Why are Tennis Balls Yellow?

We all know that Tennis balls are often found in bright yellow color globally. But have you ever wondered why are tennis balls yellow? Why do professional tennis players use just yellow balls? Why not any other color? There are other Tennis ball colors viz. Red, green and orange, what are those used for? And, why are those used only in recreational games?

Let’s study the answer for all of the above-stated questions below.

Why are Tennis balls Yellow?

The game of tennis is being played since the era of 1870s. Formerly, the Tennis balls were constructed from leather and then later filled with a soft material. With time, eventually Tennis balls were crafted with rubber then injected with pressurized gas.

They used to be white or black in color, depending on whichever suited the court better. Back then, viewers watched it on Black and White Television, so it was fairly visible. In 1972, with the commencement of Colored Television, viewers found it difficult to spot white Tennis balls moving on the court, research showed. Which is why, International Tennis Federation (ITF) established ‘Optic yellow’ Tennis balls under rules and regulations of Professional games.

After thorough studies, it was found that this bright yellow color seemed to be highly visible to the audience on Television. In 1986, these Yellow balls were finally implemented at Wimbledon as well.

Slower Balls: What are Red, Orange and Green Tennis Balls used for?

‘Play and Stay’ - A global campaign by ITF was deliberately launched to encourage Novice Tennis players across the globe and established certain rules for them. Beginners and kids who want to enhance their game can use slower balls and practice on smaller Court sizes.

The slowest ball is Red one, which is unpressurized and oversized, usually made from foam rubber.

Orange ball, on the other hand, has normal size and comes with half the pressure as that of Professional balls.

Green ball also comes in normal size and is closest to the professional Yellow Tennis ball, pressure being slightly more than 50%.

colour tennis ball

Source: https://www.tennisexpress.com/images/stage_tennis_balls.jpg

All of these colors are established by ITF so that beginners can gradually enhance their game based on their skill level. Those who are completely new to the concept of Tennis, can start with Red Tennis ball and eventually switch to Orange or Green for improved practice.


That’s all about why are tennis balls yellow. Fluorescent yellow is most commonly used ball for professional games whereas other mentioned colors are used for recreational games.

For more comprehensive information check out this article that explains in-depth reviews and Ultimate Buying guide for Tennis balls. Here it’s thoroughly explained what are different types of Tennis balls available, their features and performance level as well.

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