There is often some confusion around when, if at all, a ball can be replaced in the middle of a match. It’s not uncommon in league matches or tournament play for a ball to be used multiple matches in a row. As you all know, by this time the ball that was once black, bouncy and with plenty of grip is now grey, dead, and smooth. So what can you do?
If you find yourself in this predicament there are two options: 1. The ball can be changed if both players agree to do so at any time during the match 2. It may be replaced if the referee agrees with a players request to do so based on the condition of the ball. This is true only when competing on a traditional, non glass court where you are using a black ball.
The rules differ when competing on a glass court. In this instance, either player may request a new ball, but only at the conclusion of the third game immediately after exiting the court. They cannot wait until they step back on court again because this is perceived as receiving coaching advice to change the ball, which as we all know is not allowed during the game, only between games.