A ball boy and ball girl collect the new balls in a men’s singles match at this year’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, England. (AP)

A ball boy and ball girl collect the new balls in a men’s singles match at this year’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, England. (AP)

A ball girl hands a towel to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson during a men’s singles match at Wimbledon. (AP)

A ball girl hands a towel to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson during a men’s singles match at Wimbledon. (AP)

A ball boy rolls a ball at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France. (AP)

A ball boy rolls a ball at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France. (AP)

On a clay court at the French Open tournament in Paris, France, ball boys and ball girls get set to charge out and scoop up balls when a volley is finished. (AP)

On a clay court at the French Open tournament in Paris, France, ball boys and ball girls get set to charge out and scoop up balls when a volley is finished. (AP)

At Wimbledon, a ball boy’s knee shows the scuffing to be expected while working a match. (AP)

At Wimbledon, a ball boy’s knee shows the scuffing to be expected while working a match. (AP)

Game, Set, Match!

Posted: September 3, 2019

Scamper across the green grass at Wimbledon. Scoop up balls. Hand out towels. This is a very exciting day in the life of a young ballperson—and it’s hard work!

Have you heard of Wimbledon? It is the king of tennis tournaments. It happens in England every year. About 700 people apply to be ball boys and ball girls each time. They take a written rules test, a skills test, and a standing-still test. Only 250 make the cut. After that, they train to make sure they can handle a whole hour of ball snagging, rolling, and bouncing.

Each tennis match requires six ball kids. One stands in each corner of the court. One stands on either side of the net. “You’re constantly running for the whole hour,” says Michal Saladziak, a 15-year-old ball boy from London, England. During this year’s Wimbledon tournament, two ball kids fainted due to heat.

Becoming a ball boy or girl at the U.S. Open tennis tournament involves training too. Last year, about 400 boys and girls tried out in New York City.

They want to make zero mistakes. Sarah Goldson, director of the BBGs (Ball Boys and Girls) at Wimbledon, says, “We hope that people don’t notice us.”

Of course, people do notice the ball boys and ball girls. They scurry around the court, rolling balls. At almost every break, one reaches for a towel to hand to a sweaty player.

What’s the biggest perk of being a ball kid? Getting to watch the world’s most important tennis matches right up close!

Ball boys and girls work hard—but they aren’t the main focus of a tennis match. The players are! Christians are called to work hard too. Even if no one else notices their work, God does.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. — Colossians 3:23