A ball retrieval apparatus (10, 910) for retrieving (e.g. tennis) balls (70) from the ground (72) includes a receptacle (12, 912) with an opening (26, 926) over which horizontal rods (36, 936) extend. The rods are received in apertures (34), and can move upwardly and laterally between lowermost and raised positions. The distance between rods in their lowermost positions is less than the ball's diameter. This distance increases as the rods are raised, and moved in opposite lateral directions. A ball can be retrieved by being received into the receptacle between adjacent rods. The rods then drop down to their lowermost positions so that the distance between them again decreases so that the ball is trapped in the receptacle. The invention also extends to a ball retrieval system including a trolley (46, 946) and one or two ball retrieval apparatus supported on the trolley.