Last updated on September 4th, 2023 at 07:23 pm
At first glance, tennis and cricket balls seem very similar, and you may wonder why they’re not used interchangeably. However, tennis and cricket balls are actually quite different, and those differences include how big and how heavy each ball is.
How big is a tennis ball?
A standard-sized tennis ball must be at least 2.575 inches or 6.54 centimeters in diameter, but it can be no more than 2.7 inches or 6.86 centimeters in diameter. This means that a tennis ball must have a circumference of between 8.1 and 8.5 inches, or 20.546 and 21.55 centimeters.
Each tennis ball should weigh between 1.98 and 2.1 ounces or between 56 and 59.4 grams. Tennis balls vary slightly in size thanks to different manufacturing processes, different pressurization processes and levels, and how old the ball is.
What is a tennis ball made of?
Tennis balls are mostly made of compressed rubber. The rubber surrounds a pocket of air, and it’s this air pocket, plus the dense rubber material, that gives a tennis ball its bounce.
The inner rubber part of the tennis ball is covered with a thin layer of felt. This felt is dyed, and it’s what gives a regulation tennis ball it’s iconic white or fluorescent yellow coloring.
Tennis balls used in professional matches must be one of these two colors, but tennis balls used outside of regulation play can be dyed any color.
The felt on a tennis ball is actually incredibly important, and it isn’t added only for aesthetic reasons.
The felt can reduce drag, allowing the tennis ball to more easily cut through the air.
How big is a cricket ball?
Much like tennis balls, cricket balls can vary a bit in size and weight. Cricket balls must be at least 8.81 inches or 22.4 centimeters in circumference, but they can’t be more than 9 inches or 22.9 centimeters.
This means they have a diameter of between 2.8 and 2.86 inches or 7.13 and 7.28 centimeters, which is just slightly larger than a tennis ball.
Cricket balls should weigh 5.75 ounces or 163 grams. Although a cricket ball is similar in size to a tennis ball, it weighs almost three times as much. This is largely due to the materials used in the cricket ball’s construction.
What is a cricket ball made of?
Instead of a middle that’s a pocket of air, a cricket ball’s core is made of cork. String is wound very tightly around the cork core, and then the entire thing is covered in leather.
The leather case is sewn on, giving the middle of the cricket ball its distinctive raised appearance.
The raised stitching not only holds the ball together but also helps players get a firm grip on the ball.
|2.575″ – 2.7″
|8.1″ – 8.5″
|1.98 – 2.1 oz
|2.8 – 2.86″
|8.81 – 9″
The leather on the cricket ball can be dyed a variety of colors, but red, pink, white, and green are the most common options.
Red is the most traditional color, but it can be difficult to see a red ball under bright lights, so white or pink balls have become more popular in modern play.
Can you use a tennis ball to play cricket?
Because they’re such a similar size, it may seem that tennis and cricket balls can be used interchangeably.
These balls are incredibly different in weight and structure, though, and neither perform well when they’re used for the opposite sport.
Cricket balls are much too heavy to use with a tennis racket, and they could easily destroy the strings on the racket. In addition, although they have some bounce, cricket balls simply aren’t bouncy enough to perform like a tennis ball.
Tennis balls, on the other hand, are too light to be bowled properly. Bowling is something like pitching in baseball, and in order to properly bowl the ball to the batsman, the ball requires some heft to it.
The lack of seams on a tennis ball can also make them much more difficult to bowl. Tennis balls are also much slower in the air, despite their aerodynamic felt, and they can’t be propelled nearly as far.
The high amount of bounce a tennis ball has also makes it the wrong choice for cricket games. A bouncy ball can be very difficult to field.
Can a tennis ball lose its bounce?
Tennis balls are known for the way they bounce, but these balls do lose their bounce over time.
The air pocket inside the tennis ball is pressurized, and when the ball is placed in its can, the can is also pressurized before it’s sealed. As soon as the seal is broken, the air pocket in the ball gradually begins to lose pressure, which can lead to a loss of bounce.
Old tennis balls have much less bounce. In order to ensure that tennis balls have retained their proper pressurization and bounce, they’re tested before they’re used in a game.