How much do ballboys get paid?

It is not just players and umpires who will be nervous at this month’s Australian Open.

Spare a thought for the 380 ballkids, all aged between 12 and 15, who have spent the past year at trials and training sessions to ensure the grand slam goes off smoothly.

More than 3,400 kids across the world applied for the roles, with 20 of the final field coming from Korea, six from China and two from France.

Matt Buckeridge – a 14-year-old sports lover from Victoria – is preparing for his second Open and said he was excited about soaking up the famous Melbourne Park atmosphere again.

“I’m very excited. It’s a long wait from last year,” he told The New Daily.

“I had some big matches last year and I remember the first time I walked out on a big court and saw the crowd – I just felt so small.

“I love the atmosphere, though, and being so close.

“It’s important to stay focused because we have a job to do. And the more you do the big games, the less worried and nervous you are.”

The qualification process

The Australian Open might come to a close at the end of January, but for ballkids wanting to be part of the next year’s event, there is little downtime.

Applications are open in February before trials begin in March, as the process of whittling down a big field begins.

“First you go through a Level 1 trial where supervisors assess our skills,” Buckeridge said.

Skills like accurate rolling are crucial. Photo: Fiona Hamilton

“They look at things like rolling, throwing and our court movement and speed. Then there’s Level 2 and Level 3 – and then a train-on squad gets picked.

“It is a competitive atmosphere. Everyone is there for the same reason – they all want to be a ballkid. It’s still pretty fun but people do watch for themselves.”

The Australian Open says those at the international-based trials – more than 1400 children tried out in Korea – “undertake a rigorous selection process including a selection trial weekend, where applicants go through on-court drills and written tests”.

Once ballkids make it to the training squad, a further six sessions – conducted through the year – follow as they work on ball-handling skills, rolling with precision and the anticipation of players’ needs.

And the preparation doesn’t end there: ballkids then get the chance to brush up their on-court skills at the Australian Wheelchair Tennis Nationals and the Australian Open Wildcard Play-off.

A regular day

Buckeridge and his fellow ballkids begin their day at either 10am, 3pm or 6pm with a 15-minute briefing from officials.

They spend one hour on court and one hour off, although when things get really hot those ‘shifts’ drop to 45 minutes.

“It’s normally four hours on court and four off during a day,” Buckeridge explained.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams pose with the ‘class of 2017’. Photo: Getty

“You can have a night shift and last year one of the nights I finished around 12.30am. But they don’t put you on the morning the day after if that is the case.

“We’re not near the players off court but we have a ballkid room, which is pretty cool. We can relax there on couches and have TVs and Playstations.”

Ballkids don’t get paid, but they get a food allowance every day, free tickets for family or friends, get to keep their uniform and get an end-of-tournament gift – which last year was a pair of “cool” Beats headphones.

But the best part of being a ballkid, says Buckeridge, is the interaction with the players, who are “very nice”.

As for a tip? “I love Roger Federer – he’s just so great – on and off the court. He is amazing.”

In every major tennis tournament, there are always a certain amount of ball boys and girls that are running around on the court to catch up the balls. The position of ball boys includes many perks like watching an exciting tennis match and meeting tennis stars. Which makes the process of becoming a ball boy highly competitive. But do the ball boys actually get paid or is it just something that they are doing voluntary?

Do tennis ball boys get paid in tennis? Tennis ball boys usually get paid for their job. The salary depends a lot depending on the tournament, but it’s everything from 0 to 15€/hour. In addition, the ball boys get to watch an exciting match of tennis for free and interact with tennis stars.

How Do Ball Boys Get Paid?

It differ a lot from every tournament, but most ball boys are paid in hour wages that usually starts in the 7€ ranges and gradually increases for returning individuals. But, there are some tournaments that doesn’t give out any payment. One of those is Wimbledon, the tournament directors think that the ball boys and girls at Wimbledon should just be honored to be one of the chosen ones. Which makes sense, who wouldn’t want to be a ball boy for players like Roger Federer and Nadal for free?

There are many different ways to get paid as a ball boy other than money. For example in the Australian Open, the ball boys don’t get paid any money, but they receive a “end of the tournament” gift. Which can be everything from headphones to a tennis racquet. Most tournaments also offer free food every day during the tournaments and free tickets for their family & friends.

