Can You Use A Tennis Ball For Pickleball?

If you are an avid supporter of tennis, you have probably heard of pickleball. I recently started following this sport, and I noticed that the ball is full of holes and made of plastic, unlike a tennis ball that is made from rubber and does not have a single hole. That made me wonder, “Can you use a tennis ball for pickleball.

The design characteristics of a tennis ball make it completely unsuitable to be used to play pickleball. A tennis ball is heavier and bounces more than a ball used for pickleball. A tennis ball is not engineered to be as light or aerodynamic as a ball used for pickleball.

The ball used to play pickleball is full of holes and is made of polymer plastic. The ball in this sport does not need to travel as far as in tennis because the court that pickleball is played on is smaller than a tennis court. If you are interested in pickleball and the balls that are used in this sport, then keep reading.

Can A Tennis Ball Be Used For Pickleball?

Because of its design, a tennis ball travels at a velocity that is too fast for pickleball. The court used for pickleball is smaller, which means that a tennis ball reaches the players at an unsuitable speed. Another reason that a tennis ball is not suitable for pickleball is that a tennis ball bounces higher than the Wiffle ball used for pickleball.

The weight of a tennis ball compared to a pickleball is another reason why you should not use a tennis ball for pickleball. Using a tennis ball for pickleball can cause injuries to the wrist of a player because of the shock going through the paddle. A tennis ball is heavier because it is made of rubber and not plastic like the ball used for pickleball.

Main Differences Between A Wiffle Ball And A Tennis Ball

The ball that you use to play pickleball is called a Wiffle ball. In the next portion of the post, we will highlight the differences between a Wiffle ball and a tennis ball. A table will show what differences we found during our research:

CriteriaWiffleballTennis ball
AppearanceA small plastic ball with multiple holes that comes in multiple colors.A small fluffy-looking solid ball that comes mainly in green color.
Manufacturing materialA Wiffle ball is manufactured from Polymer plastic.A Tennis ball is manufactured from rubber that is lined with fibers on the outside. The weight of the rubber gives the ball more velocity.
The way it movesThe holes in a Wiffle ball fill the ball with air, and it gives it a unique light, gliding appearance as it moves.A tennis ball is heavier, causing the ball to travel in a direct forward motion as a player strikes it. Making it unsuitable for pickleball
The bounce it producesA Wiffle ball does not bounce very high.A tennis ball produces a higher bounce than is required for pickleball.

From the information in the table above, you can clearly see that a tennis ball is not suitable for pickleball because the weight gives extra velocity that causes the ball to move faster than needed for pickleball. A tennis ball needs to travel fast and far and produce good bounce for tennis, but that is not what is required for pickleball.

A Wiffle ball has holes in it, and the amount of holes it has depends on whether it is used for indoor pickleball play or outdoor pickleball play. The way a Wiffle ball is engineered has to do with the air going in and out of the ball. A tennis ball is designed differently, making it unsuitable for pickleball.

Can A Tennisball Be Used On A Pickleball Court?

You can use a tennis ball on a pickleball court because research has shown that a majority of the courts that are used to play pickleball are, in fact, tennis courts that have been divided. However, it is not advisable to play pickleball with a tennis ball. The speed and bounce of a tennis ball on the court make it unsafe for pickleball.

A tennis court is more than double the size of a pickleball; a tennis court requires a ball that can travel great distances at a great velocity. Because of the fact that a pickleball court is that much smaller, it requires a Wiffle ball. You get Wiffle balls for indoor and outdoor use.

Can A Tennis Ball be Used With  A Pickleball Paddle?

A paddle is used on a pickleball court instead of a racquet, and because of the paddle not being able to handle the extra weight, bounce, and velocity of a tennis ball, these factors cause a shock load that could cause injuries to you, so it is not a good idea for you to play pickleball with a tennis ball.

A Pickleball paddle is made of wood and does not have any other engineering as a tennis racquet does. Hitting a tennis ball with a paddle does not harm in the short run, but it can lead to injuries if a player is exposed to the extra shock on the paddle in the long run.


The contents in this post show that using a tennis ball for pickleball is not a good idea because of the speed that a tennis ball can travel at and also the extra bounce that a tennis ball produces. The court that is used to play pickleball on is smaller, and that is why pickleball is played with a special ball called a Wiffle ball.

A tennis ball is also not suited to be used with the paddle that is used for pickleball. The paddle can not absorb the shock load that is produced by a tennis ball. Well, it seems like this is the end of the post, and I hope that you enjoyed the post and that the information helps you to further explore this topic.


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