Ball Boy

Who is Ball Boy?

There are many different types of jobs in tennis, and some are more exciting than others. The role of the ball boy and girl, who retrieve the balls that the players hit during the game, may not be one of the flashiest roles, but it’s definitely an important one that can help your local tennis courts run smoothly and efficiently. If you’re interested in how to become a tennis ball boy or girl, check out this informative guide to learn about the requirements and training necessary to get started.

Who is a ball boy in tennis?

A ball boy is an assistant to a player in tennis. He collects and holds balls for players during matches. According to two-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert, in a tournament, one player always has the same ball boys or girls, so they get close. They have tremendous relationships. And then when he retires, his ball kids often become coaches of younger players. It’s like their whole life revolves around it. So I think that’s very important as well. In professional tournaments, there are eight ball persons (four per court) who retrieve balls from play after they go out of bounds or are hit into by a player during play. In amateur competitions, there are usually four people (two per court) who perform these duties. For example, at Wimbledon 2011 only 8 out of 32 courts had ballboys/girls because there were not enough volunteers to man all 64 courts; however, at Wimbledon 2012 all courts had ballboys/girls due to more volunteers being recruited before hand. The role of ball boys was originally informal. Players would call for their preferred ball boy, who would keep giving them fresh balls until they were ready to serve again. Nowadays, however, players don't usually have particular preferences and each court has its own ball persons. In most competitions in North America, four people are selected at random before play starts to serve as ball boys on that court. Some tournaments also utilize more formal methods of selection; some hold open auditions while others pick through résumés or administer trials with skill tests including throwing tennis balls from one side of a court into a bucket at minimum distance and maximum distance.

How Much Do Tennis Ball Boys Get Paid?

It depends on where you live. If you’re playing in a Grand Slam tournament, ball boys can make around $100 per day. In smaller tournaments, they get between $30 and $50 per day. If you want to be employed at Wimbledon, though, ball boys usually have to wait until they’re 18 years old. And, even then, it might take them another year or two before they start getting paid for their work. There are also some pretty strict health requirements: You have to stand up straight and walk at least 1 kilometer in 8 minutes; your hips have to rotate 160 degrees; and your shoulders need to stay level with each other throughout your range of motion. At any tennis tournament, there are between 20 and 30 ball boys per court. Each of them is tasked with making sure there’s enough chalk available for the players and keeping all of the balls in play safe. You can probably guess that it’s an extremely physically demanding job, since you have to run from one end of your court to another pretty much all day long. That means plenty of stretches before you start and cooling down when you take breaks every hour or so.

How to become a tennis ball boy?

Go down to your local tennis court and ask someone who looks like they know what they’re doing if you can be their ball boy. That’s how I did it, anyway. It was many years ago, and I wasn’t expecting to get paid. If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. Even today, though, there are other ways of landing a gig as a ball boy. For starters, there’s always that old standby: asking for it. If you live in an area with lots of courts and lots of players, try hitting around with someone who is well-known locally. You can find out who these people are by checking out local tournament results and talking to friends at your club or school who play competitively. Once you’ve identified someone—or if you already know someone—go down and ask him or her if they need any help on weekends or in between matches during busy times like juniors competitions or tournaments. Of course, there are other ways of landing yourself a gig as a ball boy. Although many more volunteer now, when I was playing as an amateur—and in some cases even today—you can make money at it. When I was about 12, for example, I played an exhibition match against Jimmy Connors. He beat me pretty handily in two sets—he’s pretty good at tennis—but I managed to win over his head coach by keeping his water glass full and talking tennis with him during breaks between games. Before long, he had arranged for me to earn $25 per hour plus expenses that weekend as a ball boy working for his organization at junior events in New Jersey and Long Island.

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