How Can the Temperature Affect the Bounce of Squash Balls?

Updated March 23, 2017

Temperature can affect the bounce of a squash ball because it can change the pressure inside the ball and the resilience or flexibility of the rubber, according to the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois.

Air Pressure

Air pressure inside a squash ball increases with higher temperature as the air expands within a confined space. As the ball bounces, the pressurised air is compressed, but springs back readily with little loss of energy, making the ball bounce higher in warmer temperatures.

Resilience of Rubber

Rubber stiffens when it cools. When it warms up, it becomes more elastic and resilient, meaning that it springs back more readily on impact. The greater resilience of the rubber also contributes to a higher bounce in warm temperatures.

Other Facts

A squash ball is made of rubber that is not particularly resilient at room temperature, so squash balls need warming before play. Squash balls can be made faster or bouncier by increasing their content of elastic polymers, according to The Squash Player.

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About the Author

Lexa W. Lee is a New Orleans-based writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has contributed to "Central Nervous System News" and the "Journal of Naturopathic Medicine," as well as several online publications. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Reed College, a naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and served as a postdoctoral researcher in immunology.