Pickleball Balls Used in Tournaments: 2024 Super Guide

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Do you need to know what Pickleball ball is used in tournaments? Are you looking to go next level in your Pickleball game? And you want to compete in a tournament? In this post, we detail the top four pickleball balls that are used in tournaments across the World and how to choose the right ball for you. We have everything you need to know right here. And we also cover some tips for any player that wants to compete.

Let’s kick it in.


What Pickleball Ball is Used in Tournaments

The United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) was established as a Pickleball body in 2005 to guide the sport and to build the sport it is today. The USAPA, now known as USA Pickleball, and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) developed equipment standards for paddles and balls.

These guidelines ensure fair play and consistency in equipment, players and tournaments. The USAPA tournament balls will usually have the “USAPA” branding on them. And Pickleball organizations and tournaments around the world sign commercial agreements with ball manufacturers to make them the “official ball”.

These agreements decide what pickleball ball must be used when playing in certain leagues and tournaments. Let’s take a look at the top four pickleball balls used in tournaments around the world.

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1. The Franklin X-40

The Franklin X-40 is the number one pickleball used in Pickleball tournaments. This outdoor ball is USA Pickleball and IFP approved. It is the official ball for USA Pickleball, Pickleball Australia, Pickleball England, Pickleball Canada amongst other countries. The Franklin X-40 is the clear choice for tournament play around the globe.

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2. The Franklin X-26

The Franklin X-26 is the second most used ball in tournaments. This indoor ball is USA Pickleball and IFP approved. It is the official ball for indoor tournaments in Australia, England, Canada and other countries around the world.

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3. Onix Dura Fast 40

The Onix Dura Fast 40 was the “Original Official Pickleball” and was the most widely used tournament ball for many years. It is USA Pickleball approved and it is still used as an official ball for specific, smaller tournaments and leagues. These include the Canadian National Pickleball League (CNPL), MLP Australia and the Seniors Pro Tour (USA).

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4. Vulcan VPro Flight

The Vulcan VPro Flight is the latest Pickleball used in the Carvana PPA tour across the globe and Major League Pickleball (MLP) in the United States. This USA Pickleball approved ball will be available for purchase in July 2024.

As you can see, these are the four major pickleball balls used in tournaments across the world. These balls are all approved for tournament play by USA Pickleball. And you can always check the USA Pickleball Approved Ball List to browse all the latest balls.

For more information on the USAPA and the History of Pickleball Balls, from the Original Wiffle ball to what we use today, take a look at this recent blog post.


Choosing the Right Ball for Your Tournament

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of choice for any player that wants to compete in a Pickleball tournament. Every tournament will have an official pickleball ball that must be used. And it is up to the player to practise and familiarise themselves with the correct ball.

It is important to build experience with the correct ball. Otherwise, the player could be disadvantaged during a competition if they are not used to the ball.

Some countries like Australia and England, have an indoor and outdoor ball available for competitions. So there is some choice available there. But any player that wishes to compete in a Carvana Tournament for example, will need to play with a ball that is not actually released yet.

Most skilled players should be able to play with any pickleball ball. And the USAPA guidelines help regulate the balls so that they bounce and react in a similar way. But all balls are not the same, and players do have preferences between ball brands and indoor and outdoor ball types. But you should be able to play with any ball to be successful in a Pickleball tournament.


Top 5 Tips for Pickleball Ball Selection

Let’s keep it nice and simple with five tips for Pickleball players who want to compete in tournaments. What is the best way to select a ball for the tournament and to practice with.

  1. Prepare for a tournament in advance. Learn what ball you need to compete and practice with that ball only leading up to the tournament.
  2. If you compete in various tournaments, practice with all of the balls and learn how to play well with all of them.
  3. To keep it super simple, you can simply practice with the top 2 balls, the Franklin X-40 and the Franklin X-26. These are almost the industry standard for Pickleball tournaments.
  4. Try out the other balls, like the Dura Fast 40 for fun. There are differences between balls, some are faster, or provide more spin. It can be good practice and a skill builder to play with these balls also.
  5. As long as the Pickleball balls are USAPA approved, you can’t go wrong. Your Pickleball playing skills are more important than your ball selection. Focus on the FUN.

Final Thoughts

It’s important for any up and coming Pickleball player to know what pickleball ball is used in tournaments. It’s a great strategy to build experience using tournament balls. Practicing with the correct ball can only help your game.

No player wants to be disadvantaged in a tournament because the ball they use doesn’t feel right. That would be a disaster! So plan ahead.

If you stick with the Franklin X-40 and X-26, you should be fine. These are almost the industry standard ball. Start with those two and try other balls out for fun.

Let the Bros know if we missed any tournament balls, and we’ll see you out there on the court.

Pickle On!

The Aussie Pickleball Bros.

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