Can anyone see the yellow ball on red clay on TV?

nb1234

New User
HD and tv settings should fix the problem otherwise you should check your eyes.
Definitely not the case. I've been through the contrast, brightness, black level and color settings. I've already said it can be seen fine on most all other surfaces and pretty well on cloudy days. My eyes are fine, my son's young eyes actually test considerably better than 20/20 and he says the same thing.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
HD and tv settings should fix the problem otherwise you should check your eyes.
Nah. Late in the day when the sun is coming at an angle the ball doesn't get enough light on it to make a good contrast on TV. When the sun is overhead it's not too bad but from about 4pm onwards it gets more difficult.
 
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Cenarius

Guest
Definitely not the case. I've been through the contrast, brightness, black level and color settings. I've already said it can be seen fine on most all other surfaces and pretty well on cloudy days. My eyes are fine, my son's young eyes actually test considerably better than 20/20 and he says the same thing.
Don't know what to tell you.My device is nothing special(an old box tv).
 
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Cenarius

Guest
Nah. Late in the day when the sun is coming at an angle the ball doesn't get enough light on it to make a good contrast on TV. When the sun is overhead it's not too bad but from about 4pm onwards it gets more difficult.
That make sense.But I just don't notice it.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Ouch, “blue balls”! :confused:

HD and tv settings should fix the problem otherwise you should check your eyes.
Not sure that color-correcting the eyes (or brain) is a simple matter or even possible for any/all individuals. I believe that women can see see color variations that men cannot. Or so I’ve heard. Have also heard that some races, like the Japanese, can see color variations that other races cannot.

Are you offering to buy HD TVs and service to all who can’t afford it.

Time to bring back blue clay (w/o the slippery factor, of course).
 
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LOBALOT

Semi-Pro
I have a fancy HD TV I spent a fortune on and I also struggle at times to track the ball.

A bit ago I was watching Lacrosse on TV and the way each player moves their stick (crosse) as they run with and/or without the ball it is impossible to tell who has it at any point in time unless one sees a pass and then tracks the ball from player to player... A shell game.

Anyway, I was wondering if Lacrosse's popularity would increase if TV broadcasts used the old school "Glow Puck" that Hockey abandoned many years ago.

Struggling to track the tennis ball watching Monte Carlo on TV the other night made me wonder.... I hate the idea but it sure would help track the ball.
 

nb1234

New User
Bring back the blue clay. There's no logical reason why it cannot play as well as red clay. ATP gave up too quickly based on 1st year at Madrid. Blue clay rules!
Personally, I agree, but I think the organizers of all of the big red clay tournaments are all too tradition-bound to consider switching. At least in the case of RG, their identity IS the red clay, as much as Wimbledon is to green grass. I'd be perfectly fine if they switched to dark gray or blue clay, but I don't see their organizers agreeing with us. Or even most of the fans.

As for anyone who says seeing the ball against red clay on TV is never a problem, please just look at the picture I posted above. That faithfully captures the problem, and my TV settings are adjusted to optimize the visibility of the ball. The ball is there, but no one can argue that it's effectively well camouflaged against the court. Maybe other countries get better camera angles which would certainly help, but from this thread, it appears there's more who have this problem than not.
 

nb1234

New User
... if TV broadcasts used the old school "Glow Puck" that Hockey abandoned many years ago.

Struggling to track the tennis ball watching Monte Carlo on TV the other night made me wonder.... I hate the idea but it sure would help track the ball.
Yes! That's exactly what I proposed a earlier in this thread! But not the gimmicky, garish version they used for hockey. Just a very subtle image enhancement to improve the visual "pop" of the ball against the background of the court. It'd still look just like a plain yellow tennis ball, but enhanced just enough to let our eyes track more easily. No comet tails, for sure. If done right, a casual observer wouldn't notice any artificial enhancement at all.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Cenarius
I didn't see the ball once during the Coric-Djokovic today (Monte Carlo 2018).
Have you had as much trouble watching other clay tournaments or broadcasts? It could be a broadcast problem. Sometimes some or all colors are saturated on broadcasts. I’m wondering if you are watching MC from the same source (same cameras, same channel, same broadcast) that @Cenarius is.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes! That's exactly what I proposed a earlier in this thread! But not the gimmicky, garish version they used for hockey. Just a very subtle image enhancement to improve the visual "pop" of the ball against the background of the court. It'd still look just like a plain yellow tennis ball, but enhanced just enough to let our eyes track more easily. No comet tails, for sure. If done right, a casual observer wouldn't notice any artificial enhancement at all.
As it is, only yellow and white are acceptable ball colors for pro tennis. But they could go with a bright green version of yellow for red clay and a more orange version of yellow for green courts (esp grass and green clay).

