You don’t need a lot of equipment to play tetherball.
A rope with a ball attached and a pole is pretty much all you need.
The limited amount of required equipment means that you can really focus on getting the equipment right.
Your main focus should be on tetherball rope length.
Get this wrong, and you will find that the game plays a bit differently from what you are used to.
The length of the tetherball rope must sit 2-feet above the ground. The standard pole length for tetherball should be 10-feet above the ground. This means that the average tetherball rope should be around 8-feet in length.
Let’s expand upon this a little bit.
This is because there are a lot of considerations when it comes to how long a tetherball rope should be.
How High Should a Tetherball Pole Be?
The standard tetherball pole should be 12-feet in height.
You would bury 2-feet of this below the ground, and the final 10-feet will be the visible part of the pole.
This is for a competition-standard tetherball pole. There are shorter sets designed for children.
When using one of these shorter sets, the tetherball rope should always be adjusted to ensure that it sits 2-feet above the ground.
What Happens If The Tetherball Rope Is Too Low?
If the tetherball rope is too low, it makes hitting it incredibly difficult.
People would have to adjust their playing strategy to accommodate the ball sitting lower than it should be sitting.
Of course, when the tetherball rope is too low, it indicates that the rope is going to be too long.
This means that it will take a whole lot longer to wrap around the pole.
A single tetherball game is designed to be over rather quickly, and when that ball is placed too low, this often extends games far longer than they should be.
What Happens If The Tetherball Rope Is Too High?
If a tetherball rope is too high, then it has the opposite effect to the rope being too low.
Players will have to adjust their strategy, at least at the start of the game, to accommodate the position of the ball being higher.
If somebody is used to playing on a tetherball court where the ball is at a normal height, then they miss some of the earlier hits. This gives them a disadvantage.
You also have to remember that if the rope is too high, it means that the rope is too short. It will rotate a lot less around the pole before the game is over.
This will make games incredibly short.
In Fact: In some cases, if the tetherball rope is too short, all it takes is a single miss of the ball in the early part of the game and somebody could have a loss on their hands.
Does a Tetherball Rope Stretch Over Time?
Tetherball ropes are constructed from nylon. Over time, the nylon ropes will stretch.
You have to remember that there is a ball on the end and that ball is going to be consistently struck, often quite hard.
All this is going to do is start to pull the threads of the rope.
Don’t worry, though.
Even if you are playing on a tetherball court regularly, it will often take a significant amount of time for the rope to stretch to the point where it needs to be replaced.
How Often Do You Need To Replace a Tetherball Rope?
Not as often as you would think.
While it is true that tetherball ropes will stretch over time, it is probably going to take months before there is a noticeable change in the rope length.
Most tetherball ropes are constructed a little bit longer than they need to be. This will allow the user to create an adjustable knot.
This means that even if the tetherball rope stretches a little bit, the knot can be tightened up, which will shorten the length back to regulation length.
Remember This – The only time that you would need to replace a tetherball rope is if it has started to fray. This is dangerous because the rope could end up snapping, sending that ball flying.
You may also need to replace if the rope has been left outside in heavy rains. The rope could become saturated with water, and it would be tough for it to dry out.
We wouldn’t be surprised if a well-treated tetherball rope lasted years.
How Thick Should a Tetherball Rope Be?
There are no regulations related to the thickness of the tetherball rope.
Obviously, it should be thick enough to accommodate the ball and to put up with constantly being swung around a pole. However, it doesn’t really matter how thick the rope is.
As long as something is marketed as a tetherball rope, then you should be fine.
Can Children Use Shorter Tetherball Ropes?
If the length of the pole is adjusted they can, yes.
Tetherball sets designed for children often sit at about 7-feet in height. This means that the length of the tetherball rope only needs to be 5-feet.
Do bear in mind that most tetherball ropes will be sold in lengths of around 10-feet.
Do not cut the rope down.
Instead: Tie a firm knot at the top of the pole. This way, you will be able to have a bit of adjustment as the rope stretches out.
The length of a tetherball rope is not regulated. All the rules say is that the end of the rope should be 2-feet from the base of the pole.
This means that, in most cases, the tetherball rope length is going to be around 8-feet long.
However, some junior tetherball sets may demand a shorter rope length (sometimes as short as five feet!)
Most tetherball ropes will come in 10-feet long lengths. You will need to tie a knot at the top of the tetherball pole to ensure that only 8-feet shows.