What Is a Racquetball Made of?

Colorful rubber balls isolated on white (with clipping path) image by Marek Kosmal from Fotolia.com

Racquetball is a racquet-based sport played in an enclosed room. The racquets used are smaller than tennis racquets, and the ball used is smaller, too. But what is it made out of?

History

Joe Sobek invented racquetball (originally called paddleball, then paddle rackets) in 1950. A problem he encountered was that the ball was too fast. He found his solution in an ordinary children's rubber ball, buying a large quantity to keep the sport going until a company was found that would manufacture hollow rubber balls.

Size

USA Racquetball rules state that standard racquetballs are approximately 1.4 ounces and 2.25 inches in diameter. Even the hardness (55-60 inches durometer) is specified, the rules going so far as to say the ball must "bounce 68-72 inches from a 100-inch drop at a temperature of 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit." However, nowhere is it explicitly stated the substance of which the ball must be made.

Fun Fact

The Center for Disease and Control Prevention recommends squeezing a racquetball as part of a strength-training plan. It can help prevent arthritis, rehabilitate fingers, and prevent elbow pain and inflammation.

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