Pickleball vs Wiffle Ball: What's the Difference - BallSportsGear (2023)

Two popular recreational sports that provide participants of all ages with hours of pleasure and fun are pickleball and wiffleball.Both games provide distinct experiences and chances for friendly rivalry, but with distinct features and gameplay.We examine pickleball vs wiffle ball equipment, court sizes, scoring methods, and other aspects, as well as their contrasts and similarities, in this post. Let's end our comparison now.

Differences between Pickleball and Wiffle Ball

Pickleball and Wiffleball are two popular recreational sports thatprovide endless hours of entertainment and friendly competition.In this article, we'll go deeper into the comparison between these two games, exploring the equipment used, the size and dimensions of the court, as well as the scoring systems employed in each sport. By understanding these aspects, you can better appreciate the unique features and gameplay experiences offered by wiffle ball vs pickleball.

A. Equipment

  • Paddle vs stick:

Pickleball is played with a racket, which is similar to a large table tennis racket. Paddles are usually made of wood or composite materials and have a solid surface for hitting the ball. ORacket design allows players to have more control and accuracy in their shots, allowing for strategic gameplay.

In contrast, Wiffleball uses a bat designed specifically for the sport. The Wiffleball bat ismade of lightweight plastic and has a slim barrelwith perforations to create air resistance and unpredictable ball movement. The bat's unique design adds an element of challenge and fun to hitting and aiming the ball.

  • differences between pickleball and wiffle ball

Pickleball employs a plastic ball with holes in it, resembling a larger version of a wiffle ball. This type of ball islightweight and provides a slower pace, making it easier to control during rallies.The ball's construction and unique flight characteristics require players to adapt their strategies and shot selection accordingly.

Wiffleball, on the other hand, employs a ball designed exclusively for the sport. The Wiffle ball is lightweight,perforated plastic ball that is easy to throw, catch and hit.Its unique design allows for curves and dips, providing an exciting challenge for pitchers and an element of unpredictability for hitters.

B. Court Size and Dimensions

  • Pickleball and Wiffleball differ in terms of court size and dimensions.

Pickleball is played on a rectangular court that is 6 meters wide for doubles play and 3 meters wide for singles play. Ocourt length is 44 feet for singles and doubles. The court is divided into different zones, including the non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen) which restricts players from volleying the ball within a certain area near the net.

Wiffleball is more flexible in terms of court size as it can be played in multiple locations such as backyards or local parks. Typically, the playing area for Wiffleball isSmaller compared to Pickleball. The size can vary from a small backyard to a medium sized field depending on available space.

Pickleball vs Wiffle Ball: What's the Difference - BallSportsGear (1)

C. Scoring System

Both Pickleball and Wiffleball employ scoring systems that are easy to understand and provide opportunities for competitive play.

Pickleball follows a rally scoring system, meaning that points can be scored by the serving or receiving team. Typically,games are played to 11 or 15 points, and teams must win by a two-point margin.

Wiffleball generally adopts a run-based scoring system similar to baseball. OThe object is to score runs around the bases and across home plate.The number of entries and specific rules for scoring may vary depending on player preferences and the nature of the game.

Here is a table that compares and contrasts Pickleball and Wiffle Ball:

Pickleballwas Wiffle
played with paddlesplayed with bats
Balls are designed to bounce off the ground and make contact with a racketBalls are designed for curved shots
Balls have fewer holes (26-40) and a larger surface area, making them heavierBalls have larger holes (18-26) and less surface area, making them lighter
Balls are slightly lighter and brighter in colorThe balls are white
Played on a badminton sized courtPlayed on a baseball-sized court

Similarities Wiffle Ball vs Pickleball

Accessibility and Inclusion:

Both wiffle ball and pickleball are highly accessible and inclusive sports. They can be played by people of all ages, skill levels and physical abilities. Othe rules of these games are relatively easy to learn,allowing beginners to quickly get involved and enjoy the gameplay. This inclusion fosters a sense of community and providesopportunities for intergenerational play and friendly competition.