Some years back, standard (type 2) optic orange balls were available. The contrast was great for green hard courts. But, alas, not legal for competition. An orange-yellow ball might have been better than the regular green-yellow balls that are most common. As long as balls are some version of yellow (or white), they should be ok under current ITF rules.

BTW, why was this discussion left in the General Pro Player forum?
 

LOBALOT

Semi-Pro
Yes! That's exactly what I proposed a earlier in this thread! But not the gimmicky, garish version they used for hockey. Just a very subtle image enhancement to improve the visual "pop" of the ball against the background of the court. It'd still look just like a plain yellow tennis ball, but enhanced just enough to let our eyes track more easily. No comet tails, for sure. If done right, a casual observer wouldn't notice any artificial enhancement at all.
That is a good idea. I don't see why they couldn't do that with very limited technology/expense.

Your comments made me laugh... I recall the blue vapor trail in hockey..... Now that would be something to see in tennis... a big swoosh behind the ball as they hit it.
 

LOBALOT

Semi-Pro
As it is, only yellow and white are acceptable ball colors for pro tennis. But they could go with a bright green version of yellow for red clay and a more orange version of yellow for green courts (esp grass and green clay).

Some years back, standard (type 2) optic orange balls were available. The contrast was great for green hard courts. But, alas, not legal for competition. An orange-yellow ball might have been better than the regular green-yellow balls that are most common. As long as balls are some version of yellow (or white), they should be ok under current ITF rules.

BTW, why was this discussion left in the General Pro Players forum?
What he is saying is leave the ball and the clay alone and do it via technology to enhance the broadcast signal for TV. I think you had to be an American or Canadian who grew up in the mid/late 80s or early 90s (It all blends together) to recall how they did it in hockey.
 

nb1234

New User
As it is, only yellow and white are acceptable ball colors for pro tennis. But they could go with a bright green version of yellow for red clay and a more orange version of yellow for green courts (esp grass and green clay).

BTW, why was this discussion left in the General Pro Player forum?
I'd like them to try *something* - anything at all. This is a real problem that only Tiriac (despite all his faults) has attempted to seriously address.

As for why it's in this forum, while I'm neither the OP or a moderator, I'm guessing it's here because it only affects watching pro match play on TV.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
What he is saying is leave the ball and the clay alone and do it via technology to enhance the broadcast signal for TV. I think you had to be an American or Canadian who grew up in the mid/late 80s or early 90s (It all blends together) to recall how they did it in hockey.
Well aware of what he was saying. And, yes, I remember the glowing hockey pucks (even tho I grew up in a different/earlier era). Was merely providing additional input.
 

LOBALOT

Semi-Pro
Well aware of what he was saying. And, yes, I remember the glowing hockey pucks (even tho I grew up in a different/earlier era). Was merely providing additional input.
OK, you were talking about legal ball color, etc. in response to his post on leveraging technology so perhaps the perspective belonged on a post of its own then.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
OK, you were talking about legal ball color, etc. in response to his post on leveraging technology so perhaps the perspective belonged on a post of its own then.
Forum police?

I was providing an alternative solution that poster may or may not have been aware of. In his response, he appeared to have taken the info in the spirit it was given
 
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li0scc0

Hall of Fame
Houston was such a pleasure to watch as I could see the ball. I know that RG is a wonderful tournament, and the quality of play is marvelous , but I cannot see the ball and simply will not watch much of it.
 

li0scc0

Hall of Fame
Well the players come first, they wont change the colour to suit some viewers with eye problems. Yellow is by far the best colour to play with. Everybody I know, can see the ball fine, on tv, it is only sometimes on the internet it is difficult to see the ball, for me, anyway.
20/15 vision here, 40" TV still can't see the ball.
 

canta_Brian

Rookie
I'd like them to try *something* - anything at all. This is a real problem that only Tiriac (despite all his faults) has attempted to seriously address.

