Pickleball vs. Wiffle Ball: Can you play with a wiffle ball?

  • Date: September 12, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

If you’re a fan of racquet sports, you’ve likely heard of both pickleball and wiffle ball. While these two games share some similarities, they are actually quite different. Understanding the differences between pickleball and wiffle ball can help you decide which game is right for you.

Comparing Pickleball and Wiffle Ball

When it comes to comparing pickleball and wiffle ball, there are both similarities and differences to consider. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at both to help you understand how they compare.


While pickleball and wiffle ball are different games, they share some similarities. Here are a few similarities between the two:

  • Both games are played with lightweight balls that are easy to maneuver.
  • Both games can be played indoors or outdoors.
  • Both games are easy to learn and can be played by people of all ages.


Despite their similarities, there are also several differences between pickleball and wiffle ball. Here are some of the key differences:

PickleballWiffle Ball
Ball DesignDesigned to bounce off the ground and make contact with a paddleDesigned for curved throws
Number of HolesHas 26-40 holesHas 8 holes
Surface AreaSmaller surface areaLarger surface area
EquipmentPaddle and ball requiredBall and bat required
Court Size20′ x 44′ for doubles, 20′ x 22′ for singlesNo official court size

As you can see, there are some significant differences between pickleball and wiffle ball. While both games are fun to play, they require different equipment, have different ball designs, and are played on different court sizes.

Overall, whether you prefer pickleball or wiffle ball will depend on your personal preferences and playing style. However, by understanding the similarities and differences between the two, you’ll be better equipped to choose the game that’s right for you.

Can You Play Pickleball with a Wiffle Ball?

Yes, you can play pickleball with a wiffle ball. In fact, some players prefer it because it offers greater control over the ball and reduces arm fatigue due to its lighter weight. However, there are some important differences between a regular pickleball and a wiffle ball that could affect your game.

Playing Pickleball with a Wiffle Ball

If you’re interested in playing pickleball with a wiffle ball, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment. While you can use a regular pickleball paddle, some players prefer to use a wooden paddle or a paddle specifically designed for playing with a wiffle ball.

You’ll also need to adjust your shots to account for the wiffle ball’s lighter weight and less predictable bounce. This may take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, playing pickleball with a wiffle ball can be a fun and challenging experience.

Overall, while playing pickleball with a wiffle ball is possible, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between the two balls and adjust your game accordingly. With the right equipment and some practice, you can enjoy a unique and exciting game of pickleball with a wiffle ball.

Potential Challenges:


While a wiffle ball can offer greater control due to its lighter weight, it can also be more difficult to control due to its unpredictable flight path. The holes in the wiffle ball can cause it to spin and move in unexpected ways, making it harder to hit accurately. This can be frustrating for players who are used to the more predictable flight of a standard pickleball.


Another challenge with using a wiffle ball for pickleball is its slower speed. The lighter weight of the wiffle ball means that it does not travel as fast as a standard pickleball, which can make the game feel slower and less exciting. This can be particularly noticeable for more experienced players who are used to the faster pace of a standard game.


Wiffle balls are not designed for the rigors of pickleball gameplay, and they may not hold up as well as a standard pickleball. The plastic material of the wiffle ball is not as durable as the materials used in a standard pickleball, and it may crack or break more easily. This can lead to more frequent ball replacements, which can be inconvenient and costly.


Finally, playing pickleball with a wiffle ball may require some adaptation. The differences in weight, flight path, and speed can affect how the game is played, and players may need to adjust their strategy and technique accordingly. This can be a challenge for players who are used to playing with a standard pickleball and may take some time to get used to.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between indoor pickleball balls and wiffle balls?

Indoor pickleball balls are made of a softer material and have smaller holes than wiffle balls. This makes them slower and easier to control, which is important when playing in a smaller indoor court. Wiffle balls, on the other hand, are made of a harder plastic material and have larger holes, which makes them faster and more unpredictable.

How many holes does a standard pickleball have compared to a wiffle ball?

A standard pickleball has 26 holes, while a wiffle ball has 8 holes. The larger number of holes in a pickleball allows for more air resistance, which slows down the ball and makes it easier to control.

What is the weight of a standard pickleball ball compared to a wiffle ball?

An official pickleball ball weighs between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces, while a wiffle ball weighs between 0.28 and 0.42 ounces. This means that pickleball balls are heavier and provide more stability when hitting them with a paddle.

Are there any modifications needed to play pickleball with a wiffle ball?

No, there are no modifications needed to play pickleball with a wiffle ball. You can use the same court, net, and paddles that you would use for standard pickleball. However, you may need to adjust your playing style to account for the slower speed and lighter weight of the wiffle ball.

Can you use a wiffle ball racket for pickleball?

No, you cannot use a wiffle ball racket for pickleball. Pickleball paddles are designed specifically for the size and weight of a pickleball, and using a wiffle ball racket could result in injury or damage to the court or equipment.


In conclusion, both pickleball and wiffle ball offer unique experiences for sports enthusiasts seeking recreational gameplay. Each game has its own set of rules, equipment, and strategies that make them distinct from each other.

If you are looking for a game that is easy for everyone to play and doesn’t require too much physical exertion, wiffle ball might be your best bet. It is a casual and nostalgic game that can be played in your backyard or at the park with friends and family.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more fast-paced and strategic game, pickleball might be the way to go. It is played on a court with a net and requires more agility and skill to play.

Ultimately, the choice between pickleball and wiffle ball comes down to personal preference and what you want in a recreational activity. Whether you prefer the fast-paced rallies and strategic shots of pickleball or the casual and nostalgic charm of wiffle ball, both sports have something to offer.

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