The architect son of WM minister Joseph Lancaster Ball (1822-1901: em.1847), he was born at Malton, Yorks. The family was related to Joseph Lancaster, the educational pioneer. He was articled to W.W. Pocock and was in practice in Birmingham as Ball and Goddard, with Henry Langton Goddard (1866-1944) of a Leicester family of architects as his partner. From 1909 to 1916 was the Director of the Birmingham School of Architecture. Ball was one of a group of architects who developed the Arts and Crafts style in Birmingham and was President of the Birmingham Architectural Association. A friend of W.R. Lethaby (1857-1931) they jointly designed premises for Eagle Insurance, Birmingham (1900), one of the country's most important Art and Craft style buildings. His Methodist buildings include Edgbaston WM (1896-1904, with Ernest Barnsley) and Handsworth College (1880-1, with Goddard), Northgate WM, Warwick (1892-3), as well as St. Gregory the Great, Small Heath, Birmingham (1910-13).