How to Tell If a Tennis Ball Is Dead

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

People who play tennis want to make sure that they are playing with balls that have just the right action and bounce. Over time, tennis balls go flat, and they need to be replaced. When they are brand new, they are hard and have a lot of bounce and spring, but as they wear out, they will start to become dull and won’t travel as far. Continue reading to learn how to tell if a tennis ball is dead.

Squeeze the Tennis Ball

The first thing you can do to find out if your tennis ball is dead is pick it up and squeeze it. Look at the fuzz and see if it is bare or if it is still soft and smooth. When you squeeze it, see how far you can squeeze the sides together. If the ball squeezes easily and you can push the sides almost to the middle, then it is dead and needs to be replaced.

When you squeeze a ball that still has life in it, it shouldn’t be easy to squeeze. It should take some strength on your part to squeeze it in. In addition, you shouldn’t be able to squeeze it very much. There should be some give, but it should spring back as soon as you release it. If you have a new ball, squeeze it to see how tight they are when they are new so that you can compare the two balls

Bounce the Ball

You can also bounce the ball to see if it is dead. If you have a new ball, this is an easy test to do. You can hold the ball in question in one hand and the new ball in the other. Place your hands even with one another, and release the balls. Look to see how high the balls bounce. Even if you have been using the older ball, it should bounce close to the same distance if it is good. If it doesn’t, it is likely that you need to toss it and use a newer ball that has some bounce to it.

If you play with a dead ball, you will have trouble making your shots. When you serve, the ball may not travel far enough. It will not travel as much when you hit it. It isn’t any fun to play tennis with a dead ball, so you should try to check your balls and be aware of it when they start to lose their bounce.

Listen to the Sound the Ball Makes

You need some experience to use this test, but if you have been playing tennis for some length of time, you probably have a good idea of that crisp sound the ball makes when it hits the racket or bounces on the court. It has a pop sound to it, whereas a dead ball has more of a thud. You can try hitting the ball across the net, and you should hear it sound like most other deflated balls. If you hear this sound, you need to replace the ball because it is dead.

If you play tennis matches, you should always use a new set of tennis balls. Used tennis balls are fine for practice, and you can keep them in a basket for practicing your serve. You should use them until they have no life left. Once they are finished, you can give them to your dog or give them to a friend who has a dog.

If you examine your tennis balls, you will be able to tell when they are dead. They will be harder to play with, and they will lose travel, power, and spring. You will notice that they sound dull when you hit them, and you will see that they die in place rather than springing up and traveling toward your opponent.

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