As a pickleball Ambassador for North Phoenix, Arizona, I am privy to much information that is shared among the various ambassadors via the USAPA Pickleball Ambassador’s Forum. In a recent posting some information was disseminated that I think would be of interest to the pickleball community at large.
When we are playing pickleball and all players are standing just behind the boundaries of the non-volley zone, we are only about fourteen or fifteen feet apart. If there is a heated volley exchange, that ball can come flying by pretty fast. Did you ever wonder how fast that ball is traveling when it whizzes toward you?!
Well, a couple of USAPA Ambassadors have done some research based on speed tests using a radar gun and here are the speeds of balls in various sports.
**NOTE** All numbers presented are MAXIMUMS. Obviously, the ball could be hit with less power and thus be slower.
- Most volleys at the kitchen line are somewhere between 30-40 mph. The reaction time at the non-volley zone would be approximately .24 of a second.
- Other volleys (not at the non-volley zone) would most likely be somewhere in the 25-30 MPH range with the fastest balls probably approaching the 40 MPH limit.
- – tennis serve = 167.3 mph
- – baseball pitch = 105.1 mph
- – baseball hit = 120.5 mph
- – ping pong ball = 69.9 mph
- – badminton shuttlecock = 306 mph
- – jai alai pelota = 188 mph
- – golf ball = 208 mph
How About Other Sports?
**NOTE** – A baseball can be thrown more than 90 mph, but the distance between the batter and the pitcher is 60.5ft. This would allow a reaction time of nearly half a second at the faster speeds.