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Paddle Material Specifications

Revised 12/5/18

IFP Rule 2.E.1 Material. The paddle may be made of any material judged safe and not prohibited in these rules. The paddle shall be made of relatively rigid, non‐compressible material meeting the specifications of the “Paddle Material Specifications” document on the IFP website.

The test used to measure the rigidity of a paddle is the Deflection Test. When subjected to the tests, the paddles must meet the following requirements:

  • 5 thousandths of an inch or less at a test weight of 3 kg.
  • 10 thousandth of an inch or less at a test weight of 5 kg.

Paddles that exceed these specifications may produce a trampoline effect and will be placed on the USA Pickleball Approved list as Fail. Click here to see the current USA Pickleball Approved List

If you wish to see additional details on the deflection test, please email the Managing Director of Competition at

Foam Core Paddles Comment:

Effective November 1, 2014: The IFP/USA Pickleball Rules Committee has determined that paddles manufactured with a foam core material and with a one‐piece construction on the surface do not reliably pass the deflection test. After use, these paddles have been shown to degrade in a manner that creates more deflection and higher ball speed potential. Because of these attributes, no paddles manufactured in this manner will be accepted for IFP/USA Pickleball sanctioned tournament play after December 31st, 2015. As of November 1, 2014, no additional paddles with this construction will be tested for deflection.

Clarification Note: Foam core paddles with one flat piece of material on each side of the paddle head (not wrapped around the edge of paddle) and one piece face material paddles with other than foam core material will continue to be acceptable for sanctioned tournaments and will be given the deflection test upon proper submission and payment for testing; provided that, these paddles pass all other paddle specifications and meet the requirement of preserving the traditional nature and character of the sport and preserve the skills traditionally required to play the sport.