How Many Holes In A Pickleball? (Indoor & Outdoor)

Balls used in pickleball have multiple holes and they look like a Wiffle ball. But have you ever wondered how many holes in a pickleball? Not all pickleball is the same. Outdoor pickleball has more holes than indoor pickleball. In this guide, we will discuss how many holes a pickleball can have in maximum. Also, we will discuss the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball.

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How Many Holes In A Pickleball?

The pickleball can have a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 40 holes. USA Pickleball Association guides manufacturers on this matter in Rule 2.D.1 of the Pickleball rulebook. The size, spacing, and number of holes in the pickleball affect its flight and aerodynamic characteristics.  The presence of more holes reduces drag while the presence of big holes improves spin, bounce, and control.

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So all these factors should be implemented in a well-controlled form to avoid unfair advantage. So the spacing of holes, number of holes, size of holes, and overall design of the ball must conform to the USA pickleball flight characteristics regulations. Typically an outdoor pickleball has 40 holes while an indoor pickleball has 26 holes in it. Before we dive deep, it’s crucial to understand:

Why Do Pickleballs Have Holes?

Unlike tennis and paddle tennis, pickleball uses lightweight plastic balls. Pickleballs are made perforated to improve wind resistance and enhance their flight characteristics. Well-spaced holes on the pickleball improve its aerodynamic performance in tough outdoor windy conditions.

Hard plastic coupled with multiple holes resists the wind and ensures that the ball follows the most accurate flight path. It also improves the ball speed making faster exchanges possible.

What Are Outdoor Pickleballs?

Outdoor pickleballs are hard plastic balls with a maximum of 40 well-spaced precisely drilled holes in them. Balls designed for tough windy conditions usually have 40 holes. However, to play in conditions where you need more drag you should buy balls with 30 to 36 balls. Outdoor pickleball has smaller holes and smooth textures. The smooth texture reduces the drag, spin, and swinging motion to counterbalance the wind effect on ball flight.

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What Outdoor Pickleballs Have Small Holes?

You might be wondering why pickleballs have smaller holes. Outdoor pickleball has smaller holes to fit more holes. Pickleballs are lighter than tennis or paddle tennis balls and wind can deflect the Wiffle ball path very easily. To improve the aerodynamic properties of the ball, you need higher wind resistance. More holes on the ball mean impressive wind resistance and more stable flight.

The spacing of the holes in the pickleball is adjusted accordingly. Smaller but more holes improve the airflow through the ball, and the ball comes harder on the paddle. A gentle swing can generate impressive power and speed. You need significant power and speed to make the ball land in the opponent’s court when you are playing in windy conditions.

Do All the holes In the Pickleball Are Of the Same Size?

Most pickleballs have the same size holes drilled in them. Equal size holes with even spacing are the best and most common design idea for pickleball balls. However many pickleball manufacturers have introduced patented flight technologies. The research has shown that variation in the number, size, and spacing of the holes on pickleball has a big impact on its flight, speed, and range.

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One example of patented flight technologies is the Dura Fast 40 Outdoor pickleball. These balls use 16 large holes in combination with 24 small holes. The ball uses sturdy Dura plastic and comes with 40 precisely drilled holes. It ensures fast, straight, and true flights making the balls perfect for professional contests.

The presence of both big and small holes offers a well-balanced drag allowing you to get the desired speed and spin on every hit.

What Is Indoor Pickleball?

Pickleball is a sport that you can play indoors and outdoors. Indoor pickleball can have a maximum of 26 holes. These balls are lighter and softer than outdoor pickleball. The balls have a textured surface with 26 precisely-drilled holes. The holes are slightly larger than those found in outdoor pickleball.

Outdoor playing conditions are entirely different from outdoor conditions since the wind has very little impact on the ball’s flight. These balls are lighter but have a greater drag that ensures smooth and faster flight. These balls are largely deflected by gentle wind and you can’t use them in outdoor conditions. The balls have a textured surface and maximum drag making them easy to control and generate spin.

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how many holes in indoor pickleball


Indoor pickleballs have bigger holes. They can have a maximum of 26 holes while outdoor pickleballs can have a maximum of 40 holes. Manufacturers drill small holes in outdoor pickleballs to fit more hoes on the balls.

Indoor pickleballs have large but fewer holes while outdoor pickleballs have smaller but more holes in them. Outdoor pickleballs usually have 40 holes while indoor pickleballs have 26 holes in them.

Yellow is indoor while orange is an outdoor pickleball color. An orange pickleball has 40 small holes while a yellow pickleball has 26 large evenly spaced holes.

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Wrapping Up

We can safely conclude that most outdoor pickleballs have 40 while indoor pickleballs have 26 holes. The presence of holes on the ball greatly affects the ball flight characteristics and therefore you should be very careful while choosing the ball. If you play in outdoor conditions where the wind has a big role to play I recommend you pickleball with True Flight Technology (having 40 small evenly spaced holes). However, if the conditions are not that windy, you can go for advanced balls like Dura 40 Balls having a blend of big and small holes.

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