Social interaction:

Pickleball and Wiffleball are inherently social games thatencourage interaction and camaraderie between players.Whether played in a casual backyard setting or in organized leagues, these sports create a platform for individuals to network, communicate and make new friends. The shared experience ofplaying together promotes teamwork, sportsmanship, and a sense of belonging.

Family friendly:

Both sports are family activities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages within a family unit. Pickleball and Wiffleball provide a chance for family members to exercise and have fun together. The adaptable nature of these games allows families to customize the rules and court size to their needs, making it accessible even in limited spaces.

Indoor and outdoor play:

Pickleball and Wiffleball can be played in a variety of settings, including indoors and outdoors. While Pickleball is morecommonly played on designated courts, can also be adapted for indoor gyms or community centers. Likewise, Wiffleball can beappreciated in backyards, parks or even indoor installations with enough space.The versatility of these sports allows you to play all year round, regardless of weather conditions.

Hand-eye coordination and reflexes:

Both Pickleball and Wiffleball require players to develop and improve their hand-eye coordination, reflexes and fine motor skills. Othe compact nature of the games, along with the unique equipment and characteristics of the ball, challenges players to anticipate and react quickly.. Regular involvement in these sports can lead to greater agility, coordination and overall fitness.

Pickleball vs Wiffle Ball: What's the Difference - BallSportsGear (2)

Low impact exercise:

Pickleball and Wiffleball provide a low-impact form of exercise that is gentle on the joints while still offering cardiovascular benefits. The moderate intensity of these sports allows players to engage in physical activities without putting too much strain on the body. this aspectmakes them particularly attractive to individuals looking for recreational options that promote fitness and well-being.

common questions

Can you play Pickleball and Wiffleball indoors?

Yes, both games can be played indoors. Pickleball is often played in gyms or community centers, while Wiffleball can be played in large indoor spaces such as sports halls or indoor batting cages.

What are the recommended ages to play Pickleball and Wiffleball?

Both games can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Pickleball is particularly popular with older adults due to its lower impact nature, but is also enjoyed by children and younger players. Similarly, Wiffleball is suitable for kids, teens and adults looking for a fun, less intense version of baseball.

Can Pickleball and Wiffleball be played competitively?

Yes, Pickleball and Wiffleball can be played competitively. There are local, regional and national tournaments organized for both sports, offering players the opportunity to compete at different skill levels and meet fellow enthusiasts.

Are there specific leagues or associations for Pickleball and Wiffleball?

Yes, there are several leagues and associations dedicated to promoting and organizing Pickleball and Wiffleball. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) governs Pickleball in the United States, while the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) oversees Wiffleball and other baseball-related sports.

Can Pickleball and Wiffleball be modified for younger players?

Absolutely! Both games can be modified to suit younger players. In Pickleball, the court size can be reduced and slower balls can be used to make it more manageable for kids. Likewise, Wiffleball can be adapted by using a softer ball or by adjusting the distance between bases to accommodate younger players.


Each of pickleball vs wiffle ball's distinct appeals and unique joy are unique in the recreational sports world. Pickleball combines many racket sports and allows participants to play strategically using a racket and a plastic ball. Wiffleball, on the other hand, offers a relaxed and fun version of baseball, ideal for smaller environments and produces unexpected ball movements using a bat and a plastic ball.

Pickleball vs Wiffle Ball: What's the Difference - BallSportsGear (3)

Alex Henry

Founder of BallSportsGear, sports enthusiast and speaker.

Related posts:

Pickleball Scoring Rules: How to Score in PickleballBasic Pickleball Rules You Must Know for ScoringWhat equipment is needed to play Pickleball?


Is there a difference between a pickleball and a wiffle ball? ›

Pickleball balls (average . 88 oz) are slightly heavier than a wiffle ball (. 7 oz). Holes on a pickleball are round and evenly spaced around the ball whereas the wiffle ball has 8 oblong holes on one side of the ball.

Can you use a wiffle ball for pickleball? ›

You could use a Wiffle ball for pickleball in a casual game if that is all you had, but there is actually a difference between a Wiffle ball and a pickleball ball, so you wouldn't be able to use a Wiffle ball in competitive pickleball games or pickleball tournaments.

