The history of racquetball started with a rubber ball. That was in 1940, and at that time Joseph G. Sobek, who excelled at many sports like tennis, handball, and squash, was working at a rubber factory.
One day he designed a hollow rubber ball and invented a new game for it.
Racquetball has evolved over the years, but the racquetball ball material and size remained unchanged. The bounce and speed of rubber were just right for the fast-paced sport and its many walls.
Why Do Racquetballs Come in So Many Colors?
The difference between one racquetball and the others is mainly its weight, which reflects on the bounce and speed. Newbies usually think that the various colors are for aesthetic reasons and visual appeal, but that’s not the case.
The colors indicate the dynamic properties of each ball. They’re selected based on skill level, personal style, and degree of comfort. The colors also serve as a contrast against the artificial lighting typical of indoor courts. Or the harsher sunlight on a summer day.
Here’s a closer look at the whole palette:
This type is made for slow rallies, where strategy is the name of the game. Their bounce and speed are limited by their weight.
They’re well suited for beginners who need a little more response time or older people who like to move but not to the point of over-exhaustion. Or if you’re practicing a certain striking style, so a slower ball would let you concentrate on your swing more.
Black balls are also pretty durable. So it’d be a while before their logo fades, signaling the need to buy another ball.
This is the most common color, and the one people associate with racquetball the most.
It’s consistent, the bounce and trajectory are predictable, and the game you play will most probably be a medium-paced and packed with skillful moves.
They’re also pretty good with the power shots, and this balance between speed and stability will make for a very exciting match.
This is the big-league choice ball that gives its best performances in an indoor court. It’s mostly seen around professionals and tournaments, but you can certainly give it a spin. It’s lovely to test-drive the Ferarri.
Being designed for competitive sport makes it essentially a speedball, it creates a lively vibe by the energetic trajectories it takes, and powerful bounce off every surface.
It’s not known for being highly durable though, and the fast pace of matches wears it off quickly. That’s not an issue, as it’s customary in tournaments to play every match with a brand new ball.
These are great options for outdoor racquetball, their visibility, speed, bounce, and durability are perfectly suited for those games.
They have the same stability and smooth movement as the blue balls, but they’re swifter and allow faster give and take. A rally played with a green ball is usually very brief, and the whole match is concluded with the more agile player winning.
These are the odd-balls of the racquetball scene because of their color, and many new players think twice before opting for taking a pink ball to a match. Its association with barbie and its milieu makes taking it seriously a bit hard.
Professional players know better than that, and use them for their superior performance indoors and outdoors.
They were picked as the official balls for the ladies professional racquetball tours, and they’re currently favored by many seasoned players who appreciate their extra visibility and overall balanced performance.
Their bright color makes them highly visible under any lighting condition, and against any backdrop. That’s why they’re perfect for outdoor games.
They’re the fastest outdoor balls, so it’s normal to see them with the seasoned players, who prefer a high action game out in the fresh air.
They are by far the most visible type of all, they’re well suited for indoor and outdoor courts, and it doesn’t matter which background happens to be there, they’ll just stand out with their vivid colors.
On a Final Note
Racquetballs come in packs of 2 or 3 ball cans, or in a jar containing 12 different balls. The latter provides the most economical, but the balls are usually packaged in sealed containers under pressure. This is to maintain their form and hardness.
Once the jar is opened, this pressure is released, and the balls start losing some of their punch right away. This isn’t a huge deal for occasional players or beginners though, so opting for smart shopping is still a wise choice.
Durability is essential for beginners as they wouldn’t want to get a new ball every other match. It’s usual to look at the logo of the ball, so as long as it hasn’t faded then the ball is still good.
Players who go into tournaments should practice with USA Racquetball (USAR) approved balls, to keep up to maintain familiarity and good usage.
Brand name balls usually offer the best features and highest quality, they’re often the ones holding the seal of approval of the USAR, so you might want to pick of these, the game will most probably be well worth it.