Thoughts on Pickleball Balls

There is a lot of discussion about the various pickleball balls on the market.  Everyone has an opinion and most people have a preference.  Everyone wants a consistent ball, and that makes sense.
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Coming from Tennis

Every sport has had to deal with regulations related to the equipment used.  Of course, most of my experience comes from tennis. For many years, I preferred the Wilson US Open ball.  It played solid and lasted a good period of time.  Pro Penn developed a ball that was nearly identical, and I was happy.  I now had two balls to choose from and one was made by Head.  However, the less expensive Wilson and Penn balls played differently.  I would have tennis students bring balls they purchased at Costco and they felt like rocks to me.

Color Preferences

ballI recently asked my Facebook followers if they had a preference for the color of the ball.  In general, most people liked the brighter colors…with neon green topping the overall vote.  I agree. These balls are easier to see in the evening and indoors.  I find a white ball to be particularly difficult to see in most indoor settings.

However what I find more difficult is when the player wears clothing the same color as the ball.  I realize there isn’t a rule against this, but I find it very frustrating.  There are a few tournament directors who must agree with me because on occasion I have seen a local rule prohibiting players from wearing the same color clothing as the ball.

Balls and Stripes

I have often thought that a stripe on any color ball would solve the problem.  In tennis, we learn to look at the lines on the ball and it is so helpful.  I have seen dual colored balls which work the same way.  A stripe would make it easier to see and provide continuity on every ball.

Balls and the USAPA

I do know the USAPA has a ton of their plate right now.  As more and more manufacturers enter the pickleball equipment space there will even more demand placed on the USAPA.  Certainly, there will be many more challenges. But that’s a good thing…it means our sport is growing and maturing.