"New Balls Please": Physical Load Imposed on Ball Boys during the Roland Garros 2022

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 21;20(5):3793. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20053793.


The process of becoming a ball kid at the French Open consists of different stages of selection and training. Selection and training of the ball kids is organized by the French Federation of Tennis (FFT) and is intended to be an immersive and educational experience. A sample was made up of ball kids participating at the 2022 French Open (Roland Garros). For this study, 26 ball kids were analyzed during several rotations of their activity on the court with different durations (N = 26; age = 15.00 ± 0.84; height = 169.03 ± 9.62; weight = 52.26 ± 7.35). Each ball kid participated in several analyzed rotations (data entry N = 94). Two groups are analyzed: ball kids at the net and in the back of the court. The result of the statistical analysis showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups in the variables: meters covered per minute on court (t = 6.85, p = 0.00), total number of decelerations per minute (t = 8.39, p = 0.00), walking and jogging meters per minute (t = 4.68, p = 0.00), and maximum velocity achieved (t = 3.02, p = 0.00). Participating as a ball kid during a professional tournament presents a unique experience for young athletes. Young people that are participating can improve their fitness, social skills, mental abilities, and well-being due to requests for the ball kids' duties during match play and out of play activities.

Keywords: ball kids; general health; speed; tennis; workload; youth athletic development.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Examination
  • Tennis*

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.