Pickleball vs Wiffle Ball: What’s The Difference?

pickleball balls on paddle

If you’re just getting into pickleball, then you likely noticed that the sport is played using what looks like a wiffle ball.

And, if you’re like me, then you’re likely wondering if pickleball and wiffle ball are the same thing, or if they are different.

The main difference between pickleball and wiffle ball is that one is played with a paddle and one is played with a bat. Pickleball uses paddles and wiffle ball uses bats.

There are also some other differences, which we will cover for you below.

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Pickleball Game Play And Scoring Basics

Pickleball can be played one-on-one or as teams of two against each other.

Traditionally, pickleball is played on a pickleball court, which is smaller than a tennis court.

It is also often played on a badminton court when no pickleball courts are available.

It can be played indoors or outdoors.

A lot of the scoring and basics of game play in pickleball are similar to tennis.

You win pickleball by reaching 11 points and being at least 2 points ahead of your opponent.

ALSO READ: Getting Started With The Sport Pickleball

Wiffle Ball Game Play And Scoring Basics

Like pickleball, a game of wiffle ball can be played indoors or outdoors, though it does seem to be played outside more often than inside.

While teams of one can be formed in this game, traditionally teams of five play against each other in wiffle ball.

Instead of being played on a court, wiffle ball is played on a field, which can be something as simple as your backyard.

A lot of the scoring and basics of game play in wiffle ball are similar to baseball.

You win wiffle ball by scoring more runs than the other team.

And a run is when a member of your team reaches home base safely, just like in baseball.

Typically a game of wiffle ball has six innings, and the team with the most runs after those six innings is declared the winner.

Equipment Needed To Play

In pickleball, the equipment you need to play are pickleball paddles and a pickelball ball.

You’ll notice that a pickleball ball is a perforated polymer ball, much like a wiffle ball, with 26 to 40 round holes.

Pickleball paddles are larger than table tennis paddles and have a slightly different shape.

They are made of wood or composite materials and the surface is smooth.

Amazin' Aces Pickleball Wood 2-Paddle Set - Pickleball Paddle Set Includes 2 Wood Pickleball Paddles, 4 Pickleballs, 1 Mesh Carry Bag, and 1 Quality Box
via Amazon

In wiffle ball, the equipment that you need to play are a wiffle ball bat and a wiffle ball.

The plastic wiffle ball is white and the size of a baseball with eight slots on one side.

Wiffle ball bats are plastic and tend to be long and thin in shape.

Wiffle 32' Bat and 3 Baseball Set Bundle
via Amazon

You’ll notice that the balls used for both wiffle ball and pickleball look a lot a like, but there are some key differences there.

The wiffle ball has long, narrow holes in the ball, which are designed to help you give the ball some spin when you pitch it.

The pickleball ball has 26 to 40 round holes in it.

Final Word

As you can see, the main thing that pickleball and wiffle ball have in common is the ball used for playing each sport. 

It is essentially the same type of ball – a plastic ball with holes in it.

But that is really where the similarities between these two games ends.

Pickleball requires a paddle and a court, while wiffle ball requires a wiffle ball bat and a field.

Scoring is also quite different between the two.

And, you can play wiffle ball with more people since you can have larger teams of five people.

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