Relishing Pickleball

David Zapatka

Last month, we answered questions from reader, friend and Cottonwood Pickleball President Irene D’Alosio. Since these questions were on the minds of many Sun Lakes residents, we’re continuing to answer her questions about balls this month.

People have been under the impression that the USAPA/IFP list of approved balls is all “quiet” balls. Some of the local pickleball clubs believe the Dura 40 is a quiet ball. Many people think the Pure 2 was removed because it was not a quiet ball. Is this true?

No. There are no USAPA/IFP-approved quiet balls, nor is there a quiet ball definition. “Quietness” has never been a specification. IronOaks banned the Dura 40 and approved the Pure 2 to be used as a quiet ball a few years ago. While the Dura 40 is approved by the USAPA, is the official ball of the USAPA National Championships, U.S. Open and most of the top-tier tournaments, USAPA has outlawed the use of Pure 2 balls in their tournaments because they don’t meet specifications. Many clubs discontinued using the Pure 2 for this reason. The Pure 2, better known as the “kids’” ball, is commonly used in elementary and middle school gym classes. There were reports that the Pure 2 was also causing shoulder and elbow injuries when players played with the ball after its useful life. It doesn’t bounce enough after its lifespan, causing players to over hit which causes injury. Think of it like tennis balls. The normal life for a can of three tennis balls is about two to three hours. Then balls are either discarded or thrown into the practice bin. The Pure 2 balls bounce too high for about the first hour. They bounce in the accepted range for the next couple hours, then no longer bounce high enough to meet USAPA specifications. This is when they should be discarded or put in the practice bin to avoid potential injury. The Dura 40 made by Pickle-Ball Inc., the original ball made by the people who invented the sport in 1965, doesn’t have to be conditioned before playing. It also has a lifespan and should be discarded or put in the practice bin when it breaks or gets out of round.

Have a question about pickleball? Want to know more about paddles or balls? Have some pickilicious news to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected]