How To Become A Tennis Ball Boy?: Salary, Tips and More

How To Become A Tennis Ball Boy?

You may have seen these people on the sidelines of your favorite tennis match at Wimbledon or US Open, but do you know what it takes to be a ball boy?

It’s not just about running back and forth picking up stray balls. There are some skills that will help any aspiring ballboy become successful in their jobs.

If this sounds like something you might want to try out for yourself, here is how one man became a professional ball boy and his advice for others who want to take on the challenge themselves.

Becoming a tennis ball boy can be a fun and rewarding experience. Not only do you get to watch some great tennis action, but you can also make some money while doing it.

Here are some tips on how to become a tennis ball boy and what to expect.

What Are the Steps To Becoming a Tennis Ball Boy?

Ball boys and girls must demonstrate that they are quick runners, have strong ball-handling abilities, and can stay still to be employed. Competitions get hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for ball person positions. Ball boys and girls get to watch many great athletes in action up close and personal as part of their profession. They get to pass the ball around the court and receive free tickets to games.

Ball boys and girls stand at the net or in the corners at the back of the court during a tennis match. They rapidly retrieve balls that are no longer in play. When the players require balls, the ones in the rear of the court throw them to them. Ball boys and girls occasionally need to hold towels or umbrellas, too.

What Are the Steps To Becoming a Tennis Ball Boy?

Tips for Every Ball Boys To Follow

  • You must be quick-witted, active, and quick-thinking. You will be on the court for several hours, so you will need to be physically fit. As a consequence, pay special attention to your physical condition.
  • Assume that this is the tennis court’s rule. Because of the intense rivalry, most players appear enraged, and they may take their rage out on you. If this occurs, remain calm and patient.
  • When it comes to punishment, they maintain a strict no-tolerance approach. You must stand still for hours with your hands behind your back. You are not permitted to fidget or fiddle with your hair in any way. Therefore, stand perfectly motionless and concentrate solely on the court.
  • As your primary responsibility is to gather and return tennis balls, tennis professionals may urge you to bring a bottle of water or an energy drink. You must comply with their demands. The players are not all the same. Sometimes individuals could need a towel regularly, while others may not. You must comprehend their actions and adjust your conduct accordingly.

Tennis Ball Boy Salary

A ball boy may earn anywhere from $7 and $19 per hour. The amount paid to a ball boy per match varies between $100 and $150. The salary of the ball boy also depends on the event they are working on at the moment. However, most competitions do not pay their ball boys and girls. But, some do. Tennis ball boys and girls, on the other hand, receive monetary compensation at some events. If a tournament does not pay its competitors, they are given end-of-tournament prizes those are:

Other Advantages

For some tennis events, ball boys are employed, and the job comes with many advantages, such as meeting the players and witnessing exciting tennis matches. Ball guys earn minimal wages, but they are in high demand because of the job’s thrill.

In addition, the ball boys can attend a free tennis match and mingle with tennis players. Being tennis fans, we have seen that every event is different. Most ball boys receive hourly salaries that start around seven dollars and steadily climb for returning people. However, some events do not provide any compensation. Wimbledon is one of them, and the tournament administrators believe that the ball boys and girls there should be proud to be among the selected few.

Getting Compensation

Other than money, there are a variety of methods by which a ball boy gets compensation. The ball boys, for instance, do not receive payment, although they do earn a prize at the end of the event.

It may be anything from a set of headphones to a tennis racquet. Numerous competitions also provide complimentary meals and tickets for their family and friends every day of the event.

Tennis ball guys generally receive compensation for their services. The pay varies greatly based on the event. Aside from that, most tournaments will compensate ball boys with gifts or cash.

The remuneration will be higher the second time you participate as a ball boy. Who gets paid to meet their favorite top player athlete?

It seems there is a debate regarding not just whether ball boys and girls should indeed be paid. The majority of the ball guys are ardent tennis fans, and they will almost always meet their famous admirers up close.

When you think about it, being a ball boy is a luxury, so it is no surprise that there is always a discussion regarding whether or not ball boys should be paid. Although, most events do pay.

Some Other Perks That A Ball Boy Gets

A ball boy gets to meet their favorite tennis players during events, which is a great experience in and of itself unless you are a true tennis fan.

As both a ball boy or girl, you get to experience the game as if you were on a tennis court contending against some of the world’s greatest teen players. It is far great than front-row seats at the movies!

Tacitly, the most valuable reward for just being a ball boy is the thrill of being able to watch a game for free and get up and personal with tennis players.

You do not only rush to catch the balls like a ball boy; you also engage with the players on the court. For instance, if a player needs another drink, they will call for a ball boy.

Furthermore, whenever the players wish to use their cloth to wipe away their sweat, they must engage with the ball boys once again.

Although getting cast is not the only way to pay them, we are sure it is the most popular among the ball boys and girls. Many competitions include gift pay giveaways at the end of the tournaments, including tennis racquets, balls, shirts, headphones, and other items.

When you work as a ball boy, the benefits list goes on and on. There are tournaments where you can receive free tickets for yourself and your family, and most of the time, free food is involved. As we keep emphasizing, each event has its own set of advantages.

Qualifications You Will Need for This Job

Before being selected for the role, ball boys and girls must pass a variety of health exams. They can do things like retrieve balls at the net and throw the ball across the court. Ball boys must be fast to remove the balls off the court so that the game may continue. This necessitates physical fitness as well as an understanding of tennis regulations. Ball boys and girls must meet extra standards in some tennis events.

Is there a difference in payment for ball boys or girls?

Some people might think that ball-buying is an entry-level job, but it’s actually pretty lucrative. The starting salary for US Open participants can range from $7.75 to 11 dollars per hour–and they also receive daily food allowances.

Ball boys and girls at the All England Club are paid about 100€ per week, but they don’t receive any compensation for their work other than a free meal or two. The directors of this prestigious tennis tournament believe that because these employees do get the privilege of being selected as ball boys.

The French Open features an interesting difference in payment for those working on the court. While they do not get compensated monetarily, there is always an opportunity for these young men or women who are part of such high-profile events as Rafa Nadal’s camera smile-time! For example:

The Aussie Open pays its participants simply by giving them food allowances daily (no money), free tickets under their membership card which also comes with other benefits like uniforms & gifts after every major tournament…

Ball Boy Training & Qualifications 

Most tennis events require ball boys and girls to be in good physical shape, with the ability to run long distances back and forth without getting tired. They must also follow strict rules of etiquette when engaging with players. Finally, ball boys and girls must have an excellent sense of timing when retrieving balls off the court so that they do not interfere with gameplay.

Training is also a big factor that should not be taken lightly as well as the physical strength and stamina needed to run around during a tennis event for hours on end. In fact, it can last all day from 9AM-7PM or later throughout the night depending on the schedule of said tournament.

Tennis Ball Boy/Girl Apparels 

No two events are the same in terms of dress code. Tennis ball boys and girls must follow a strict set of guidelines before being allowed to stand on court. The basic idea is simply to be outfitted in clothes that will not distract players or spectators from enjoying their time at the event. Some tournaments make use of various uniforms, while others stick with a simple design for their employees.

Typically, tennis ball boys and girls wear some kind of dress shirt with matching pants or shorts, depending on the weather where they live. Each tournament has its sponsor, be it Ralph Lauren or Adidas.

Rules and Etiquette for a Ball Boy in Tennis 

It is the job of ball boys and girls to keep tennis balls in play. This means that they must retrieve balls at every opportunity, even if it means interfering with game play, which is why it is essential that these young men and women are fast enough to do their jobs well.

Ball boys and girls follow strict rules during match play, and they must make an effort to avoid distracting the players in any way. It is their duty to never talk or make noise while a play is going on, and they also shouldn’t give opinions about certain shots.

There are some tennis events that do not require ball boys and girls, but they’re mostly at smaller tournaments held outside of major cities. In fact, players at these local events end up retrieving balls themselves or playing in front of very few fans.

What a tennis ball boy need to do?

  • Ball boys and girls need to keep tennis balls in play. They do this by running between the court lines, handing their players replacement balls at every opportunity.
  • They must also retrieve any stray or loose balls that end up in the stands, usually using a specialized ball retrieval device (to prevent them from accidentally stepping on fans’ toes).
  • They remove any debris off the court, including paper cups and tennis clothing tags.
  • When requested by a line judge, they mark balls’ position on or inside the lines before play resumes.
  • They must never talk or make noise while play is in session.
  • When players receive medical timeouts, ball boys and girls run on court to retrieve their chairs, then return them to the correct position before game play resumes.
  • They’re not allowed to give their opinion about anything to do with the match; this includes giving advice or cheering for one player.
  • They never speak directly to players, and they must stay out of the players’ sightlines at all times during a match.
  • They need to follow each tournament’s dress code (which is often supplied by the organizer).
  • They must be fast and agile in order to keep up with play during a long event that lasts for hours on end.

