Can You Use A Tennis Ball For Pickleball? Pickleball vs. Tennis Ball

Can You Use A Tennis Ball For Pickleball

The following article explains the answer to the most frequently asked question i.e. Can you use a tennis ball for pickleball?

Honestly though, can you use a tennis ball for pickleball? After all, they are both round and cute, right? But stop right there with that train of thought. You can not simply decide on sports equipment just like that!

There are a lot of things considered when the experts decide on the equipment, for example, the dynamics of the game, the rules, the body movements of the players, the nature of the game, and most importantly the safety standards of a particular game. So, you can imagine how much thought and effort is put into the selection and creation of the equipment for any game.

However, those tennis players who switch to pickleball, end up wondering whether they could simply use the tennis ball for pickleball. In my experience, it happens when you feel too comfortable playing with a tennis ball rather than the Wiffle ball only because you are used to playing with it and find the transition somewhat hard.

So, you look for things that might help ease this transition period for you. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. But don’t worry because by the end of this article, you will have your answer, granted, you keep reading till the end!

Related: Difference between Pickleball and tennis

Can You Use A Tennis Ball For Pickleball

I don’t understand why you would even think that you could replace the Wiffle ball with a tennis ball. I mean have you even compared the two balls? They are totally different in design, material, weight, and speed. The tennis ball is way heavier and denser than a Wiffle ball.

It means that it will have a greater velocity and hit you much harder if you get shot. On the other hand, Wiffle balls are designed with holes on their surface to help slow down their progress mid-air so that when they hit a player, they wouldn’t hurt too much.

Can You Use A Tennis Ball For Pickleball

Moreover, due to its heavy weight and higher velocity, a tennis ball makes the pickleball game way more dangerous than it is supposed to be. And God forbid, if the ball hits you at a close range, you might end up with a very severe injury. One of my friends once got her wrist sprained when she decided to do a little experiment with the tennis ball.

The ball hit her wrist at close proximity and she wasn’t prepared for the blow. So, you would better take me up on my word and avoid using tennis balls in the pickleball game.

Main Differences Between Tennis Ball And Wiffle Ball

There are only a few differences between a Wiffle ball and a tennis ball. A tennis ball racket is made of high-quality rubber and covered with a layer of green fibers on the outside. This rubber is dense and heavy which is why tennis balls have a greater velocity.

Apart from that, it travels in a straight direction with only a little deviation from the target, and that too is due to air friction. Besides, a tennis ball has a greater bounce as compared to a Wiffle ball.

On the flip side, a Wiffle ball is made up of polymer plastic and has a lot of small holes in its surface. These holes are mainly there to slow down the speed of the ball once it is shot. As a result, it hits the player with way less might than a tennis ball.

Moreover, the density and mass of a polymer plastic are way less which is why Wiffle balls have lower velocity. Plus, these balls are not very bouncy either as compared to tennis balls.

Related: Demystifying the Serving Rules in Pickleball for Beginners and Pros

Can You Use A Wiffle Ball For Tennis

Just as a tennis ball is not appropriate for pickleball, a Wiffle ball is not suitable for tennis either. The reason lies in the difference I mentioned earlier in this paragraph. Tennis is a game that requires a bouncy ball with greater mass and velocity so that the ball would travel farther and faster.

And a Wiffle ball, with all its surface holes, lightweight, lower-density material, and lesser bounce, is not a very perfect match for this game. So, you are highly recommended to use a Wiffle ball for pickleball and a tennis ball for tennis and not vice versa.

comparison between Pickleball and Tennis Ball

PickleballTennis Ball
SizeApproximately 2.87 inches (diameter)Approximately 2.7 inches (diameter)
MaterialMade of durable plastic with smaller holesMade of rubber with a felt covering
BounceBounces at a lower height, suitable for the size of the courtProvides a higher bounce
SpeedGenerally slower due to smaller court size and ball characteristicsFaster due to higher bounce and court dimensions
WeightHeavier than a tennis ball, but lighter than most wiffle ballsHeavier and offers more weight
Playing SurfacePlayed on a pickleball court, often with a hard surfacePlayed on various surfaces, including tennis courts
Skill LevelSuitable for players of all ages and skill levelsRequires more skill and technique for consistent play
SpinAllows for moderate spin control during shotsOffers more spin control due to felt covering
Sports UsageExclusive to pickleballUsed in tennis and various other sports


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Final Thoughts

So, I hope you got the point. You must not use a tennis ball for pickleball because honestly, that would be brutal and totally unfair for anyone on the receiving side of the tennis ball hit. It will hurt terribly, that is for sure. And besides, if you really want to be good at a game, you must use all the proper equipment and sports gear otherwise, the rules and safety of the game would be compromised. In any case, if you like this article, don’t forget to share it with your friends as well before they try to do something stupid!

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