Believe it or not there are different types of tennis ball that are used to play the sport around the world today.
Most of the big differences are because the types of court a match is to be played on, and the type of bounce that is required.
Also, a fairly recent addition to this is the development of beginners or learners balls.
Tennis balls have been developed to make it easier for beginners, children and recreational players to learn the game.
These balls are designed to make the game slower and give more opportunities for rallies, therefore players practise their shots more.
There are three types of such balls:
- Stage 3 Red (The first type of beginners ball used in mini tennis)
- Stage 2 Orange (Used on a ¾ length court)
- Stage 1 Green (Slightly lower bouncing than a normal ball)
Real Tennis Balls
Real tennis balls have been traditionally made from a spherical stitched envelope of leather or cloth stuffed with rags, horsehair or similar material, while modern balls have always been based on rubber.
Real tennis balls have a hard core, in former times of compacted cloth. Today they tend to use a cork core sometimes made out of old wine corks.
The core is then covered by tightly-wound tape and then a tight lattice of criss crossed string over the tape. Finally two figure-of-eight shaped sections of dense melton wool cloth are hand stitched together to form a cover.
Pressurised balls are stiffer and tend to bounce higher, the downside is that their life expectancy is shorter, and they actually start decaying as soon as they are removed from their pressurised cans.
If you can afford them and can afford to replace these pressurised balls often, then often they can provide a better playing experience.
Non-pressurised balls, commonly known as pressureless, last longer and the gaming experience stays more or less the same. They depreciate slower, so they are often prefered by casual and recreational players who simply don’t have the money to spend on new balls.
Pressureless balls are favoured in Europe whilst in the US many players prefer the pressurised version.
Regular Duty Balls
Regular Duty or sometimes referred to as soft court balls are designed for use on clay courts. Balls travel slower on clay courts than they do on hard courts or grass. The clay absorbs the impact of the ball more readily, Regular Duty balls therefore have a thinner and less fuzzy felt covering so the balls will pick up less clay.
Extra Duty Balls
Extra Duty or hard court balls are for use in hard and grass courts. Their felt covering is thicker and they have have more fuzz on them, allowing them to be used longer on hard courts.
If all this is confusing to you then simply ask your sports shop to supply an all purpose ball and mention to them what type of tennis you intend to play, they are professionals and will give you the correct advice.
Or contact Tennis World Chatswood and they can give you all the advice and information you may need.