A golf ball sitting on the edge of the hole

Which Sport Uses the Lightest Ball?

Ever hear of the Ball of Steel? It’s a golf training aid — 5 times the weight of a normal golf ball. According to its manufacturer, it helps golfers “make a solid stroke… [focusing] all your attention on impact… [the] key to mastering any shot in golf.”

That got us thinking of the opposite scenario: “Which sport uses the lightest ball?”

Here’s the data to answer that question, using an average of weight ranges if specifics are not available. From airy golf balls to sports where you really don’t want to get hit with one.

Sports that use heavy-weight balls (>1 lb)

Sport Metric Weight Imperial WeightSource
Shot Put7.3 kg16.0 lbWorld Athletics (Olympic standard)
Bowling6.4 kg15.0 lbSkilled Bowlers (avg. male weight)
Bocce920 g32.5 ozWiki How
Basketball624 g22.0 ozHoops Addict
Football (Australian)475 g16.8 ozUS Australian Rules Football

Sports that use medium-weight balls (8 oz – 1 lb)

Sport Metric WeightImperial WeightSource
Rugby435 g15.3 ozRugby How
Football (Soccer)430 g15.2 ozThe Football Association (England)
Water polo425 g15.0 ozDimensions
Football (Gridiron)411 g14.5 ozNational Football League
Volleyball270 g9.5 ozVolley Country

Sports that use light-weight balls (<8 oz)

SportMetric WeightImperial WeightSource
Softball187 g6.6 ozWhat Things Weigh
Pool171 g6.0 ozColorado State
Field Hockey159 g5.6 ozGear Hungry
Cricket159 g5.6 ozLords
Lacrosse145 g5.1 ozSignature Lacrosse
Baseball145 g5.1 ozMajor League Baseball
Tennis58 g2.0 ozInternational Tennis Federation
Golf45 g1.6 ozIvy Golf
Racquetball40 g1.4 ozDimensions
Squash24 g0.8 ozWorld Squash
Pickleball24 g0.8 ozPickleball Rush
Table tennis2.75 g0.1 ozBest Game Tables

As you can see, on average table tennis is the sport that uses the lightest ball. Commonly referred to as ping-pong balls, its standard weight is a mere 2.75 grams — just a tenth of an ounce! Nothing else really comes close. Even pickleball and squash balls are almost 10 times as heavy.

Photo by Steven Shircliff on Unsplash

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