What is a ball called that is used in the sport of pickleball?
We’ll that depends on who you ask and there appears to be no uniformity.
There are two variations, and we have a favorite, or what we call, the only choice.
The sport of pickleball is called “pickleball” and the ball, technically, is called a “pickleball ball”. It sounds a bit redundant and adds an extra word though it’s grammatically correct and requires no more explanation as to what you’re talking about.
To back up for a bit, here are some examples of pickleball equipment / gear:
Just because “ball” is in the word [sport of] “pickleball” doesn’t necessarily mean that it covers that piece of equipment. But it really does.
It should be enough to say ball once and have the person/audience know what you’re talking about.
For example, if you’re asking someone to carry a bag of balls over to the pickleball court, you wouldn’t say “grab those pickleball balls”. You could, of course, and not be wrong but it’s understood what you mean – or should be.
Or worse: “Grab those outdoor pickleball balls.”
To drive the point home:
The ball used in the sport of football is simply called a football and the ball in baseball is just called a baseball.
Picture Al Michaels describing a play and saying, “They’re marking the football ball on the 30-yard line so now it’s 1st and 10”. Yikes, tough to hear.
To be clear:
You can say either “pickleball balls” or “pickleballs” (or “balls”) and feel reasonably comfortable that the message will get through considering the context. We’re simple people and there’s no need to add extra words where they may not be necessary.
Heck, we can’t even say “liquor store” – we say “packie”!
Further, most pickleball manufacturers do not use the the extra word.