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Question: Does the age of a tennis ball affect its bounce?

Answer: The age of a tennis ball does not necessarily effect its bounce. A new tennis ball in a pressurized container will remain in a relatively new state and have the same approximate bounce for as long as the pressure inside the container remains constant; this is true whether the tennis balls were made a week ago or a year ago.

What will effect the bounce of a tennis ball is prolonged crushing, excessive striking, or anything else which results in a pressure decrease on the inside of the tennis ball.

A new can of tennis ball should be squeezed to test the pressure inside the container. An unopened can of tennis ball which is easily squeezed will contain tennis balls with reduced pressure; of course, this will depend upon how long ago the pressure in the container has been reduced.

A tennis ball has a fuzzy outer layer. Anything which causes this fuzzy layer to change can effect the bounce of the tennis ball. Normal tennis play causes a thinning of the fuzz on the outer surface of a tennis ball. The fuzzy layer can absorb water, mud, and other foreign materials or substances which act to increase the weight of the ball and effect its bounce.

Randy Lynn Rutledge - author of Fix Your Tennis

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โˆ™ 2010-12-02 01:06:07
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