Wiffle Ball vs Pickleball

Wiffle Ball vs Pickleball

Wiffle ball and pickleball are fun sports to play with the family or get a little competitive with. Though they have some similarities, they are quite different sports. Let’s go over the basics of both and then talk about the similarities and differences. 

Pickleball Basics

Though pickleball takes a bit to get the hang of, the basics are simple. Take a look at an overview of the rules, the court, and the equipment. 

Pickleball Gameplay

Pickleball, at its core, is a racquet sport and can be played in singles which is one-on-one, or doubles which are two teams of two. Though doubles are played most often, the rules are the same for both singles and doubles. 

Pickleball Gameplay

The game starts with a service, and the ball is hit back and forth until the other team makes a fault. A fault occurs when the ball is hit out of bounds, is volleyed incorrectly, like if you don’t follow the double bounce rule, or doesn’t clear the net. Only the serving team can score points, and they will continue to serve until they make a fault themselves. It then switches to the other team to serve. 

The game is played until one team has 11 points; however, the game has to be won by at least two points. 

Pickleball Court and Equipment

Pickleball Court and Equipment

Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts but about the same size as a badminton court. The pickleball court is divided into a volley zone and a no volley zone, which are marked by the court lines. In the center of the court is a lower net than a tennis net. 

Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors, but there are different balls for both. Indoor balls are often lighter, slightly less bouncy, and softer, with bigger holes giving you greater control, while outdoor pickleballs are the opposite. Pickleball balls overall are perforated and bounce well on the court. They are also bright colors for contrast. 

Pickleball paddles have a small composite flat surface to hit the ball with a comfortable handle similar to table tennis paddles. There are many to choose from, but the best ones are lightweight and feel like a natural extension of your arm. 

Wiffle Ball Basics

Wiffle ball is quite simple, especially if you have played or watched baseball or softball. 

Wiffle Ball Gameplay

Wiffle Ball Gameplay
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In Wiffle ball, there are two teams with a maximum of five players per team. Wiffleball gameplay is similar to baseball in the way that a pitcher from the opposing team pitches the ball to the batter, who then tries to hit it with a Wiffle ball bat and run three bases to score. 

The pitching/outfielder team tries to get the batter out either by striking them out by throwing pitches they can’t hit, or by getting the ball to the plate. The batter is running towards before the player is marked safe. 

Wiffle Ball Playing Area and Equipment

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Though Wiffle ball is usually played on an outdoor field, unlike baseball, it can be played indoors as well. The equipment you’ll need is something to mark the bases, a Wiffle ball bat, and a Wiffle ball. 

Wiffle ball bats are plastic and vary in thickness. A Wiffle ball is about the size of a baseball but has perforated round holes and is much lighter. It also makes it easier to throw a curveball. There is no difference in the Wiffle ball equipment between indoor and outdoor play. 

Pickleball vs. Wiffle Ball Similarities

Pickleball vs. Wiffle Ball Similarities
Pickleball vs. Wiffle Ball Similarities

If you boil it down, there aren’t many similarities between wiffleball and pickleball. 

Perforated Pickleball Balls 

Though they are both played with perforated balls, they are different sizes and even have different amounts of perforations. 

Inspired by Other Sports

The only other similarity between pickleball and Wiffle ball is that they both take guidance from other sports in their gameplay. For pickleball, influences come from table tennis, tennis, and badminton, whereas for Wiffle ball, the game is largely similar to baseball or softball.

Pickleball vs. Wiffle Ball Differences 

Pickleball vs. Wiffle Ball Differences 
Pickleball vs. Wiffle Ball Differences 
Photo credit: Ksat.com

Though there might not be many similarities to point out when looking at Wiffleball vs. pickleball, there are a lot of differences. 

Equipment Differences

For instance, a Wiffle ball is played with a plastic bat, whereas a pickleball paddle is more like a table tennis paddle. 

Additionally, Wiffleball does not have a net and is typically played with a team, while pickleball has a net similar to tennis and is played either with just two people or with a maximum of four people in a doubles match. 

Gameplay Differences

There are also big differences in gameplay between the two sports. In Wiffle ball, you pitch the ball, and when playing pickleball, you serve the pickleball ball. To score in pickleball, you have to force the other team to make a mistake, but in Wiffle ball, you have to run all of the bases and make it back to home plate. 


Here are the answers to the two most frequently asked questions about Wiffle ball and pickleball. 

Is a pickleball the same as a Wiffle ball?

No, pickleball is not the same as wiffleball. Though they have similar balls with oval or round holes, Wiffle ball is played more like baseball with a plastic bat, and pickleball is played more like tennis with pickleball paddles.

Can you use a Wiffle ball for pickleball?

You could use a Wiffle ball for pickleball in a casual game if that is all you had, but there is actually a difference between a Wiffle ball and a pickleball ball, so you wouldn’t be able to use a Wiffle ball in competitive pickleball games or pickleball tournaments. 

Bottom Line of Pickleball Vs. Wiffle Ball 

Both pickleball and Wiffle ball are individual sports with their own rules and gameplay. They each provide their own experience. Whether you want something similar to baseball or something similar to tennis, Wiffle ball and pickleball are fun and exciting. Choose your favorite and get to playing!

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