What is the Price of a Tennis ball? How to Choose the Correct Type for Your Court and Skill Level?

The awesome Tennis Ball

Although it might seem straighforward when it comes to buying tennis balls, there are actually various options to choose from which will effect your performance and game. You need to get the tennis ball that matches the playing conditions and offcourse, whithin a budget.

So, what is the average cost of a tennis ball? The average cost of a tennis ball is $1.3 and is usually sold in a set of 3 for $4. The price of the tennis ball set depends on the playing conditions and other smart accessories and averages from $2.45 to $7

We compiled a table below to summarize the average price for different brands and specifications of tennis balls.

Brands of tennis ballsAverage cost (3 balls)Average cost (18 balls)
Wilson US open extra duty$ 4.75$ 21
Wilson US open regular duty$ 5.25$ 29
Wilson championship regular duty$ 4.45$ 24
Penn championship extra duty$ 4.25$ 18
Penn pro marathon extra duty$ 3.15$ 13
Penn championship extra duty high altitude$ 4.1  $ 20
Penn practice coach$ 2.11$ 9
Wilson starter$ 2.35$ 8
Babolat championship$ 2.45$ 16
Dunlop champ hard$ 3.45$ 17
Smart tennis ball$ 7$ 35
Average$ 4$ 19
The average price of a set of 3 tennis balls is $4

Hint: For paddle tennis balls, check out What’s the difference between Paddle Tennis Ball and Tennis Ball?.

You might also find other articles related to buying tennis racquets and ball machines helpful; What is the Best Tennis Racquet for Clay Courts? How to Choose and Buy one On a Budget? and How Much does Tennis Ball Machines Cost ? New, used and how to pick one and more importantly; What is The Fastest Way to Collect Tennis Balls?, if you are sick of collecting tennis balls around the net and after practice.

What are the different types of tennis balls?

The cost of a tennis ball varies because the material, color, and many other features discussed below, all have their own durability and playability. Some of the most important features that must be kept in mind while buying a suitable tennis ball for oneself are discussed in detail below:

The Red tennis ball

The red tennis ball average price for a set of 3 is $4.

Red tennis balls, also called stage 3 balls, are mostly made up of soft material and used by starters of age lying between 5-8 years. These are further of two types: standard construction and molded form. Red balls are cheap in cost and very good practice material too. It is also the slowest ball.

The average cost of red balls is $3.99 for a can of 3 balls.

The Orange tennis ball

The average price for a set of 3 orange balls is $3

Orange tennis balls, also referred to as stage 2 balls, are also of soft material and bounce half as high as a normal tennis ball. Orange balls are a good pick for kids aged 9-10 years old. It is faster than red ball.

Average cost for orange balls is $3 for a can of 3 balls.

The Green tennis ball

The average price of green tennis ball set of 3 is $3.45

Also known as stage 1 balls, have 25-30% reduced bounce rate as compared to the regular tennis balls. Green tennis balls are mostly for kids aged 11 or above. It is also of soft material but faster than the other two balls mentioned above.

The average cost of green balls is $3.45 for a can of 3 balls.

The Yellow or Green tennis ball!?

There is a bit of controversy on whether the tennis ball color is actually green or yellow. Tennis legend Roger Federer considers it yellow while others see it as green. More on this here.

Nevertheless, those are the main three colors. You might find other colors such as pink and black, but those above are the standard colors.

Comparison between the ball colors

Red balls can be foam constructed which results in less weight. Other factors remain the same so the comparison will focus on standard construction.

Ball Color (Stage)SizeMassRebound HeightDeformations (Forward)
Red Ball (Stage 3)7-8 cm
(2.76-3.15 in)
36-49 g90-105 cm
(35-41 in)
Orange Ball (Stage 2)6-6.86 cm
(2.36-2.70 in)
36-46.9 g105-120 cm
(41-47 in)
1.40-1.65 cm
(0.55-0.65 in)
Green Ball (Stage 1)6.30-6.86 cm
(2.48-2.70 in)
47-51.5 g120-135 cm
(47-53 in)
0.80-1.05 cm
(0.31-0.41 in)
Tennis balls Standard construction specifications

Tennis ball Material

Tennis balls are hollow and filled with pressurized gas and covered with a two-piece rubber shell which could either be made from nylon or wool.

Basic tennis ball material

Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?

Why is a tennis ball fuzzy? There is fuzz on the outside of the tennis ball which helps in giving a proper bounce to the ball, plus adding friction and increasing the bounce velocity.