Are there different types of pickleballs? ›

There are two types of balls for Pickleball, indoor and outdoor. Indoor balls tend to be slightly lighter and have a thinner plastic. The holes in the ball are also larger in indoor balls, this leads to a softer ball feel and easier control.

Why are there different types of pickleballs? ›

Indoor pickleballs play a bit slower and do not skid as much. Designed to play outdoors in the natural elements and different types of weather, outdoor pickleballs have smaller hole patterns which makes these pickleballs less affected by wind and help play much faster.

What sport is closest to pickleball? ›

Pickleball might be the most popular sport in the United States, but it's got a pretty great cousin that just might give pickleball a run for its money: Padel. Where pickleball is (generally) an outdoor sport, padel is an enclosed variant of tennis (indoors or outdoors).

What ball is used in most pickleball tournaments? ›

The Dura Fast 40 pickleball has been the most used ball for competitive play for more than 20 years.

What balls are used for indoor pickleball tournaments? ›

The Jugs pickleball is mostly used for indoor play. Jugs are made of soft plastic and have big holes and a fun bounce. The Jugs ball weighs . 85 ounces.

How do I choose a pickleball ball? ›

You can expect better performance with an optimum-sized pickleball since it will come off the paddle more efficiently. We recommend indoor pickleball balls with a diameter of around 2.8 inches. For outdoor pickleball balls, you may choose one with a 2.9 inches diameter.

Can you play indoor pickleball with outdoor balls? ›

You can definitely use indoor pickleballs outside on a calm, still day without any wind. And you can use outdoor balls indoors if you are good at avoiding being hit by them and there's nothing breakable in the room! But getting the right ball for the location you are playing is always the best option.

Is there a difference between pickleball and paddle ball? ›

The balls are very different in pickleball and paddleball. Pickleball uses a lightweight plastic wiffle ball with holes in it. Paddleball usually uses small, soft rubber balls, but it can also be played with a racquetball or even a tennis ball. Scoring in pickleball is different to both versions of paddleball.

Why are there 3 numbers in pickleball? ›

Basics of Pickleball Scoring

The third number represents the server number, which is either server #1 or server #2. For example, if the score in doubles pickleball is 10-8-2, then this means that the serving team has 10 points, the receiving team has 8 points, and the serving team is on server #2.

What are official pickleballs? ›

The Franklin X-40 is the official pickleball of USA Pickleball and the US Open Pickleball Championships. It is a premium quality ball that will play well on any outdoor surface. It has 40 precisely machine-drilled holes to create a balanced flight pattern.

What are muted pickleballs? ›

The Gamma Foam Quiet Pickleball is the solution for players who want a quieter game. Instead of plastic, these balls are made of a quiet foam. These balls aren't approved for tournament play and will play slightly differently than plastic balls. This is the lightest pickleball available at 0.71 oz.

Why do people cut wiffle balls? ›

Scuffing will rough up the surface, creating a locally turbulent airflow and a reduced pressure that pulls the ball toward the scuff. Some players use a knife to change the shape of the Wiffle perforations, demonstrating their intuition that the airflow into the ball might be important.

How far can you throw a wiffle ball? ›

Pitcher's mound: 40 feet. Singles line: 45 feet. Doubles line: 65 feet. Triple line: 80 feet.

Why do people scratch wiffle balls? ›

In the paper, she mentioned how professionals rough up their Wiffle balls to tame the airborne jig. Theory has it that scuffing the surface disturbs the air flows and causes sharper, more controllable breaks and curves.

What state is pickleball most popular? ›

Pickleball Courts by State

California has the highest number of places to play pickleball with 794 known locations.

What does pickle mean in pickleball? ›

The other term is pickled. If you're pickled when playing pickleball, it doesn't mean anything good. The term refers to scoring 0 points. If you score even 1 point, you've not been pickled, but an 11-0 game means the losing side was pickled.

Is pickleball an elderly sport? ›

In the past, the sport of pickleball developed a reputation for being a senior game, as the game was predominantly played by people over the age of 55.

What 3 sports does pickleball resemble? ›

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. The court is an abbreviation of a tennis court and net, and the game itself combines rules from a variety of racquet sports.

