What is going to happen with green balls?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by high and deep, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    What is the USTA's position on the use of green balls in tournaments and is anything going to be changing in the next year.

    Here in Tennessee they are being used in the 12's novice (level 5's) in some events but not in all level 5's. They are not used in any level 4's or above.

    I had heard USTA was going to mandate 12's going to green ball...

    Any news or resources would be appreciated
     
    #1
  2. Tennisstringz

    Tennisstringz New User

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    I think this green ball is the best thing to ever happen to the 10 yr old diviions. Its been 6-8 years since my kids have been in 10 and under. I saw one of the sectional tournaments recently and was shocked that the kids were hitting flatter top spin shots and actually constructing points. Back when they used normal balls there was moon balling with really crappy strokes. The kids who won were mostly heavy big kids who could hit the live ball too fast for any little kid to cover. The other kids were the dinkers and moonballers who just tried to hit high and bounce the ball out of strike zones. The tennis was horrible and a waste of time back with the live ball. Kids back then were rewarded for hitting frusteating type of shots instead of building technique and strategy. I can see the improvement in technique already. Thank you USTA for making the move to low compression for the little ones.
     
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  3. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    In Georgia the green ball is used in level 4 and 5 tournaments in the 12s. I would like to see it used in only level 5 tournaments for the 12s and then in southern level 3 and above in the 10s.
     
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  4. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    I'm not too far from Georgia so if we need some more competition in the green ball department and it is good to know we can head there.

    My kids played a green ball match and it went very well. There were very few balls that were unplayable because they were way too high bouncing.

    I can see us playing lots of events in the next year and then transitioning over to yellow balls 1 year before they have to play there on a permanent basis.
     
    #4
  5. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    Don't get me wrong I think green ball is great. I just would rather see yellow ball in the level 4 tournaments. A lot of the level 3 ournaments are level 3 southern tournaments so you hate to see that as the first experience with yellow ball.
     
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  6. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I like using green balls for training my young son, but at 12 years old, there are quite a few kids who are 6' tall or close to that these days. Seems that there should be tournaments of both types at many levels.
     
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  7. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    They will slowly fade away
     
    #7
  8. KevinB9986

    KevinB9986 New User

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    I have mixed feelings about green dots. I'm teaching my kid topsin serve and the greendot takes away from the bounce. Also, part of tennis is to be able to play against the people that have perfected the junk it up game with their bad strokes. A lot of the points with green dots end in accidental drop shots. On the other hand it enables smaller kids to be able to hit with the bigger kids making the points longer. So everyone gets to work on making their legs stronger.
     
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  9. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    They serve their purpose for young kids starting off in tennis. I think at 9 or 10 they should be using real balls.If you are trying to develop a player then it does more harm than good for 10,11,and 12 year olds to play green dot. It should have been used for under 10 division for level 4 and 5 tournaments. At 12 NO way should they be playing green dot unless they just play for fun. It teaches lazy footwork.
     
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  10. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Not true...

    ...whoever said 12s going green ball is blowing smoke.
     
    #10
  11. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    In the Southern section well at least Georgia i know is green balls for 12s in level 4 and 5 tournaments already.Its ridiculous.
     
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  12. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    I guess what I am gettting at with the green balls is...


    who came up with the idea in the first place?

    and was there ever a plan to create tournaments using them as a standard across the country or was it to be determined by each state as to what is done...
     
    #12
  13. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Its mandated by the national level that they are to be used for all 10 and under sanctioned tournaments. However, some sections are, on their own initiative but with maybe some encouragement from national, adopting them for use in the 12U age group in novice/challenger/satellite tournaments(terminology varies by section). There is no 'mandate' for there use from national at the 12U level. This is a section level decision.
     
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  14. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    Is a "green ball" and a Green Dot Ball" the same? I too have seen pretty ridgid use of Green dot in 12u in georgia Level 4 and 5. I've also seen the two tone used in both. Two tone appeared even less compression than a green dot.
     