Indirectly the biggest compensation for being a ball boy is the excitement of watching a game for free and being close up with tennis stars. As a ball boy you don’t only run to catch up the balls, you also interact a lot with the players on court. For example, if a player wants to get another drink, they shout for a ball boy. Also, when the players wants their towel to wipe out their sweat, they once again needs to interact with the ball boys.

How Do You Become a Ball Boy In Tennis?

There are several different ways to become a ball boy. It won’t be hard to become a ball boy for smaller tournaments, but most people that wants to become one usually thinks about the grand slam tournaments. But, what you don’t think about is that becoming a ball boy for the bigger tournaments is highly competitive and you need to undergo a rigorous selection process months before stepping a foot on the court.

Here is exactly how the ball boys are chosen for all the 4 grand slams and their compensations for being one.


The ball boys and girls for the Wimbledon championships are selected from year 9 and 10 students from a number of different schools that Wimbledon works with. So, if you don’t live near the South East of London, your chances of becoming a ball boy at Wimbledon is pretty much dashed. Most ball boys that are selected for Wimbledon are 14-16 years old.

For a couple of years ago, the ball boys were payed about 100€/week. But, that have changed and there is today no compensation for being a ball boy at Wimbledon. The tournament directors thinks that the ball boys and girls should just be honored to be one of the chosen ones.


  • Year 9 or 10 Student in a Wimbledon collaboration school

Selection Process (160 Ball boys at Wimbledon)

  • Around 700 apply every year for Wimbledon (540 students & 160 ball boys from previous years)
  • 160 of those 540 year 9 and 10 students are selected
  • 90 of the 160 ball boys from previous years are selected
  • Total of 250 ball boys are selected and will undergo more training


  • Free food every day.
  • No payment

Once selected, the ball boys need to undergo in a vigorous training program that includes pshycial training, ball skills and tennis scoring. The training begins in February, which is months before the actual tournament that start in June.

US Open

There are 2 different ways to become a ball boy at the US Open. First way to become one is to apply for their try-out that usually occurs during the early summer months. There is no age limit to becoming a ball boy, so everyone is welcomed to their try-outs. Approximately 500 individuals applies for the try outs and after a lot of different tests, 150 of those are selected to be a ball boy at the US Open.

There are a total of 300 ball boys in the US Open every year and only 150 of those are chosen from try outs. That is because the other half is chosen between the ball bays from previous years

Most people that attends the try-outs are from New York where the US Open and the try-outs are located. But there are also many people that have traveled from other states, with the hope of landing a coveted spot as a ballperson at the US Open.


  • Everyone is welcomed to their try-outs

Selection Progress (300 Ball boys at US Open)

  • Around 500 Individuals apply for the try-outs
  • It’s hold in Callbacks during a week in June every year
  • After a week of testings, 150 of those 500 are selected
  • 150 of the 300 ball boys from the previous year, is selected
  • Total of 300 ball boys are selected and ready for more training

Compensation: The ball boys at US Open earns 7-11€ per hour

Australian Open

There are a total of 360 ball boys and girls every year at the Australian Open. They are selected from over 2500 applicants and includes a lot of different nationalities. In the Australian Open 2020, 38 individuals were from overseas, 20 from Korea, 6 from China, 10 from India and lastly 2 from France that represented Roland Garros, which Australian Open collaborate with.

The ball boys in the Australian Open don’t get paid, but they get free food every day and free tickets for family & friends. In addition, they get to keep their uniform and gets an end of the tournament gift. Which for example was a pair of Beats headphones after the 2017 tournament.

The selection process starts with level 1 trials, with all the 2500 individuals. They get cut that down to about 700, who goes to the level 2 trial for more tests. Those 700 eventually get cut down to 450, which will attend a four month training regime. One weekend a month all the participants go to the Open for match practice and to get feedback reports. At the end of the try outs, there will be 360 ball boys selected for the Australian Open.


  • 12-15 Years old

Selection Progress (360 Ball boys at Australian Open)

  • Level 1 Trial: 2500 Individuals apply for the try outs, 700 gets through
  • Level 2 Trial: More tests, 700 gets cut down to 450
  • 4 month training regime for the 450 participants that are left
  • 360 of those 450 get selected to be a ball boy at the Australian Open

Compensation: End of the tournament gifts & Free match tickets for their family.

