Pickleball Paddle Deflection Test

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Does your paddle meet the requirements of USA Pickleball and International Federation of Pickleball? When you enter in professional field of play, you need to consider specifications and requirements.

The pickleball paddle has different types and dimensions depending upon the brands, quality of material and which material is being used. Have you listened about deflection test? The paddles judge based on this test.

This article will guide you entirely about the pickleball paddle deflection test and specifications proposed by USA PICKLEBALL and the International Federation of Pickleball.

Pickleball Paddle Deflection Test

What is Pickleball Paddle Deflection Test?

The Deflection test of the pickleball paddle is to check its rigidity and compressibility. Is the paddle rigid or not?

After the test, the paddles that meet the requirements get their name on the USA approved list.

Pickleball Paddle Deflection Test Methodology & Standard

For the deflection test, a stand measures the deflection of the pickleball paddle while applying a standard / average weight.

In this situation, the paddle is held on blocks of 5” (five inches) in length with a separation of 5.5″, measured from interior surfaces. The deflection measures in the thousandth of an inch in a dial indicator attached.

After the test, those paddles approved that meet the mentioned standard USA Pickleball specifications requirements:

5000th of an inch or less than it, at test mass/weight of 3000 gram/ 3 kg.

10,000th of an inch or less than it, at a test mass/weight of 5000gram /kg

Does the Trampoline Effect Allow For a Pickleball Paddle?

The deflection test measures if there is a trampoline effect and rejects the paddle. As I said above, the paddle test identifies compressibility and rigidity of the paddle, so the trampoline effect is prohibited.

Trampoline effects refer to elasticity rather than rigidity; the pickleball paddle must be rigid in form. However, paddles are not material restricted.

Pickleball Paddle Specifications

The USA and IFP have given some specifications for pickleball paddles. Here, I will discuss it briefly,

Material: There is no restriction on the material. Paddles must have some properties like non-compressibility and rigidity.

Surface: The paddle should not have any holes, delamination, or indentations.

Reflection: The surface of the paddle that hits the ball should not reflect adversely.

Size: The overall length and width of the pickleball paddle should be limited to 6.096 m (24 inches). The thickness of the paddle has no limitations.

Weight: Paddle weight is your choice; it relates to your grip. 

Alterations: You may alter your paddle, but it should not be against paddle specifications.

Designing: The IFP allows graphics, designs, or hand-written markings on the paddle surface unless these designs interfere with surface roughness.

Model Designation: It’s necessary for taking part in championships and tournaments. As different brands have their name on the list of the IFP website, the brand number and name is mandatory.

Proscribed Surfaces and Features

  • Synthetic rubber and rubber.
  • Any removable part attached to the paddle is not acceptable.
  • The paddle must not have any movable parts. It increases the momentum of the paddle.
  • Any paint texture or anti-skid surfaces are also not acceptable. The paddle must not contain any feature that works like additional favor.

Are the Foam Core Paddles Acceptable?

Unfortunately, the foam core paddles are unacceptable as they do not meet the set requirements and failed the deflection test.

You might think there are no material restrictions, so why are the paddles not acceptable?

These paddles create high deflection and hit the ball speedily with higher potential. The IFP and USAPA both reject these paddles. (Reported on 1st Nov, 2k14).

Clarification Note

There is a condition for accepting a pickleball paddle manufactured from foam core. The paddles are constructed so that one flat piece of material (other than foam) present on each side of the head can be acceptable. IFP and USA continue to test it with the following conditions,

  • The paddle must fulfil all other specifications.
  • Paddles must meet the traditional character.
  • You have to submit and pay for a deflection test of foam core paddles.

Final Thoughts On Pickleball Paddle Deflection Test

To play in tournaments, the paddles must be approved. While discussing paddle specifications, you constantly encounter a query about what is pickleball paddle deflection test?

The deflection test checks the rigidity and compressibility of the paddle and defines a standard for it. The officials design this test to manage the tournaments and championships with justice to make it easy.

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