OFFICIAL RECOMMENDATION FOR USE
A clear message is needed on the future use of racketball balls. This briefing paper outlines ESR’s recommendations for use of the approved blue and black racketball balls.
The blue ball has traditionally been used for general play, including county/local competitions and club box leagues in England. To attract top level competitive players to the sport we initially tested a new black ball during the 2009/10 season and then implemented the black ball into competition throughout 2010/11. There has been mixed reaction and feedback on the black ball. However, further research found that the black ball is more reactive to court ambience and temperature, similar to a squash ball.
We have listened to and fully evaluated the feedback from racketball players of all standards across the country. To encourage and support the future development of the sport, we recommend that:
•Elite players competing in national championships, regional and county premier leagues should be encouraged to play with the black ball.
•Players competing in leagues below premier leagues should use the blue ball, unless both players agree/prefer to use the black.
•All recreational players should use the blue ball.
The following will be adopted at ESR and UK Racketball Sanctioned Events;
•Men and women’s open – black ball
•Men and women’s Over 35’s – black ball
•Men’s over 40 & 45’s – black ball
•All other categories - the default ball will be blue
We recommend the following for Racketball Graded Events;
•A Grade – National/County premier league players – black balls
•B Grade – Club/Team representatives – default ball will be blue
•C Grade – Club box league players – blue balls
•D Grade – Recreational/beginners – blue balls
•Black ball – Elite players, premier leagues and above.
•Blue ball – For all competitors below premier leagues.
The blue ball remains the recommended ball for general use for the majority of the racketball playing population.
Whilst this is the ESR recommendation, the localised decisions rest with the County Associations in terms of how their County Leagues operate.
The balls that are currently approved by ESR at both the Blue and Black specification are Dunlop, Price and Tecnifibre.
These products will guarantee a consistency of bounce that players and coaches can rely on and therefore hopefully give clarity to the overall ball usage discussion moving forward.