French Open

In order to become a ball boy at the French Open, you need to attend their 1 year long program that takes places all over France. There are usually around 4000 applicants that takes part in the try outs and only 220 of them are selected to be one of the ball boys at the French Open. It’s a true competition and challenge to become a ball at this tournament.

They get their ball skills and psychical abilities tested for a whole year, where the French Open ball boy managers continuously cuts down the group to eventually only have 220 left that will have the opportunity to be a ball boy at the French Open.

There is no information about how the ball boys get paid at the French Open.

The Future Of Ball Boys and Their Compensation

There is no sign of ball boys to disappear in the future. It’s not just a job that is required for a match to go through smoothly, it’s also a very exciting experience for the kids that gets a chance to interact and be close up with their idols.

I don’t think the ball boys needs to get paid, because they get indirectly paid in so many other ways that doesn’t include paper money. The experience of being a ball boys at the biggest tournament is something that many kids just dream about. The chosen ones should just be honored and generally happy to have the opportunity to watch a professional tennis game for free, that the audience pays 100s of dollars to watch.

Tennis Ball Boy Salary

Ball boys and girls are hired for tennis tournaments, and the position carries many perks, including meeting players and watching exciting tennis matches. The salaries for ball boys are low, but people seek these positions because of the excitement.

Person holding tennis balls behind back credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Qualifications for the Job

Ball boys and girls must undergo a few physical tests before being chosen for the position. These include retrieving balls at the net and showing that they can throw the ball across the court. Ball boys need to be quick to get the balls off the court so that the match can resume. This requires being physically fit and having knowledge of the rules of tennis. Different tennis tournaments have additional specific requirements for ball boys and girls.

Wimbledon Positions

Ball boys and girls at Wimbledon are volunteers selected from participating schools. They do not receive any compensation for these positions. It is an honor to be chosen. To be selected as a ball boy or girl, individuals must undergo an online training program and then request selection. Once selected, the individuals participate in a vigorous training program that includes physical fitness training, tennis scoring and ball skills, according to The training begins in February for the tournament, which starts in June.

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Every year, 400 to 500 individuals try out to become one of 250 ball boys or girls for the U.S. Open. The starting salary for this position is $7.75 per hour, as of the date of publication. Raises are given each year to returning individuals, and no age limit exists for ball boys or girls. In addition to the hourly wage rate, ball boys and girls get to watch the matches for free and have interaction with the tennis stars.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for ball boys should remain consistent in the future. The number of tennis tournaments remains the same each year, and new individuals are needed to fill the spaces as openings arise. Many people who work as ball boys or girls are students or have another job. Each job only lasts as long as the tennis tournament or match. This can be one day or up to two weeks.

Earnings of ball boys and ball girls were bit higher with the start of new year. We bring you some details about the earnings of the ball boy and girls. Mostly they are volunteers but in some tournaments they get paid for each match appearance. Mostly boys and girls volunteer for a big tennis tournament because they will meet their favorite tennis stars. A report in 2015, published by sports magazine in which they said that a ball boy or ball girl both earn ($50-$70) per match during grand slam tournaments.

Tennis Ball Boys & Ball Girls Salaries in 2017 (Revealed)

Category Other Tennis Tournaments Australian Open Fees US Open Fees Wimbledon Fees French Open Fees
Ball Boys $50 $100 $100 $100 $100
Ball Girls $50 $100 $100 $100 $100

In the above table you will see how the money paid to them in the grand slam tournaments. According to some sources they earn same amount in each grand-slam. In a other tennis event such as (ATP World Tour Finals, Paris Masters, WTA Finals, Fed Cup and Davis Cup) maximum $50 paid to the boys and girls who provide balls during the match. They were present on the both sides of the net and also on each corner of both tennis players.

For Wimbledon ball girls or boys selected from schools or when they apply for the position. Mostly those candidates selected who got good stamina, physical ability and totally good in fitness. Where as in Australian Open and US Open positions advertise and try-outs held.

