Have you ever wondered what coaches mean when they talk about a “benchmark” ball? The benchmark ball is generally a ball that fits in the middle of your bag in terms of strength and angularity. This is to not only make it useful on a variety of conditions, but also to help you determine your environment when facing unknown conditions.

The reason you want your benchmark ball to be such a medium reaction is to help cut down your options when adjusting to a new environment, especially when you have limited warm-up time. The benchmark ball should be the first one out of your bag on most conditions because it will tell you if you need something stronger or weaker, smoother or sharper.