Will ball boys continue to participate in tennis matches?

The days of ball boys and girls are long gone in professional tennis. There are still young athletes who participate at smaller tournaments, though, especially in countries where tennis is not the main sport.

The job of a tennis ball boy is to retrieve balls and refill water bottles. They can also collect towels from the players’ chairs when they fall off during play, and the ball boys return the towels to their corresponding player’s chair after it has been placed back in position. However, because this manual labour interferes with play at times, I think it will stick around for the following years, as it seems to be.

What are some difficulties when being a ball boy?

  • Verbal abuse from spectators unhappy when their view of play is blocked by an obtrusive ball boy.
  • Players who aren’t happy with their speed might leave them stranded in awkward or dangerous positions.
  • The summer heat can get rather sweltering at times, especially on the courts of major tournaments.
  • It isn’t unheard of for players to hit balls into the stands several times during a single game, meaning that ball boys must be ready to run at all times.
  • A large area needs to be monitored because tennis balls can bounce in weird directions when they’re hit, sometimes off part of the court or even out of bounds.

Are ball boys and girls paid?

Some tournaments offer material compensation for participation, but most choose to reward their young athletes with trophies, medals, or even a handshake from the winning player.

How can you become a ball boy?

You should approach your local tournament and fill the form for the tryouts.  Some tournaments also allow ball boys and girls to apply online. When you’re not busy, observe how the current ball boys and girls work and pay attention to their actions – it will help you understand what is needed of you in your tryouts.

You can also watch tennis games on television or online so that you know what professional players do during a match. Familiarizing yourself with the rules of tennis will also put you at an advantage in your tryouts.

It’s best not to be shy when it comes to expressing your interest for this position, but don’t be too pushy either! Once you’ve completed your application form, take care of the rest so that you can present yourself as a strong candidate during the tryouts.

How long do you usually work as a ball boy?

This can vary by tournament and depends on how quickly they finish their matches. Most tournaments last for three days, but some go on longer than that, so most ball boys and girls work at least one match per day. It’s possible to get a one-day assignment, but that is rather uncommon.

What would you like people to know about being a ball boy?

Being a ball boy can be time-consuming and exhausting, but it’s a great experience and I’m glad I did it when I was younger. It taught me how hard the players work to win their matches and also made me more aware of how badly they want to win. It helped me become a stronger, more focused person.

It’s a great opportunity for a young athlete who wants to learn more about the sport of tennis. It instills discipline and teaches new skills, too.

Should you become one?

That depends on your age, personality, and whether or not you’d enjoy doing it. If you think that you might like to work in the tennis profession later on in life, then I recommend ball boying because it gives you relevant experience for future endeavours.

I would personally recommend this opportunity just for the sake of participation, but if you want to remain in the tennis field, I would recommend taking part in a few tournaments and trying out for one of their ball boy or girl positions.

You can only get better by doing what you love and learning from mistakes along the way. For example, sometimes players miss their towels after getting angry at themselves during a game (yes it happens). If you’re unlucky, you might not get a towel to give them until one or two games later.

How old should you be to be a ball boy or girl?

The age ranges between 12 to 18, with the average age of a ball boy in Wimbledon for example being around 15.  It’s possible to be a ball boy or girl at a younger age, but some tournaments have limits of around 10 years old.

What is the most important information you’d like to share about being a ball boy?

Be careful with your words and actions – there are usually hundreds of young athletes trying out for these positions and they’re pretty competitive, so you want to make sure that you do everything correctly.

It is a really fun experience that I would never let pass by for my children also.

The experience of being a ball boy

You will never forget it. The knowledge and relationships I gained from being a ball boy have made me an even stronger person both on and off the court. 

You are usually divided throughout the stages of the tournament, in the early stages you can accompany unknown 100-200 ranked players, but sometimes you get lucky and get fixed to top-class matches of the Top 50.  

At the latter stages, you have a high chance of running for top class matches, but sometimes there are still some players which you have never seen before 😀

Final Thoughts

It’s a very fun job, I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants an experience they will never forget. Being a ball boy has taught me so much about teamwork and life in general, but it wouldn’t be that profitable, but who cares right?

If you’re interested in becoming a ball boy or girl, we’ve provided information on how much they get paid and the necessary qualifications to be considered. We also have tips for those who want to become one of these tennis people.

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