    #14
  15. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Green Dot Balls

    Some clubs in MA use
    Penn Control Plus Green Dot Tennis Balls 12 Can Case
    The Head Control Plus Green Dot Balls are 25% reduced speed compared to regular duty tennis balls. This ball is designed for full court play. The balls feature a high visibility felt and offer greater control for longer rallies.
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Pen...s_Balls_12_Can_Case/descpageHEAD-PCPGD12.html
    Do they qualify for USTA tournaments you mentioned above?
    PS
    I apologize for duplicating post #14
    I put my post before reading #14
    I can remove my post if necessary
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
    #15
  16. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    IMO, just like orange balls, green balls can serve a purpose at a specific stage of teaching/training, but mandating ANY ball based on age is counterproductive.
     
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  17. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Green Dot Balls

    Green Dot Balls do create significant problems in the case
    when a player is TAUGHT with regular balls
    and has to play a tournament with Green Dots balls
     
    #17
  18. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I agree. They should be part of a progression. If a kid has learned another way or has progressed past them, no point in going back.

    Also, I think that if tennis is a kids main sport or if they play/train regularly, they should progress through non-standard balls fairly quickly. That is, if they utilize them at all.

    I think it's crazy to start a kid at 6 and mandate that that kid has to play green at 10 or 12. If you start at 9, OK, I can see it, but there is no one-size fits all. Choices are good. Mandates are bad.
     
    #18
  19. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    There is no mandate that they play green at 10 or 12. They can play regular ball open if they are advanced past the green ball. What 10u regular ball players don't deserve is there own regular ball division. Play up.
     
    #19
  20. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    I do NOT understand

    MarTennis,
    if a player/student comes to a 12 UNDER tournament and someone/tournament director brings GREEN
    DOTS balls there is NOTHING a player can do.
    The player has to play the given ball.
    According to what I was told a player should expect/be ready for this scenario
    even if he spent last five months playing REGULAR USPTA approved balls.
    I do NOT mean to be disrespectful
    I just plainly do NOT understand your post or I do NOT understand the phrase
    "play green".
    Maybe you meant green foam balls-please clarify.
    It is possible that my problem is "local" and that I make big deal out of nothing but ...
    regards,
    Julian
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
    #20
  21. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    There is not to my knowledge any section that is using "green balls" aka "green dot" balls at the 12U Open level. It used at all 10U levels, and some sections, not all, are using it on 12U satellite/challenger/novice entry-level tournaments. Again, the language varies by section and this is a section by section decision. But all 12U Open Level tournaments in all sections still use standard yellow ball.
     
    #21
  22. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Just "play up" is all of common of an answer but not always a good one. There are mandates for USTA competition and many kids get caught in the middle. My son (and many of his tennis peers) was perfectly capable of playing good tennis with regulation at 9, but was not an "elite" player. All USTA competition in my section was orange ball on a 60' court for 10U. This was going backwards for him. Yes, he could have played 12U, but there is a big difference in 9 and 12 physically, speed, agility, an maturity. Now at 10 we're in a different section and he could not even qualify for the lowest tier 12U until 10 1/2 and guess what, those lower level are all green ball. So at 10, he would have to play the top level 12U tourneys to get regulation.

    So, play up works if your kid is an elite player or if they can handle getting creamed every match. Personally, I don't want to pay high tourney fees for one match, either.
     
    #22
  23. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    There is a lot of truth to this.

    To my knowledge green ball/green dot ball is not being used in the 10 and under division at all. My 10 year old played in the southern championships in 2009-2011 and it was always orange ball.
     
    #23
  24. TenAll

    TenAll New User

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    FYI

    Southwest Section Mandates all 10 under with Orange ball (since 2011) and all 12 under with Green ball, even for L3 closed since beginning of this year. Nike Jr Masters did not sponsor this year due to green dot mandate.

    :(:confused::shock:
     
    #24
  25. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    I thought orange ball was mandated for all sections in the 10 and under division.
     
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  26. GATennisMom

    GATennisMom New User

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    Texas - have both orange ball and green ball in the 10s. I believe you have to have so many points or tournaments won to move from orange to green. They must move to green ball the last 6 months they are eligible in the 10s. In both Southern and Northern Carolina sections they have both orange and green 10s divisions. The ******* section also has both orange and green ball based on the level of the tournament. Then there are sections that have 10s Orange only and the green is played in the lower level or novice type tournaments in the 12s like in the Southwest and Southern Sections.
     
