Tennis Balls, which are approved for play under the Rules of Tennis, must comply
with the specifications in Appendix I.
The International Tennis Federation shall rule on the question of
whether any ball or prototype complies with Appendix I or is otherwise approved,
or not approved, for play. Such ruling may be taken on its own initiative,
or upon application by any party with a bona fide interest therein,
including any player, equipment manufacturer or National Association or
members thereof. Such rulings and applications shall be made in accordance
with the applicable Review and Hearing Procedures of the International
Tennis Federation (see Appendix VI).
The event organizers must announce in advance of the event:
a. The number of balls for play (2, 3, 4 or 6).
b. The ball change policy, if any.
Ball changes, if any, can be made either:
i. After an agreed odd number of games, in which case, the first
ball change in the match shall take place two games earlier
than for the rest of the match, to make allowance for the
warm-up. A tie-break game counts as one game for the ball
change. A ball change shall not take place at the beginning of a
tie-break game. In this case, the ball change shall be delayed
until the beginning of the second game of the next set; or
ii. At the beginning of a set
If a ball gets broken during play, the point shall be replayed.
Case 1: If a ball is soft at the end of a point, should the point be replayed?
Decision: If the ball is soft, not broken, the point shall not be replayed.
Note: Any ball to be used in a tournament which is played under the Rules
of Tennis, must be named on the official ITF list of approved balls issued by
the International Tennis Federation.
USTA Comment 3.1
What is the difference between a broken ball
and a soft ball? A broken ball has no compression; a soft ball has some
compression. Both broken and soft balls should be removed from play.
USTA Comment 3.2
May a player cause a ball to become wet by
using the ball to wipe perspiration from the player's body? No. A
player may not take any action that materially changes the condition of
the ball; therefore, a player may not use a ball to wipe off perspiration.
USTA Comment 3.3: A current list of USTA approved balls is available
on the USTA web site, www.usta.com.