As for why it's in this forum, while I'm neither the OP or a moderator, I'm guessing it's here because it only affects watching pro match play on TV.
I bumped the thread rather than starting a new one. Don't know why it's where it is. Could use a poll as well.

Poll could be:
Can't see the ball at all
Can see at some time of the day but not others (for me late matches seem easier than bright sunshine)
Can see it just fine
Can see it just fine and enjoy claiming all those who can't are optically deficient
 
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DRII

G.O.A.T.
I have a plasma so no problems with the moving objects here, LCD TVs on the other side have those problems.
Plasmas are still the best IMO, I wish they hadn't stop producing them!

I have one too, but still struggle seeing the ball come clay season sometimes...
 
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Cenarius

Guest
Bring back the blue clay. There's no logical reason why it cannot play as well as red clay. ATP gave up too quickly based on 1st year at Madrid. Blue clay rules!
Didn't players say it was too slippery to the point it was unsafe playing in it?
 

nb1234

New User
Didn't players say it was too slippery to the point it was unsafe playing in it?
Yes - but it wasn't because of the blue clay topdressing itself. The slippery conditions were due to the underlying surface being first rained on then baked hard, with salt crystallization also being a contributing factor. These particular courts were also known to be slippery even when they used traditional red clay topdressing. Bad execution of a good idea, and we're paying for that years later with no tournaments willing to go with blue or other darker colors. A shame, really.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
?

Better?!


Might be better for GREEN courts if it was a Type 2 ball rather than a Stage 2 ball. Red clay might be better off with a 2-tone ball that is either Yellow/Blue or Yellow/Green. Note that Yellow and White balls are the only colors presently approved by the ITF
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Didn't players say it was too slippery to the point it was unsafe playing in it?
Federer, the King of Blue clay, was fine with it. Less sure-footed players, like Djoko and Nadal, complained about the slickness. I’d be willing to bet that a blue clay court could certainly be developed that would be fine with Novak and Rafa.
 
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Cenarius

Guest
Federer, the King of Blue clay, was fine with it. Less sure-footed players, like Djoko and Nadal, complained about the slickness. I’d be willing to bet that a blue clay court could certainly be developed that would be fine with Novak and Rafa.
Yes.Another member had just explained me why.It's worth another try.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
That's what I meant by some players not liking the blue clay. Is there any reason that tennis balls have to be yellow? I think so long as they play the same and you can get the same read of spin then it shouldn't matter what colour they are. This would allow a ball/court contrast on any tournament courts.
I believe that the balls were originally white and were changed to yellow for visibility as TV became widespread.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
I'm watching the matches from the Masters Monte Carlo and I can't see the ball at all because the yellow ball just blends in with the orange colored court. All I see are two guys swinging their arms and hearing the thud of the ball when it hits their racquets but I can't see where the ball is going. I have the same problem with all the European red clay tournaments, not just this one. Very frustrating.

Who else thinks they should change the color of the ball to purple or a dark blue or maybe even black so they it contrasts the color of the orange colored clay on TV much better?
You can see it perfectly fine in 1080p HD. Check out the YouTube highlights.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
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Mike Sams

Legend
In case you hadn’t noticed, BP posted the OP a decade ago and has not been around for a while now. BP was last seen more than 10 months ago. He was the leading poster at the time but has subsequently been surpassed by 3 other prolific posters.