Which 3 sports does pickleball combine? ›

Pickleball is a sport described as "a combination of ping-pong, tennis, and badminton", played in schools, parks and recreation centers, correctional facilities, camps, and retirement communities mostly in North America.

How fast can you hit a wiffle ball? ›

Pitching changes can be made at any time except in the middle of an at-bat. There is a maximum of three pitching changes per game. The maximum speed of a pitch will be 40 m.p.h. An illegal pitch will be considered a ball.

Why is there no h in wiffle ball? ›

Fun Facts: *Many baseball fans often call strike-outs “whiffs.” Wiffleball got its name because the wiffle ball is easy to throw curve balls with which result in higher numbers of strikeouts. * There is no “h” in the word Wiffleball because the creators wanted to save money when making a sign.

What sports use Wiffle balls? ›

Wiffle Ball is a variation of the sport of baseball designed for indoor or outdoor play in confined areas. The game is played using a perforated, light-weight, rubbery plastic ball and a long, plastic bat.

What is a dill ball in pickleball? ›

Dill Ball – A ball in play; a standard shot that has bounced once on the opponent's side. Dink – A shot struck softly so it drops into the opponent's non-volley zone and is often difficult to return.

When should I replace my pickleball ball? ›

How to tell when a pickleball needs to be replaced? The best way to tell if a ball needs to be replaced is simply your instinct. If you feel the ball has slowed down significantly, doesn't have the same “pop,” or is not responding the way it did when it was “younger,” it might be time to grab a new one.

What is a pickleball racket called? ›

There are no rackets in pickleball; there are only paddles. These paddles are made of a solid material that's attached to a handle, just like table tennis paddles. However, they're much bigger than table tennis paddles, and much smaller than tennis rackets.

How to tell the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls? ›

Number of Holes: Indoor balls have 26 holes while outdoor balls have 40. Hole Diameter: Indoor balls have holes with wider diameters than outdoor balls. Weight: Outdoor balls tend to be heavier than indoor balls. Hardness: Outdoor balls tend to be harder plastic than indoor balls, aiding with more bounce.

What does 2.5 mean in pickleball? ›

USA Pickleball Ratings

2.5 The player who may be inexperienced but can sustain a short rally. ● 3.0 Someone who understands the fundamentals and knows how to position themselves on the court. ● 3.5 An individual who can differentiate between a soft and a hard game.

Do you have to be fit to play pickleball? ›

The smaller court size makes pickleball easier on the body — there's no need to cover a huge area on foot the way you may need to while playing tennis — so athletic prowess isn't a prerequisite here.

Can the ball go in the kitchen in pickleball? ›

No, a pickleball serve cannot hit the kitchen line. The kitchen includes its demarcation line, referred to formally as the Non-Volley Zone line, but more simply as the kitchen line. It also includes all pickleball court lines that bound it, such as the sideline and centerline.

What can you not do in pickleball? ›

Don't scoot up when they serve because it's possible that you'll be the one hitting it back.
  • Trying to be too fancy or hit low probability shots. ...
  • Making kitchen faults.
  • Not taking centerline shots as the forehand player.
  • Not letting shots go out.
  • Not getting to the kitchen line.
  • Hitting the ball too hard.

Is there a front and back to a pickleball paddle? ›

Avoid flipping your pickleball paddle around. Instead, use both faces (sides) of your pickleball paddle. There is a side for your forehand and a side for your backhand.

What does 002 mean in pickleball? ›

To start a pickleball match, the score will be called zero, zero, two. This means that as soon as the serving team commits a fault, the other team gets to serve.

What does 5 mean in pickleball? ›

Using USA Pickleball standards as guidance, pickleball ratings are scaled from 1.0 to 5.5+, where 1.0 is a beginner and 5.5 or higher is a player with professional playing abilities. While this scale consists of 2 digits, other systems, like UTPR, use 4 digits that are based on tournament play.

What is a flapjack in pickleball? ›


What is DUPR in pickleball? ›

What is DUPR? Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating is the most accurate and only global rating system in Pickleball. All players, regardless of their age, gender, location, or skill, are rated on the same scale between 2.00-8.00 based on their match results.

