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Waller Martin Schluers brought color to the game of tennis

Vale. In Melbourne, New York, Paris or Wimbledon: wherever tennis is played, the little yellow ball is a part of it. But most people don’t know anymore that tennis balls were white instead of yellow. And Kai Pflaume’s advice show team is “hard to believe” didn’t come up with it either. There was Martin Sklores of Wally recently, the “inventor” of yellow balls.

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Bernhard Hoecker, Reinhold Beckmann, Clara Deutschmann, and Wincent Weiss got the hint in the guessing round: “If it were up to Martin, Vincent would have to change his name.” The advice did not help them, in the end Sklors happily went home with 1000 euros, and the team had a lot of gecherchert in the fog.

It was not easy to see the white balls

As a guest on Kai Pflaume's quiz show

Kay Pflaum’s “Hard to Believe” contest guest: Waller Martin Schluers (left).

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The history of the yellow ball really began 50 years ago at TU Braunschweig. From there, the head of the sports center at the time, Martin Sklors, got a call from the Institute of Psychology to be more precise. A professor who researches human expectation wanted to work with him to measure an individual’s reaction speed to tennis balls being played. Finally, Martin Sklores asked why tennis was done with white balls. “White is actually the most unpopular color.”

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Thus began a series of experiments dealing with the color of tennis balls. Farbgebung und Wahrnehmung was investigated. After a number of experiments with the help of the Dunlop Ball Agency and various institutes of TU Braunschweig, it has been scientifically confirmed: yellow is more true to the human eye and a kind of higher color discrimination on the ball. This can be optimized for Farbe’s broadcast TV broadcasts.

1970 was the yellow ball for the first time in a tennis tournament

Shortly after these results were announced in 1970, the yellow tennis ball was introduced for the first time at the German Tennis Championships. Only two years later it was finally included in the rules of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and thus replaced its predecessor, the white all-around. But this was just the beginning of a great wave of investigations in sports science. “The excitement added color to the sport,” Sklors says.

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As a guest on Kai Pflaume's quiz show

Kai Pflaume’s “Hard to Believe” quiz show guest: The Waller Martin Sklorz.

Martin Schluers first arrived here from Upper Silesia and in 1960 began his studies at the German Sports University in Cologne, which is considered one of the many major sports activities universities in the world. It was there that he first dealt with tennis. After completing his studies, in 1966 he entered the Thamalgen Institute for Physical Exercises at the University of Braunschweig, which he later headed.

Photography with Boris Becker

During his time in Braunschweig, Sklors made contact with many professors from other disciplines at TU and directed the shooting of the first tennis movie in Braunschweig in 1980. He also became acquainted with Boris Becker, who had participated in the shooting as a student. He has also written 20 books and helped organize several events at TU that were intended to give the public a better understanding of everyday university life. The 82-year-old has retained his interest in the sport to this day, training daily and socializing with the former University Tennis Team. “I feel very connected to Wally,” he said.

Klaus Pullman wallpaper

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