“They literally keep the play moving,” Ross said of ball kids. “If ball kids weren’t there, no one would be able to get a ball. We’d have to wait for about 30 to 40 seconds in between every point. Balls would be scattered all over the place. No tournament can run effectively without ball kids.”
Ball kids retrieve balls, hand them to players to start the next point and do much more — fetch drinks, hold umbrellas for shade, offer players towels between points, and clean up the court after a match.
“I worked with ball kids for years. They’re crucial,” Ross said.