Pickleball Paddle Regulations – How to Identify Illegal Pickleball Paddles?

By  //  July 13, 2021

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Does the equipment make the player, or is it the other way around? Whichever side you choose, you can’t deny the importance of equipment that fits the player’s talent and physical attributes. 

That brings up the issue of outrageously designed equipment that just doesn’t seem fair for the competition. All of the best pickleball paddles follow the pickleball paddle regulations set by different institutions and tournament organizers.

If you’re planning to enter a competition or you want to improve your performance by tweaking the paddle’s shape and size, you got to follow the rules. Let’s talk about the things you need to keep note of.

Among many factors that play into choosing a good paddle, some factors stand out the most. Shape, dimensions, and specifications matter a lot more than you might think. 

But first, let’s look at 3 of the most common questions asked by the players and customers.

What Makes a Pickleball Paddle Illegal?

Many factors can create issues with the legality of your pickleball paddle. Pickleball paddle dimensions and pickleball paddle size are the two most important factors to consider.

A good quality paddle has to have certain specifications to be considered legal. Of course, the benchmark can be different depending on the specific set of rules for each competition.

Paddle Size and Weight

There is a limit set for the paddle’s size. For a pickleball paddle to be considered legal, it has to have a total surface area of fewer than 24 inches. This measurement includes the length, width, and also edge guard.

The length measurement cannot exceed 17 inches. There is no limit on the width however, it has to complement the length.

In terms of weight, there is no bar set for it. You’re free to make it as light as a feather or as heavy as a stone. Despite that, you’ll find that all of the top-rated paddles are in the range of 8-9 ounces.

What Makes a Good Pickleball Paddle?

Is there any need to go out of the regulations of size and shape to achieve a good pickleball paddle? Frankly, it’s never really the case. The regulations were set in place to prevent the monster of Frankenstein from emerging.

So, you need to look at only 3 things. A good pickleball paddle will have an appropriate weight, strong grip, and a shape to match your playing style. 


Regarding weight, going for a light paddle has always been the optimum choice, although some people prefer to have a slightly heavier paddle for higher stroke power.

The lightest paddles are made of carbon fiber; however, they are also the most expensive. If you want, you can go for the composite paddles as they are pretty reasonably priced for the common folk. Furthermore, it has a quite friendly weight range with structural integrity that you can’t complain about.

Lightweight paddles can be as light as 6 ounces, and heavy paddles can go up to 14 ounces! Try one out before buying one yourself.

Hand Grip

Get a grip! A strong grip will not only help you to hold it during high-intensity matches but also increase your maneuverability even with a heavier paddle.


A pickleball paddle with a wide surface is better if you’re going to play doubles. The width will help to cover your playing area. On the other hand, if your area is singles, the elongated paddles will allow you to reach long.

Can a Pickleball Paddle Have Holes in It?

One of the most important regulations is that a legal pickleball paddle cannot have any kind of holes in it. Not only that, but it can also not have any indentations or rough textures. An uneven surface on the paddle will rule it as illegal in any competition committee and by any institution.

Final Words

If you are a new pickleball player, you will probably be looking for information on how to handle your paddle. We have addressed the key points of pickleball paddle regulations. If you still have any confusion, check the list of  USPA Approved Paddles.