Why Do Tennis Balls Have Numbers On Them?

The reason that tennis balls have numbers printed on them is that through those numbers it is easier to distinguish your tennis balls from someone else’s tennis balls.

Tennis courts are usually located next to each other and quite often happens that a ball from an adjacent court lands on your court. If you happen to use the same brand of balls as the players in the adjacent court without the numbers on the balls it would be hard to differentiate your tennis balls from the adjacent court’s tennis balls.

It might be inconvenient for your tennis balls to be mixed with someone else’s tennis. Then you might have newer and older balls mixed that have different playing characteristics.

Tennis ball numbers

Tennis balls are sold in tubes of 3 and 4 balls and all the balls in a certain tube have the same number printed on them. According to the size of the tube, they can be numbered from 1-3 or 1-4.

It is also possible that players from the adjacent court happen to have the same number printed on their tennis balls as you have which makes it harder to differentiate the balls from one another. One way to differentiate the same numbered tennis balls from one another is to look at the ball’s wear and tear. This is most noticeable in the ball’s print; if the ball’s print has saturated colors the ball is probably new.

How About Different Colors On Tennis Balls?

Tennis balls also differentiate from one another in color. In general, there are 4 different tennis ball types:

  1. Balls without colored dots (official balls)
  2. Balls with a red dot (softest training balls, 75% slower than official balls)
  3. Balls with an orange dot (medium-softness training balls, 50% slower than official balls)
  4. Balls with a green dot (medium-hardness training balls, 25% slower than official balls)

If you want to learn more about dotted training balls you can read this article.

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How to Choose Tennis Balls?