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Your parents or grandparents might remember the 1960 hit song Itsy-Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini by Brian Hyland. The bikini was then thought to be a very racy fashion statement and this song served to make the bikini considerably more mainstream much to the shock of 1950’s era parents. Yellow dots got their moment in the sun (so to speak) as a result.
The color of dots, however, have a very serious purpose in squash. They differentiate how big and fast the squash ball will bounce once it is warmed up. Playing with a ball with the wrong color for your ability will, at best, result in not having any fun or, at worst, possibly cause injury.
Most squash is played in the cooler months of the year. Even new squash balls coming right out of the package need 5 to 10 minutes of being bashed around before they warm up enough to bounce well. Experts do not recommend heating balls in a microwave or other heaters as it could impact the shape or integrity of the ball itself. Warming up the ball is not just good for the ball but it's also good for the players having just stepped onto the court.
Each color on a squash ball is meant to describe the bounce of a ball once it is warmed up. If a player is simply practicing by herself, they might deliberately choose a color so as to work on their game. But in playing a match, there should be a matching of the ball to the ability of the players.
Blue Dots are for early stage beginners and junior players learning the game. This ball bounces high and makes it much easier to strike and to keep in play.
Red Dots are the next step up, yet still for near beginners. They bounce a bit less and challenge the players at this level to improve their strength and skill.
Green Dots bounce less than reds. This ball is best used by players who have moved past the beginner stage and can now be competitive in intermediate level matches.
Yellow Dot balls are definitely not for the novice player. Its bounce is much less and means that the player is able to hit a wide variety of shots in varying circumstances.
Double Yellow Dot balls are the most widely used balls and are always the standard for play in tournaments and competitive matches of all kinds. The very low bounce forces the players to be in good shape to even get to the ball and fairly advanced in their ability to drive the ball all over the court.
There is a high degree of variability in this. New balls bounce truer and because they have a bit of texture on them the spin can have a greater impact. As time goes on, particularly with big hitters, the texture will wear off and balls will start to skid. Some players use the rule of thumb that when the name of the brand is worn off, the ball is done. However, that may not be a good indication of actual wear and tear.
Pros replace the ball every two games. Many players break out a new ball with every match as it is very disruptive to the flow of a match if a used ball splits and a new ball has to be warmed up. The general view is that for most players, a life of 3-5 hours is about all that can be expected from a ball. Playing with a dead, smooth ball is no fun.
Tennisracquets.com is your one stop shop for squash racquets and all kinds of fun stuff. If you play racquet sports you will want to check out our huge selection of equipment and accessories. Be sure you have good quality shoes to get around that court. And we love to help if you call us! Why not get started on a new sport today?