Your passion for pickleball doesn’t stop with the season, which begs the question, "Can you play pickleball in the cold?"
In extreme winter conditions, snow starts to cover the courts, and since no one plows them, you may think you have to stop playing pickleball or any other sport, for that matter.
The good news is that pickleball is a non-seasonal sport. This means that you do not have to give it up when the weather gets tough. In fact, a huge majority of individuals transition towards indoor pickleball during the cold.
Playing outdoor pickleball is slightly different than playing indoor pickleball. Outdoors, the ball moves faster because of the reduced air resistance and the weight of the ball. Moreover, it bounces lower as it is harder and heavier. This means that when you are playing pickleball indoors, you might have to bend your knees a bit.
In this article, we will talk about how you can play pickleball in the cold, transitioning from outdoor to indoor pickleball, and the things you need to be aware of during your transition phase.
Can You Play Pickleball in the Cold?
Now that you know that you can play pickleball in the cold, let's help you transition from outdoors to indoor pickleball.
The good thing about playing pickleball indoors during the winters is that you can say goodbye to extreme weather conditions, gusty winds, and snow messing up the court.
Now that you do not have to worry about the natural variables that occur outdoors, you will have more control over your swings and the direction of the ball.
When it comes to transitioning from outdoors pickleball to indoors pickleball, you will have to start getting used to a different surface. Outdoors, you may have been used to playing on a sturdy cement surface that impacts the way the ball bounces.
However, when you move to indoor pickleball, you might be playing on hardwood, plastic, or tile- depending on the surface you choose to play on, the ball will bounce differently. Indoors, the dead spots on the surface might take away the bounce of the pickleball or may even change its direction.
Moreover, keep in mind that rather than bouncing vertically, the ball will skid or slide when it bounces indoors. You may even find that, unlike the sturdy cement surface, your shoes are skidding more indoors and that you cannot stop and turn as easily as you would on a cement court outdoors.
In outdoor pickleball courts, you will usually find permanent nets as opposed to the temporary ones you will be using indoors. Even though indoor and outdoor nets usually look the same, the biggest difference is the tautness of the net, especially at the top.
In temporary nets, you might find that this is looser, and the balls might even fall over the net, regardless of how hard they may have been hit. Moreover, these nights might sag more than their permanent counterparts, especially from the middle, since you cannot tighten them. If not weighed down, the setup for indoor nets might also sag more.
If you want to win your pickleball match against your siblings, we would strongly advise paying particular attention to the net. You will want to ensure that the net is as stable as possible and that you deal with all the problems discussed above before you begin your game. Moreover, make sure you do not hit the ball into the net or out of bounds. Playing pickleball indoors might take a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to play as well as you did outdoors.
You must keep in mind that even though it is the same sport, indoor pickleballs are different from outdoor pickleballs.
Indoor pickleballs have bigger holes and are lighter so that they can bounce more on indoor surfaces. Outdoor balls, on the other hand, have smaller holes and are heavier since they have to be hit against the wind. These balls are also more durable as they bounce on concrete surfaces that are rougher.
Initially, you might feel that you do not have as much control when you hit the lighter pickleball, but within a few games, you will be able to get the hang of it. Soon, you will also start to fall in love with indoor pickleball.
When you are playing pickleball indoors, you do not have to worry about natural variables as much as you would outdoors. However, you need to be prepared for the other set of challenges that you might face.
Indoor pickleball courts are usually multi-use surfaces that have previous tapes or lines from various sports like floor hockey, volleyball, and basketball. These lines may be difficult to differentiate between, and oftentimes, you might find yourself standing at an incorrect line or making a blunder. Moreover, other factors like bright or dim lights, basketball goal interference, closed walls, and low ceilings may affect the way some people play games.
Usually, it is not too difficult for most players to transition from outdoors pickleball to indoors pickleball. After a couple of games, you will start to adjust to the ball, court, and any other extra variables that you usually don’t deal with when playing outdoors.
Even though you can absolutely continue to play pickleball outdoors in the winters, it becomes hard, especially in places where the laws on shoveling snow are not as tough. Many courts may also shut down for the same reason. However, till they do not and till the grounds are dry, you can definitely grab your friends and neighbors and take them outdoors for a match of pickleball.
About THE AUTHOR
Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.Read More About Michael Stevens