B.O.Y. (Ball On You)

Ohhh yeah
Ball on you…ball on you…

Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
Never gon’ call on you
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
When them checks falling through

Yeah! Imma shine, imma do my thang
(Ballin’ ballin’ ballin’, on you)
I been on the grind, yeah I been getting paid
(Ballin’ ballin’ ballin’, on you)

You was worried bout them other niggas, I was worried bout the money
Try to play me like a dummy
Now ain’t this shit funny
Used to hit your phone like when he gone fall on through
900 with the wrist Tony Hawk on you
6th man to All-star James Harden on you
Really ballin’ on you…
Now I’m chillin’ with my feet up in the two seater
Got a new bitch with me
And she look just like Aaliyah
Now that I’m on the road
I be chasing that money like a cheetah
Ran out of fucks a long time ago…
Still haven’t re-up

Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
Never gon’ call on you
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
When them checks falling through

Yeah! Imma shine, imma do my thang
(Ballin’ ballin’ ballin’, on you)
I been on the grind, yeah I been getting paid
(Ballin’ ballin’ ballin’, on you)

Money on my mind
On the left, on the right, from the front to the back
And what you think about most is what you attract
On the road to success, don’t need a map
If you ain’t know my best is always where I’m at
‘Member hoes use to curve me..
Strike after strike like “oh please don’t hurt me!”
But now it’s feelin’ more like The Homerun Derby
You know it’s a great night when late nights turn early
Up with the birds, imma always get the worm
These niggas squirming uncomfortable in they seat
It’s a sermon like “Nature preach!”
I know they mad that all they can do is sit back
And watch a young nigga eat
And while yo audience decrease imma (ball on you)

Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
(Yeah yeah, yeah yeah)
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
(Imma ball on you, you, you, you, you)
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
Never gon’ call on you
Imma ball on you, Imma ball on you
When them checks falling through

Yeah! Imma shine, imma do my thang
(Ballin’ ballin’ ballin’, on you)
I been on the grind, yeah I been getting paid
(Ballin’ ballin’ ballin’, on you)

How to become a Wimbledon ball boy or ball girl

Becoming a Wimbledon ball boy or girl requires dedication and months of training.

The process of searching for the BBGs, as they are known, begins in January.

Around 700 teenagers, aged between 14 and 18, send in their applications every year.

They apply from schools nearby, and they’re usually in Year 9, 10 or above.

Some 250 are selected, 160 of the teens come from schools, and around 90 of them are previous participants.

What tests do you have to do?

BBGs have to do a written test and then a physical one. These are designed to determine their hand eye coordination, as well as their throwing abilities.

The teens also have to do a “standing test”. Yes, really.

Being a ball boy or girl requires you to be on your feet for hours each day, so testers want to see how long they can stand on their feet.

As a boy ball you get to have Rafael Nadal chuck his towel at you (Photo – Andrew Couldridge/AFP via Getty Images)

Each BBG is assigned a role, you can either be a centre, with your position being at the net, or you can be a base, which means you’ll be at the back of the court.

Training sessions start in February. The goal is be to speedy and efficient without getting in the way of the athletes.

At first training is every two weeks but as the start date approaches the frequency increases.

Is the training hard?

In short, yes. The training process for a BBG is reputedly rigorous and tough.

More often than not, boys and girls who apply for the role, are already very fit and into sports.

As well as general fitness being a priority, there are two other techniques that they must learn:

  • Feeding skills – tossing the balls with ease and seamlessness to the players when they need them to
  • Ball-rolling – dispatching a ball from one BGB on one side of the court to another on the other side without either of them having to move

Ball boys and girls are actually tested on their ability to stand up for long periods of time (Photo by Simon Bruty/Any Chance/Getty Images)

How many hours a day do they work?

Once Wimbledon is in full swing, a BGB will do an hour on court and then an hour off.

So, all in all, it’s not easy but being in charge of Serena Williams’ towel will be a pretty cool claim to fame for years to come.

*For more stories from Wimbledon, Merton click here .


When we want to show that something belongs to somebody or something, we usually add an apostrophe + s (‘s) to a singular noun and an apostrophe (‘) to a plural noun, for example:

  • the boy’s ball (one boy)
  • the boys’ ball (two or more boys)

Notice that the number of balls does not matter. The structure is influenced by the possessor and not the possessed.

one ball more than one ball
one boy the boy’s ball the boy’s balls
more than one boy the boys’ ball the boys’ balls

The structure can be used for a whole phrase:

  • the man next door’s mother (the mother of the man next door)
  • the Queen of England’s poodles (the poodles of the Queen of England)

Although we can use of to show possession, it is more usual to use possessive ‘s. The following phrases have the same meaning, but #2 is more usual and natural:

  1. the boyfriend of my sister
  2. my sister’s boyfriend

Proper Nouns (Names)

We very often use possessive ‘s with names:

  • This is Mary’s car.
  • Where is Ram’s telephone?
  • Who took Anthony’s pen?
  • I like Tara’s hair.

