Thursday, September 3, 2009

Let kids be kids

..the BallsKids at US Open that is.


Photo Courtesy:http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com

Most of ballkid volunteers at the US Open seem to be adults or really big guys. In my opinion ballskids should really be kids, not more than say 16 or 17 years of age. Perhaps just the captain of the team should be a big kid.

I know the reason why they need such adult looking people. You see there are 6 ballkids in all:4 kids behind the baseline(called backs) and 2 on either side of the net(called nets). After every other game the tennis balls have to be transferred from one side of the court to the other in addition to the interim ball exchanges that have to happen because of serving faults or player errors. Usually the ball is rolled from one end to the nets and then the nets in turn roll it to the backs at the other end. US Open is the only tournament that boasts of "throwing" balls from one end of the court to the other side, One "back" to the other "back" in between games. I guess you need strong hands to do that and good catchers on the otherside and "kids" wouldn't usually be able to do that with as much accuracy hence the adult ballkids :(

I wish someone at the US Open would see the real reason for having ball "kids"
one, because it is a way of encouraging kids to play tennis and letting them be close to the game and two, adults really crowd the tennis court. Imagine 2 players plus 6 to 8 lines men,of course a chair umpire and add to that 6 adult ballkids. 6 "kids" would really slink away in the court but adults are much more visible!

2 comments:

Approach Shot said...

Yep...One inspired kid could be worth 10 mistakes. Think Federer ball-kidding for Hingis in the 90's!

The good life said...

true :)