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?members/
Ah ok. I didn't notice the date. It's weird that threads from 10 years ago are being bumped so often. Why would somebody need to bump a thread from 2008? LOL
 

TennisCJC

Legend
Didn't players say it was too slippery to the point it was unsafe playing in it?
A few players (Nadal and Djoko) did complain but they built to court just before the Madrid tournament. There were some discussions that the court was not installed properly. I am sure if they built the court and experimented with how they put down the clay and top coat they could refine it to the point where the only difference would be the color.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I believe that the balls were originally white and were changed to yellow for visibility as TV became widespread.
IIRC, that happened back in the 70s. Not sure that a greenish Yellow color was really the best choice given that most courts of the day (HC and grass) were green. Not an optimal color contrast (yellow against blue is much better). OTOH, the game was quite a bit slower back then. Not that many players serving much in excess of 100 mph (160 kph). Considerably less speed and spin on g strokes. So the ball was much easier to see/follow, despite the relatively poor color contrast.

In the 90s, balls became brighter. In the 00s, courts became bluer. Better contrast at higher speeds.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
IIRC, that happened back in the 70s. Not sure that a greenish Yellow color was really the best choice given that most courts of the day (HC and grass) were green. Not an optimal color contrast (yellow against blue is much better). OTOH, the game was quite a bit slower back then. Not that many players serving much in excess of 100 mph (160 kph). Considerably less speed and spin on g strokes. So the ball was much easier to see/follow, despite the relatively poor color contrast.

In the 90s, balls became brighter. In the 00s, courts became bluer. Better contrast at higher speeds.
Thanks for the history.

Bottom line is the colors have been changed in the past to make it easier to see, but for some reason not for clay.
 

canta_Brian

Rookie
Agreed. A color change is needed for clay. Either greener clay balls or bluer courts.
Have a look at what is opposite a clay orange.

Variants of blue or purple balls should be ideal, although by that argument yellow balls on green courts are not ideal either so shouldn't work.

I refer back to the post about the shingles of balls and court. I'll find it, hang on. It's post #92 @nb1234.

 

Jimbud

Semi-Pro
Yeah, watching on the red clay is really annoying..... Can't believe the ATP has not addressed the issue. And please don't do what they tried in hockey a few years ago to make the puck more visible......
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Have a look at what is opposite a clay orange.

Variants of blue or purple balls should be ideal, although by that argument yellow balls on green courts are not ideal either so shouldn't work.

I refer back to the post about the shingles of balls and court. I'll find it, hang on. It's post #92 @nb1234.

I had already given some thought to that idea. I have my doubts that a blue or purple ball would be easy for the eyes to track against any background. Especially, if there is shade on the court. The human eye is most sensitive to the green and yellow parts of the light spectrum. Blue is better as a background color.

Side note. Have you ever played with those pink “breast cancer awareness” tennis balls? Found them difficult to track on either blue or green tennis courts. Other ppl I’ve played with have the same issue with pink balls.

Perhaps a 2-tone Yellow/Blue ball is the best solution for red clay.

 
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EllieK

Professional
I can change the contrast on my TV and then I have no problem. I actually think it’s more difficult to see on grass courts.
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I'm watching the matches from the Masters Monte Carlo and I can't see the ball at all because the yellow ball just blends in with the orange colored court. All I see are two guys swinging their arms and hearing the thud of the ball when it hits their racquets but I can't see where the ball is going. I have the same problem with all the European red clay tournaments, not just this one. Very frustrating.
I agree with this.

Who else thinks they should change the color of the ball to purple or a dark blue or maybe even black so they it contrasts the color of the orange colored clay on TV much better?
But not to this.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I can change the contrast on my TV and then I have no problem. I actually think it’s more difficult to see on grass courts.
I do not have much difficulty seeing the ball on the grass courts at Wimbleton on TV. Perhaps because of the bright, Ultra-Vis Wimbledon balls. Or maybe it’s because my eyes you’re more relaxed when watching tennis on a green court. Watching tennis on red clay on TV actually bothers my eyes a bit. My eyes fatigue more easily so I have a more difficult time trying to track the ball when watching tennis on red clay. I realize that not everyone has this visual issue, but many of us do.

I watched highlights of the Monte Carlo final and played with the contrast and color related parameters on my HD TV. Still had considerable difficulty tracking the ball. I could see the ball, at times, but would lose track of it quite often. Perhaps it was the specific highlight video that I happened to watch. Maybe a different video replay might have been better. Difficult to say. But glad I just watched highlights. I don’t think my eyes could’ve handled watching a full match on the red clay.
 
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