It’s probably not a question that was at the front of your mind. But who knows, maybe one day you’ll be able to share this tennis trivia at a party!
Tennis balls, for decades, were white. But in 1972, the International Tennis Federation switched to yellow. Why? Because these balls were easier to see on television! For fourteen years, Wimbledon held out, using white balls until the adaptation of yellow in 1986. Other properties of the ball, like the deformation range, were experimented with until perfected in 1996. 2002 saw the acceptance of type 1 and type 3 balls. We’ve been playing with these standards ever since?
Why Are the Balls Fuzzy?
Good question. Tennis balls are made of rubber— they have been for over a century. However, as the game picked up popularity and sought to become more uniform, the balls were hollowed out and pressurized with gas. In order to prevent wear and tear during the course of play, manufacturers began to stitch flannel onto the ball. The result was a more durable tennis ball that also had physical properties allowing it to be spun more easily.
Facts courtesy of ITF website.