    #26
  27. LMK5

    LMK5 New User

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    The way out of this mess is to base the colored balls on the skill of the player, not the age of the player. I know lots of kids age 6-10 who can beat lots of kids 12-14 years old, yet the younger ones are forced to play with dead balls and the older ones would play with regulation.

    Reality: 10 year old advanced players are playing with the green ball, while 12 year old novices are playing regulation. This is what mandates creates. Makes sense?
     
    #27
  28. Bedrock

    Bedrock Semi-Pro

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    Add divs 6 and 8 to USTA and keep all green/orange balls there.
     
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  29. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Here's an interesting one in our section - my son, who is 10 1/2, is playing in an L6 12U USTA event this weekend with GREEN. One of his peers, who is also 10, but not yet 10 1/2 is not allowed to play due to age (cut off is 10 1/2). Both players are intermediate to advanced level. So, his friend is forced to play ORANGE or sit out. That's what mandates do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
    #29
  30. Bedrock

    Bedrock Semi-Pro

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    Average tennis-kid passes the point of green-balls on the age of 8-9 years old.
    Therefore green ball works only for those who are playing a division up (in 10U age group).

    However there is virtually no tournaments for 8U (probably because of a lack of players in this age).
    I still do not understand why we have to sacrifice the whole division for such insignificant amount of players.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
    #30
  31. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    NO GOOD 10 YEAR OLD SHOULD BE PLAYING GREEN DOTS!!! A good 9 or ten year old should be playing regulation only. Green dots hurt these kids alot more than they help.Under 8 should be multi colored balls but 9 and 10 year olds need to be regulation.Unless they are just getting started and if thats the case they should be green dot.In Ga ALL the good 9 and 10 year olds play up in the 12s.Watching a ten and under tournament is SAD!!! I just wanna tell the parents do you realize you are hurting your child more than helping them unless the kid is just getting started.
     
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  32. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
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  33. LMK5

    LMK5 New User

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    Hard to believe 12U must play green. That's not the case here in Socal. What we do have is 14 year old novices playing regulation while ranked 10 year olds play green on the adjacent court.

    What I have noticed is that the 8U division has gone away here. There's no place for these kids to play anymore. Why? To play 8U, the tournament directors must mark off courts to a 36' format. They don't want to do this because it limits their flexibility in scheduling the other age divisions. Before the 36' court requirement, there was no extra work or sacrifice to include 8U in their events. The mandate has forced them into a corner. Just another instance where a policy--not driven by market demand--has hurt the very people that mandate was intended to benefit.
     
    #33
  34. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Not all. Only the lowest 2 levels, I think.
     
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  35. GATennisMom

    GATennisMom New User

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    Here is a video that USTA released on 10 and Under Green Ball - http://youtu.be/sTK-gRwaJ5o

    What i don't understand is how sections can vary so much on what ball is used for what age group.
     
    #35
  36. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    The video shows exactly why i dont like green ball. All they are doing is playing defensive trying not to miss.(DOWN THE MIDDLE) They are just hitting balls without a purpose. At around 20 sec into the video the kid gets a short ball to attack and gets to it and just rolls it back into play When they talk about constucting points i dont see it in the video. The green dots are hard to put away and they let these kids get a false sense about footwork. If thats what they consider point constuction then basically they are teaching kids to just grind and play defense.
     
    #36
  37. LMK5

    LMK5 New User

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    What I've noticed about these green ball matches is there's a lack of topspin on the shots. Because of the low compression and light weight of the ball, the kids can whack it and it will stay in the court, whereas a regulation ball would go long with the same stroke. The importance of topspin is greatly reduced with these low compression balls, so what happens when the kid must play regulation? How will they all of a sudden adjust their mechanics to put the necessary amount of spin on the ball to keep it in play? What a rude awakening that will be.
     
