What does a Pickleball Look Like? Best Guide for Beginners

Pickleball, a flourishing sport, remains unfamiliar to many despite its popularity. Though what does a pickleball look like? It is the usual approach. 

Often notice that it’s played on tennis courts by friends, it combines competition and enjoyment. Hence, you may discover the Pickleball – a small, green, intriguing sphere. It’s essential because understanding this sport’s compulsory element, the Pickleball, becomes crucial as its fame grows. 

However, it’s solid yet slightly yielding, like a wiffle ball. Crafted from durable plastic, it has holes like a wiffle ball but boasts a smooth surface. 


Sports enthusiasts may have wondered what exactly a pickleball is. No, it’s not a pickled cucumber engaged in sports. Here, we will explore all the details, answering the question, “What does a pickleball look like?” Stick with me, and you’ll be a pickleball expert in no time.

What actually is the Pickleball Sport?

Pickleball is a sport that blends elements from various paddle and ball games like badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. Players use paddles resembling more oversized ping-pong paddles to hit a ball over a net, akin to tennis and badminton. 

Notably, pickleball courts are much smaller than tennis courts. The game is commonly enjoyed at YMCAs, recreation centers, local parks, and tennis clubs. 

With its low-impact nature, Pickleball is ideal for those seeking a joint-friendly alternative to sports like tennis. It also offers calorie burning and increased heart rate. It’s an inclusive activity suitable for all ages, fostering social engagement.

A Brief History

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines two friends with table tennis, tennis, and badminton elements. It originated in the 1960s as a fun pastime. So, it has since blossomed into an international phenomenon.

What Does a Pickleball Look Like?

Pickleball balls resemble whiffle balls, though they are rounded rather than egg-shaped. They’re lightweight and made of thin plastic with varying-sized holes. The plastic is slightly heavier than a whiffle ball. 

Pickleball balls come in black, yellow, blue, or multicolor colors. Due to the holes on the surface, they have slower air movement, akin to badminton’s shuttlecock, unlike the speed of a tennis ball.

Importance of Ball in Pickleball

The ball is as important in Pickleball as it is in any other sport. It impacts your play, the game’s pace, and even the strategies you may employ.

Pickleball Anatomy

  • Material: Most pickleball balls are made of a durable plastic polymer. This ensures that they are long-lasting and can endure the harsh conditions of an outdoor game.
  • Size: The standard diameter of a pickleball is about 2.87 to 2.97 inches. It’s not too large or small, just the perfect size for rapid rallies and challenging gameplay.
  • Weight: A pickleball weighs around 0.78 to 0.935 ounces. Its lightweight nature ensures that players can hit it with ease and control.
  • Color: Pickleballs come in various colors, but the most common ones are neon green, blue, orange, and yellow for visibility.
  • Holes: A unique feature of pickleballs is their holes. Typically, they have 26 to 40 rounded holes, aiding the ball’s aerodynamic properties.

Why and what does a Pickleball look like the way it is?

The holes in a pickleball are not just for show; they serve an aerodynamic purpose. They are reducing air resistance and allowing the ball to travel faster.

The vibrant colors help players and spectators easily track the ball during the game.

What are the main types of Pickleball?

Pickleballs come in diverse types to suit your preferences. Let’s delve into these options to find the perfect fit. 

  • Indoor Pickleballs: For indoor play, you may opt for a softer touch, which indoor pickleballs provide. These are crafted from lightweight plastic with smaller holes. They ensure manageable, slower play indoors. Their lower bounce aids control during gameplay.
  • Outdoor Pickleballs: These are designed for rough surfaces like concrete. However, these outdoor pickleballs are heavier and feature more prominent, evenly-spaced holes to endure outdoor impact. Their higher bounce poses challenges, especially in windy conditions.
  • Onix Pickleballs: Onix pickleballs have gained popularity due to their durability and performance. These are comprised of specialized, robust plastic, and they feature a unique asymmetrical hole design that boosts speed while reducing wind resistance. 
  • Engage Pickleballs: A high-performance choice, Engage pickleballs offer a soft feel, consistent bounce, and precise flight. Usually, it’s favored by competitive players; they boast a durable molded outer shell capable of withstanding intense gameplay.

