A wiffle ball is a hollow ball used in the sport of Pickleball. It is made up of resilient plastic that weighs around 25 grams and has a diameter of 73 to 75 cm. Additionally, the wiffle ball bears perforations on it.
The perforations in this wiffle ball add to the aerodynamics. The number of these perforations range between 26 to 40. The diameter of these small perforations depend on what conditions this ball is to be used in. If the match is supposed to play outdoors, the perforations would be smaller in size. However, if the conditions are indoors, the ball will have larger perforations.
During its manufacturing, a pickleball undergoes quality assessment, UV aging test and optical comparator inspection. These ensure the ball’s endurance and color distribution. Pickleball can come in various colors like yellow, green, orange, white, red, etc.
A wiffle ball needs to be sturdy enough to resist the lengthy rallies that occur upon its contact with paddles made of wood, fibreglass, graphite or composite. Thus, in order to give it shape and strength, a hot liquid of plastic is injected in a mould. This is allowed to cool down and set. Later, when the needed consistency is reached, the ball is removed from the mould. While some moulds bear perforations, in some other cases perforations are drilled after the cooling down of the ball.
Outdoor wiffle balls are made with sturdier plastic compared to indoor ones. Thus, an outdoor wiffle ball have a thicker cover compared to indoor ones.
During its manufacture, these balls need to be acclimatized at 20 to 26 degree Celsius at 50% humidity. Each ball should be able to bounce at a height of 30 to 34 inches during its testing. It is mandatory for the ball to bear the name of the manufacturer.
Onix, Top and Dura Fast are some of the most commonly used manufacturers of wiffle balls.