What ball does the PPA play with? ›

Optimized for outdoor play and windy conditions, the Dura ball is USA Pickleball Association/IFP tested and approved for tournament play.

What is indoor pickleball? ›

Indoor pickleball is pickleball played inside an enclosed building and generally refers to pickleball played on a gym floor or wood floor surface. On the other hand, outdoor pickleball is pickleball played outside (typically without cover) and generally means pickleball played on a hard-court surface.

What is skinny pickleball? ›

Skinny singles is a form of singles in pickleball that divides the playing court in half, making it easier to cover ground while still playing one vs. one. It can be played by splitting the court in half along the centerline or by making the playable area the diagonal service courts.

What is a DreamBreaker in pickleball? ›

If two teams are tied after these four games, an innovative tiebreaker known as the “DreamBreaker™” is played, with a rotational system involving all four players playing singles. Teams first play each other in group or round-robin play, and then the top teams square off in a single-elimination format.

What sport is wiffle ball similar to? ›

The game is similar to baseball, and is designed for 2–10 players. A single game of wiffle ball consists of 7 innings or 60 minutes, whichever is earlier. To play the game, get a wiffle ball and a bat. If a bat is not available, a broomstick or other such stick may be used.

What makes a wiffle ball a wiffle ball? ›

Wiffle ball is a variant of baseball played with a plastic perforated ball. Eight three-quarter-inch, oblong holes cover half the ball's surface area, while the other hemisphere is uninterrupted. Originally designed to relieve the arm of a young baseball pitcher (the son of its inventor, David N.

What three sports is pickleball similar to? ›

What sport is pickleball most similar to? Pickleball is a combination of three sports: tennis, badminton, and ping pong (table tennis).

Can you bunt in wiffle ball? ›

Bunting: No bunting is allowed. Ball in play: Any ball hit in “fair play” is in play. Ball caught in the air is an out. If ball hits an obstruction in the ceiling and ball comes down and is caught in the air, it is an out.

How far can a wiffle ball be hit? ›

Singles line: 45 feet. Doubles line: 65 feet. Triple line: 80 feet. Outfield fence: 90 feet.

What two sports are similar to pickleball? ›

It's played on a smaller court than tennis, and the shuttlecock can be hit either high or low. Ping ball, racquetball, and squash are also similar to pickleball. Pickleball is a sport that is growing in popularity all the time. If you are not familiar with it, it is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong.

Why is pickleball called that? ›

Joel Pritchard's wife, Joan, started to call their game pickleball because “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.” But according to Barney McCallum, they named the game after Pritchard's dog, who was (as you might've ...

Is there another name for pickleball? ›

Paddle tennis, also called Pop tennis.

Can you throw the ball at someone in wiffle ball? ›

Defensive players cannot throw the ball at the batter/runner in order to get them out. 3. Runners cannot lead off or steal. The runner cannot leave the base until the pitched ball crosses home plate or is contacted by the batter.

Do all Wiffle balls have holes? ›

Here are the 3 sizes of the real, and original, WIFFLE® Balls with no holes. They were originally designed for use in pitching machines. Like all WIFFLE bats and balls they have been adopted for all kinds of other uses such as Bike polo and Russian juggling.

Why does a wiffle ball have holes? ›

This, then, is the answer to the question: the plastic balls used for backyard play have holes in them to increase the effect of air resistance, both by increasing drag and by lowering the mass (which lets the air resistance force cause a bigger acceleration).

What is the 2 bounce rule in pickleball? ›

When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before returning, and then the serving team must let it bounce before returning, thus two bounces.

What is the only thing that can touch the net in pickleball? ›

As a result, if the pickleball hits the pickleball net, the net cord, or rope between the net posts, the pickleball remains live and in play (assuming that the pickleball lands in the court). However, the pickleball may not touch any part of the net system or the net posts.

Is pickleball an easy sport? ›

Because pickleball rules are so similar to ping-pong, it can be easy for practically anyone to learn how to play the game. Whether you're a beginner who just wants to learn a new sport for fun, or you're a seasoned player who craves the thrill of more competitive play, pickleball offers something for everyone.


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