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View Full Version : What is the name of the continuous stripe on a tennis ball?

Runs With Scissors
11-16-2010, 02:14 PM
If the plastic tip on a shoe lace has a name then this must also.

WarmNPrickly
11-16-2010, 02:17 PM
I would call it the seam.

Colibri
11-16-2010, 02:20 PM
It's called the seam.

Duckster
11-16-2010, 02:23 PM
Here, allow me to do a simple half-second Google search for you (http://www.google.com/search?q=tennis+ball+construction).

This might help. Reading from here (http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5211788/description.html) and here (http://www.itftennis.com/technical/equipment/balls/history.asp) infers it's called a seam.

Omar Little
11-16-2010, 03:37 PM

11-16-2010, 05:06 PM

11-16-2010, 06:40 PM
A fun trivia question is, "How many stitches are on a standard tennis ball?" There are none, but some folks will ponder it seriously.

Kevbo
11-16-2010, 09:01 PM
Yes it is a seam, but does the closed curve shape of the seam have a name?

johnpost
11-16-2010, 09:16 PM
it would seem to be the seam.

11-16-2010, 09:25 PM
It seems to be called the seam

Ruminator
11-16-2010, 09:34 PM
Yes it is a seam, but does the closed curve shape of the seam have a name?

The seam on a baseball doesn't seem to have a name. The following PDF link (http://www.geofhagopian.net/MAM/DesigningBaseballCover.pdf) says C.H. Jackson in 1860 created the geometry of the flaps by trial and error. The article then proceeds to design an equivalent seem pattern from the ground up by using mathematics (a parametric equation.)

I don't know if tennis ball seams have a similar story. Were the seams were trial&error or mathematically modeled?

TruCelt
11-16-2010, 09:40 PM
Isn't a seam necessarily stitched though? I was going to say it's an expansion joint. . .

Duke
11-17-2010, 08:51 AM
Isn't a seam necessarily stitched though? I was going to say it's an expansion joint. . .

I was going to argue this too. Most cricket balls are made with four pieces of leather, which are stitched together in a simple loop around the equator of the ball. That raised, stitched part is rightly called the seam. But the four pieces also fit snugly together, unstitched, on another axis of the ball (imagine that the seam is the equator; this axis would then be a meridian). That axis is a lot more like the white line on a tennis ball, and nobody would call that a seam. It is, instead, more like an expansion joint.

I'd argue that a "seam" has to be stitched in some way. The line on a tennis ball is just there to provide grip and to make the ball more aerodynamic; it serves no purpose in holding the ball together.

Munch
11-17-2010, 10:40 AM
I'd argue that a "seam" has to be stitched in some way. The line on a tennis ball is just there to provide grip and to make the ball more aerodynamic; it serves no purpose in holding the ball together.

From the link provided in post #4:

The original flannel cloth was replaced by special 'melton' cloth made specifically for the purpose and the stitching has been replaced by a vulcanised rubber seam.

FluffyBob
11-17-2010, 11:00 AM
A seam is simply a type of joint. There are seams in drywall, carpet, concrete, plastic, and even fabric that involve no stitching.

The tennis ball is made of two peanut shaped pieces that are joined at the seam.

It is a cool shape and deserves a name.

ericwoo
11-17-2010, 12:00 PM
Im not sure it has a name. Does anyone know when the stitching was replaced?

-Eric
The tennis shoe (http://www.midwestsports.com/) worker.