    #37
  38. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    It really was a Terrible idea to mandate the 10s.It would have been awesome this year watching all the top 10 year olds compete against each other here in Georgia
     
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  39. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    What I see in the video is marketing. Many parents equate keeping a ball in play for long rallies with success. Just go to a few orange tournaments and listen to the sideline chatter. The players in the videos have the game to do a lot better, but they need to be coached to construct points, attack short balls, hit with topspin, use angles to open the court, etc.

    I don't use a lot of green with my 10YO, but when I do, or when he plays a green match, he has an offensive mindset and knows he has to construct a point to be able to hit a winner off me in practice or another kid in a match.

    Again, I think they can be a tool when used with a purpose and direction. But in the marketing, long rally = success = more $ coming in.
     
    #39
  40. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    Get him away from green dot A.S.A.P!!!!!!!! Its gonna hurt his game. Now with my daughter we use new balls everyday.
     
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  41. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I disagree. I use them for specific things and with direction and purpose and they have played a useful role. Just to say "they will hurt his game" as a blanket statement is a bit extreme.
     
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  42. KevinB9986

    KevinB9986 New User

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    Just curious, when do you use the green balls and why?
     
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  43. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Please clarify...

    What USTA section is 12 and under not novice or intermediate but Open and only using Green dot balls? When I refer to green or green dot I am referring to ball compression 75% of regular compression balls.
     
    #43
  44. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I don't see where anyone said Open level 12 were using them - only the lower level 12s in some sections.
     
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  45. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    One way I use them is to work on spin production. Because they are lighter and slightly slower, my son can swing out with them on dippers, angles, and DTL shots with the kind of spin that makes the balls go oval and dive. He can't yet generate the racquet head speed needed to do this with regulation, so he backs off and "plays it safe". With green, he can manipulate the ball to construct points and pull of shots that he can't with regulation just yet but will need in a few years.

    That said, I use them sparingly now (used them more when he was 8-9). As he grows and gets bigger, stronger, and more skilled, he'll soon be able to do these shots with regulation - all along using good footwork and proper technique.

    That's one personal example. I do agree that just saying "a kid at this age should use X" doesn't always apply. You have to look at what you're trying to accomplish and figure out what works. I see colored balls as another tool and nothing more. It's not a miracle cure as the USTA likes to promote and it's not going to ruin a kid's game as some suggest.
     
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  46. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    #46
  47. KevinB9986

    KevinB9986 New User

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    Thanks for this. Sounds like my kid shouldn't be using green dots that much. He actually starts slowing down his racket head speed when he is hitting with his friends at the club when they use the green dots. He hits the ball harder when we hit with regular balls.
     
    #47
  48. tennisbuck

    tennisbuck Professional

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    All I can say is that im glad im 14 and have no worry of having the 16s start being played with green dot balls. Yes some of the kids back in 10s hit weird shot and moon balls, but the serious players had good coaches that taught them not to care about results and just work on developing there games. Now younger kids are having to learn the game twice. A twelve year old is playing with a different ball and then switching to a regalar ball when they are 13. When Nadal was 13 he was two years from going pro and wasn't worrying about switching to a new ball.
     
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  49. diamondie1

    diamondie1 New User

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    I agree.

    From what I understand from other posters , be grateful that in the U.S you are allowed to play up.
    Here in the U.K. you will only play the coloured ball of your age group.
    8 &under = red
    9 & under = orange
    10 & under = green

    There is absolutley no flexiblity for parents to decide.
    It doesnt matter how tall, how good or what, you as a parent/coach are hoping/ trying to achieve.

    You will play in your age group until you hit 12 & under then you can play whatever: 18's, adults or stick to your age group.

    Lunacy.
     
    #49
  50. widmerpool

    widmerpool Rookie

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    I agree with this:
    "While it was anticipated that rallies with the green ball would be longer they were actually almost the same, 5.25 shots per rally vs 5.35 at yellow. The reason for the slightly longer rallies at yellow was the number of long “moon” ball rallies which increased the average."

    I know I'm alone on this board in not having a genetic freak for a child. For my 8y/o, orange and green balls are a godsend.

    I do wish the USTA would revisit red balls as a 23" racquet with red balls is ridiculous for a normal sized 8 y/o. It's almost racquetball. Maybe red balls could be 7U.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
    #50

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