The fuzz prevents the ball from going super fast and reduces the risks of injury to the player and others

Balls having a rubber shell are more bouncy, as the rubber has the ability to condense the molecules back together that causing an upward motion to occur.

The fibrous felt modifies the aerodynamic properties and is an important part of the ball which makes the ball either soft, less bouncy, or hard and more durable, thus increasing its flexibility and strength.

Tennis ball fuzz

Choosing the right tennis ball type for your court

Tennis balls when dropped on a concrete floor from a height of 100 inches, should be capable enough to bounce between 53-58 inches high. This is a perfect tennis ball bounce and it must be checked wisely while buying a tennis ball.

Hard court

Extra duty ball type is the most suitable for the hard courts, as the fibrous felt on these balls is durable and does not fluff up so easily. Extra duty balls are thick and the weaving around the rubber core is a bit loose so that it may stand the shearing for a comparatively longer time.

For hard courts, an extra duty ball is a perfect match as they are durable and faster. Pro players find extra duty a perfect ball for them.

Clay court

Regular duty balls are specifically made for softer courts, such as the clay court, grass court, or indoor court. These balls are less durable as the clay court’s dirt and moisture are too much for the ball to withstand for longer durations. The material of the ball is thinner fibrous felt and tight grip around the core, yet it is less durable but faster than the extra duty.

Clay court tennis ball

High altitude court

The high-altitude balls are designed for the courts that are 3500 feet above. At high altitudes, ball feels lighter and tends to fly, for which depressurized balls work well and help in maintaining the pressure inside the ball, its durability, and playability.

Hight attitude Tennis balls tin costs around $5 to $8 (depending on the brand)

Other tennis ball specs to look for

Waterproofing – A coating of hydro guard is used in some balls that protect the ball and maintain water resistance.

A wet ball decreases the efficiency of the ball and also affects the bouncing capability which makes it harder for the player to hit the ball with accuracy.

Pressure – A pressure of about 12 pounds per square inch is an ideal pressure that is filled in a tennis ball. This pressure ensures a good bounce, elasticity, and durability of the ball. It decreases with time making the ball totally useless.

You can easily feel after some time the drop in pressure, which is a sign that the ball is no longer good for use.

Pressure-less tennis balls – Are a bit stiff, have similar bouncing traits to a normal tennis ball, but is harder on the elbows and arms. Therefore, it is not advised for long hours of play or competitive play.

Guide to help you choose the right tennis ball

Yellow or white balls are the most used tennis balls around the world. They are mostly used by players and the rest of the tennis balls are designed for beginners so that they can practice well without any risk of injury and allow them to progress.

To choose the right tennis ball – You need to do the following:

How to choose the appropriate tennis ball

Smart tennis balls

Smart tennis balls have been introduced lately as elbow friendly and ability to last for longer rallies. There is no specific sensor or new technology embedded within the ball itself, however, there is a supporting application to help you find other players and practice.

As for being softer on the elbow, there is not yet sufficient evidence to fully support and accept these balls. You may consider trying them for fun or testing these claims (they cost around $7 a tin), but do not expect something drastically different.

Life span of tennis balls

  1. The lifespan of a pressurized tennis ball is around 1 to 4 weeks of average play.
  2. The life of a pressureless tennis ball is around 1-3 years of average play.

Important Tip – Tennis ball numbers

You will notice some numbers printed on the tennis balls. They are not special and do not correspond to a certain specification.

However, the purpose of the printed numbers on the tennis balls is for identification. This is extremely helpful when playing in court with surrounding players and other balls bouncing around. By knowing your tennis ball brand and the number printed on it, you can easily identify your own and avoid any mixup with others.

You do not want to take someone’s else old tennis ball!

Buying in Bulk

Tennis balls are mostly bought in bulk by the pro players that practice without a break and need balls ready at hand all the time.

Bulk buying helps the players in playing efficiently as the fibrous felt of the ball may wear out after 1 or 2 matches, so it is necessary to have a bulk of balls ready all the time.

Apart from this, when buying tennis balls in bulk, it may be at a discounted price too. A can of 3 balls is approx. $4 and when bought in bulk, the total cost decreases by about $6-10.

Avoid buying large amounts of tennis balls without pressurized packing unless you will use them for a tournment.

In a nutshell

The average price of a tennis ball tin is $4. The color coding will guide you to the appropriate age and skill level.

The green/ yellow tennis ball is the one used by most adult players and its specification must match that of the court type. To get them on a budget, always consider buying them in bulk but be careful from getting too much and losing pressure before using them.

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