter of the ball used in playing pickleball is between 2.87″- 2.97″. The ball of pickleball is small, that’s why known as Wiffle ball.


For hardness, on the Durometer D scale, the ball is 40-50 with its temperature at ambient level i.e., 75-80 F (27-27 C).


The bounce of the ball should be 30-34″ when the ball is dropped at the height of 78″. A ball may contain 26 to 40 holes with standard space between each hole and the logo of the manufacturing company must be printed on it.

The Life Span of Pickleball Ball

Let’s talk about how long the ball last, it varies for outdoor and indoor play. The outdoor balls have a short life span as compared to indoor balls.

Outdoor balls are hard and crack soon, while indoor balls are soft.

The lifespan of the ball not only depends on whether it’s outdoor or indoor but also other aspects like the playing surface, the pressure of hitting the ball and temperature as well.

It depends upon the quality of the brand too, sometimes we see everything is equal, but one last long and the other for fewer rounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pickleball made of?

Depending on the brand, the construction material of pickle balls varies. It. But generally, they are made of hard plastics, polymers or resins. Among these, hard plastic is more common.

What colour ball is most popular when playing outdoors in pickleball?

Bright or vibrant yellow is most popular when playing outdoors in pickleball because it provides good visibility irrespective of the conditions.

Is there a difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball?

Yes! The only difference between them is that outdoor pickleball is thicker, heavier, harder and has fewer holes than indoor pickleball.

Is indoor pickleball faster than outdoor?

No! Because it is lighter than outdoor pickleball. So outdoor pickleball is faster because it bounces lower due to a larger weight than indoor pickleball.

Final Thoughts On Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball

Playing pickleball in both ways keeps you fit and entertain yourself. Your choice matters the most and it depends on the condition of weather.

There is more demand for indoor pickleball than outdoor because of environmental complications. The courts arranged in gyms or any other indoor place has more demand than outdoor.

In our view, we cannot predict which one is most preferable or better, it’s the player’s choice. The players who are enjoying outdoor pickleball will stay confused indoors, as there are also other sports playing in the arena that keep you distracted.

Although, indoor play is easy as the ball of pickleball is soft, has less weight and is easy to control, still, outdoor play is incredible in its way.

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