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Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball

A typical outdoor pickleball court

I have found that the majority of pickleball players prefer outdoor play. There are advantages to outdoor play:

  • You get sunshine which creates vitamin D in your body.
  • You usually get clean, fresh air.
  • You can see and be seen by others.
  • During the daytime, things are generally brighter than with indoor lighting.
  • Most communities have more outdoor courts than indoor courts, which can be crowded.
  • You can hear more clearly than in in a building with all its echos.
  • The playing surface is often more consistent than indoor wooden, cork, tile or plastic surfaces.

On the other hand, your author, and many others, prefer indoor play. Here’s why:

  • You don’t have to contend with windy days.
  • The lighting is generally uniform. The sun won’t get in your eyes.
  • If you happen to fall, the floor is more forgiving than a cement or concrete surface.
  • Those with sore knees, hips, or plantar fasciitis find the slightly softer surface more comfortable.
  • The temperature is comfortable and consistent.
  • The facility may provide public locker and shower facilities.

Outdoor pickleballs generally have smaller holes than indoor balls. The theory is that since outdoor players have to contend with wind, the bigger holes would be more problematic.

Outdoor players will more typically use lots of balls while they play. The participants will keep extras in their pockets, rather than retrieving a ball after each rally. They can ignore the balls that have rolled to the edges of the court.

Many indoor players don’t have that advantage. If they lose a ball, it is likely to bother the people on the next court over. So, they’ll use one ball, and retrieve it quickly.

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