Pickleball Court Logo and Markings 

Familiarizing yourself with the pickleball court‘s markings and logo is essential for maintaining fair and consistent gameplay.

  • Pickleball Logo

The official logo depicts a playful figure using a paddle to hit a ball. It appears on approved gear like nets, balls, and paddles, exposing the sanctioned play. 

  • Court Markings

The main lines on your Pickleball court include the Centerline, baselines, sidelines, and the NVZ. NVZ is at the net, restricts volleys, and requires a bounce before returning. Sidelines down the sides, Baselines run along the back, and Centerline splits the court lengthwise.

Pickleball Court

  • Serving Area

The region in between sidelines and baselines is the serving area. It’s the zone where your serve must stand.

  • Non-Volley Zone (NVZ)

Adjacent to the net, the 7-foot non-volley zone prohibits volleys and mandates a bounce. This zone encourages longer rallies and discourages quick winners.

However, Understanding the court layout, zones, and markings is crucial. Additionally, you can grasp the official rules for faults, lets, and gameplay elements. With the practice of Pickleball drills, the pickleball court becomes familiar.

Pickleball Drills

Certifications and Standards

If you’re a stickler for rules, it’s good to know that the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) sets the standard for pickleballs. Look for their certification to ensure you get the real deal when buying balls.

Manufacturers and Brands

Various manufacturers produce pickleballs, with popular brands including Onix, Franklin, and Gamma. Each brand offers something unique in terms of design and performance.

Price Range

Pickleballs can range from $1 to $3 per ball, depending on the brand and material. Factors such as USAPA certification may affect the price.

Where to purchase a Pickleball?

You can find pickleballs at specialized sports stores or online platforms like Amazon and eBay. Some local gyms and clubs may also sell them.

What to Wear for Pickleball Match?

Choosing the proper attire is vital for Pickleball. You must go for comfortable, flexible clothes that are breathable. Wear the right athletic shoes with an excellent grip to prevent slips. Moisture-wicking fabrics can keep you cool and dry during intense matches.

  • Pickleball Dimples: Their Significance Dimples on a pickleball serve a crucial purpose beyond aesthetics. They shape the ball’s flight path, enabling the game.
  • Enhanced Lift: Dimples not only reduce drag but also create lift. Air moves faster over dimples, generating lower pressure above and lifting the ball, countering gravity’s pull.
  • Reduced Air Resistance: Pickleball dimples disrupt airflow, lowering drag. This allows the ball to travel farther and faster, ensuring smooth gliding and accuracy.
  • Flight Stability: Dimples stabilize the ball’s flight, ensuring a predictable arc and landing. The uneven surface lets the ball spin steadily, preventing wobbling or tumbling. Dimples revolutionized ball sports, enabling the accuracy and distance in hits.


No, using a ball designed explicitly for Pickleball is essential for the best experience.

The standard Pickleball should have between 26 to 40 holes.

Brightly colored balls (orange, yellow, blue, green) are easier to track, but the choice of color is mostly personal preference. You should choose your ball in a contrasting color with your court.

Final Verdict

Pickleball balls differ from tennis and badminton. They’re plastic, with varying weights for indoor and outdoor use. However, these plastic ball has holes, larger indoors and smaller outdoors. Indoor balls move slower due to no weather impact, while outdoor ones are heavier to resist wind.

Now we are well-informed about pickleball appearance. This sport, popular since the 60s, offers easy learning, exercise, and socializing. It comes with simple rules that allow complex play. Try Pickleball for a fun, active hobby—discover its enjoyment and wonder why you didn’t start sooner. Ultimately, you’ve comprehensive information on what does a pickleball look like.

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