When a name ends in s, we usually treat it like any other singular noun, and add ‘s:

  • This is Charles’s chair.

But it is possible (especially with older, classical names) to just add the apostrophe ‘:

  • Who was Jesus’ father?

Irregular Plurals

Some nouns have irregular plural forms without s (man → men). To show possession, we usually add ‘s to the plural form of these nouns:

singular noun plural noun
my child’s dog my children’s dog
the man’s work the men’s work
the mouse’s cage the mice’s cage
a person’s clothes people’s clothes

Whether called ballkids, ballpersons, or ball boys and ball girls, they don’t usually make any money when working at most tennis tournaments. They’re sometimes paid with a uniform and tickets to matches. Of the four Grand Slam tournaments, only ballpersons at the U.S. Open are paid an hourly wage.

However, the draw of the job is to meet tennis players and have a great position to watch the matches from. It is difficult to be selected as a Grand Slam ball boy or girl and considered a great honor.

How to become a tennis ball boy

To be hired, ball boys and girls need to show that they are fast runners, have good ball-handling skills, and can stand really still. During a tennis match, ball boys or ball girls stand either by the net or in the corners at the back of the court.

They quickly pick up balls that aren’t in play anymore. The ones at the back of the court also throw balls to the players when they’re needed. Ball boys and ball girls also sometimes get towels or hold umbrellas.

Info about ball boys and girls at the Grand Slam tournaments is below, but other professional tennis tournaments also use ball boys and ball girls.

The Australian Open puts ball skills to the test

At the Australian Open in 2020, there will be 360 ballkids, who were picked from more than 2,500 applicants. The 360 includes 38 international kids from Korea, China, India, and France. The Australian Open’s ballkids spend a year applying online, going through tryouts, and being trained. Thousands apply, and fewer than 20% are selected.

These kids work at the Australian Open, the Australian Open Series, and Pro Tour Events around Australia. At the Australian Open, ballkids are between the ages of 12 and 15, although at some other Australian tournaments, they’re between 10 and 17.

The best ball boy and ball girl at the Australian Open are chosen as Top Guns, and they get to be ballkids at the French Open. While not paid, ballkids do get a daily food allowance, free tickets for family and friends, their uniforms, plus a gift.

French Open ball boys love to sing

Kids take part in a year-long program to be picked as ball boys and girls for the French Open, which is officially called Roland-Garros. Potential ball boys and girls, les ramasseurs de balles in French, apply during the French Open to volunteer for the next one.

Then they go through a national selection process held between October and December. In 2018, there were 4,200 applicants from around France between the ages of 12 and 16. The 220 ball boys and girls who are chosen start each day before the tournament opens to the public jogging together from one court to another, singing their ballkids’ song.

Wimbledon ball boys get a small stipend

Ball boys and girls (BBGs) are not paid at Wimbledon, but they do receive a small stipend. In 2015, the amount was just under £200. About 700 students from participating London-area schools apply to be ball boys and girls, and about 250 are chosen.

Approximately a third are picked to come back from previous years, and the others are chosen from year 9 and 10 applicants. Their average age is 15. Training runs from February to June, when the tournament begins, and includes exercise, tennis scoring instruction, and ball-handling skills. The BBGs do get to keep their Ralph Lauren uniforms.

U.S. Open pays an hourly wage

Ballpersons at the U.S. Open are paid an hourly wage. Some are paid New York’s minimum wage, and returning ballpersons are paid more. They also get a daily food allowance, and they get to keep their Ralph Lauren uniforms.

In addition, ballpersons can watch any match for free and get to see the players. In 2019, more than 500 people between the ages of 14 and 65 tried out for 150 ballperson openings. Returning ballpersons skip the first round of auditions. There are about 300 ballpersons, with 150 new ones and 150 returning from past years.