mark balls...quickest, most permanent way

#1
I have a lot of balls for different purposes: Ball machine, my wire hopper and 6 newest balls. I've been using an oversized permanent black sharpie. I write the date on the new balls but it usually gets blurry pretty fast. Once I tried a stencil and spray paint for my machine balls but it took ages. Fingernail polish, a stamp? I haven't tried these. On my older balls I'd just like to put a simple mark with a distinct, permanent color. Any tips on the latest, greatest way to do this are appreciated!
 
#4
"Buy different brands and use them for a specify purpose. Only way to differentiate fuzzy yellows. "
I forgot to mention one of the main reasons I mark them is to tell them apart for players on the other courts so buying different brands wouldn't help. After many years of playing I'm still undecided on balls. I'll get fed up with one type and try another. When I use the machine I mix up the semi-old balls, pretty new balls and very new ones from the last game. I don't just go out and buy balls for the machine. Thanks for the reply.
 
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#5
Use a sharpie pen on the lines of the ball between the felt.
Thanks for the reply. I've tried that but would like an easier to see way. For example when I finish practice and pick up all the balls after using the machine I separate the semi-old balls, pretty new balls and very new ones.
 
#6
Wow, this just seems like soooo much work and organization. I think the Sharpie is probably the way to go, there's just not a less tedious way of marking all of your balls I guess...
 
#8
Thanks for the reply. I've tried that but would like an easier to see way. For example when I finish practice and pick up all the balls after using the machine I separate the semi-old balls, pretty new balls and very new ones.
Different color permanent markers, and different patterns (lines and spaces, dots and spaces, etc.), all along the seams.
 
#13
I buy cheap Penns at Costco for my ball machine and never have an issue because if someone picks a couple of my balls, who cares, they are cheap and disposable. And if they cannot tell their ball from my balls, if they do not buy good balls which are different, or do not bother to search for theirs, they are free to pick up any one from my balls that they like. I do not care too much about keeping the integrity of my ball machine load. I have five 48-balls boxes of Penn sitting in my garage waiting for warmer temperatures, and all of them will end up donated to yoga studio where my wife takes classes or to dog owners by the end of the season. Cannot think about them as anything else than disposable items.

Some folks, though, buy balls of non-yellow color (brand selection is severely limited, though, but they come in a variety of colors, not just pink) or pressureless balls which come in, e.g., grey and yellow, as opposed to pure yellow. This helps with keeping their balls in check, probably much more than a difference in brand name or logo imprinted on a yellow ball.

And then, there are ultimately dead orange balls which actually can be fun to play at times :)
 
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Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#14
I just buy good balls and since everyone plays Walmart or Dick's junk (cheap Penns or Wilsons) I never have an issue.

And my arm/elbow thanks me as well.
A player uses/used Penn ATP balls for that reason. Penn balls locally are so cheap, (under $2/can) I give them away or leave them in a bucket, on public courts, or in a ball cart for practice.
 
#15
I refuse to buy the cheap balls. My tennis is worth more. Of course, in league play I don't always provide
the balls and some folks just don't care or know any better. I suffer through such events.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#16
I refuse to buy the cheap balls. My tennis is worth more. Of course, in league play I don't always provide
the balls and some folks just don't care or know any better. I suffer through such events.
Your district provides the balls to each team, at least that is what was done in the past. When Costco started selling cheap balls that is what the district provided to each team, despite if the match was played on clay.
 
#17
That does occur at the state level, but not for local league play. And yes, they buy the cheapest crap they can find.

Funny, one fall it was really cold and the site coordinator had left the balls in her trunk all night. Crappy frozen balls
don't bounce too well.
 
#18
I guess ball preferences depend on one's skills level. I, personally, fit best into what is called "general population who are somewhat familiar with tennis" as I started a little too late in my life path. I can tell a difference between a dead Penn ball and a new Penn ball, but I doubt I would feel a difference between a new "good" and new "cheap" ball. I doubt I ever even tried "good balls", and I would not know what a "good ball" is, that is, which brand or model that would be. For me, Penn is just as a brand name as anything else.

On the other hand, through my experience with stringing, I am totally on the other side of spectrum when it comes to strings. I developed quite a bit of a feeling to string type and tension. So I kind of can relate to what struggle struggles with (no pun intended)

Ignorance is bliss more often than one would think. :)
 
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Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#19
That does occur at the state level, but not for local league play. And yes, they buy the cheapest crap they can find.

Funny, one fall it was really cold and the site coordinator had left the balls in her trunk all night. Crappy frozen balls
don't bounce too well.
In 30 yrs of experience it is the other way around. Our local district buys the balls and distributes them to each team/club rep. Used to receive Pro Penn. Now Costco Xtra-Duty. We are adults, if unhappy with the balls we swap them out for a can everyone agrees on. Bigger problem with seniors with bad elbows. Only want the lightest balls available like Wilson regular-duty. Toasty warm, unfluffed
 
#23
Get to dabbin'

What do you get for your team fee?
We don't have a team fee. Just a USTA registration fee per person and sometimes a facility fee.

We have in the past collected a team fee and purchased balls, etc but we decided it was more fair for those
that play to supply balls (some play more than others, so an equal fee isn't really equitable).
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#24
We don't have a team fee. Just a USTA registration fee per person and sometimes a facility fee.

We have in the past collected a team fee and purchased balls, etc but we decided it was more fair for those
that play to supply balls (some play more than others, so an equal fee isn't really equitable).
Great point
 
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