Table tennis / Ping pong balls
the recreational and lower competition levels, players are generally not
to fussed about what ball they play with, but at the higher level players
often have a preference for certain balls as they have refined their
skills and are much more sensitive to basic properties of the ball.
Although table tennis balls made by only a
handful of different manufacturers around the world, and re-badged for the
different brands, there is still significant variation among the brands,
as the table tennis companies seem to impose their own unique
As of 2004, the Giant Chinese manufacturer Double
Happiness (DHS, headquarter in Shanghai pictured right), was estimated
to be manufacturing about 80% of the world's supply of competition balls,
re-badging them for the other major table tennis companies!
Manufacturing process and specifications
ITTF imposed rules for competition level balls are as follows:
- 2.3 The Ball
- 2.3.1 The ball has a diameter of 40mm and a weight of 2.7g.
- 2.3.2 The ball shall be made of celluloid or similar plastics material and shall be white or orange,
- International Regulations:
Regulations for International Competitions (18.104.22.168) state that . . . the ball . . . shall be of a brand
and type currently approved by the ITTF.
ITTF approval for balls
To obtain ITTF approval, the ITTF have
very strict specifications for the balls, and during the process some very
accurate scientific tests are carried out on the balls to ensure it meets
all the specifications. Tests are carried out on the Weight, Sphericity, Diameter, Bounce, Veer, Hardness, Colour
and detailed checks are done on the markings, general appearance and packaging.
Deviation from any of these specification can results in non-acceptance of
ITTF approval. Further details can be found in the ITTF
Technical leaflet on table tennis balls.
a result, very accurate equipment is required for the manufacturing. Since
there is always some deviation from the specification within a batch of
balls, the balls are usually sorted by another machine (a machine sorting
by mass pictured left).
The balls that meet the specifications are
marked with 3 stars and the appropriate ITTF marking. Balls are usually further
sorted to produce 2 star, 1 star and no-star balls, which are usually
still quite adequate for practice and social play... this way no balls are
Most serious table tennis clubs around the
world that engage in competitions and tournaments endorse the ITTF rules,
and as such only ITTF approved balls can be used, of the colour specified
also by the ITTF. For details on which balls are approved you can check
approved 40mm balls list.
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Table Tennis Balls from Megaspin
tennis / Ping pong balls Guide
Guide on how to choose the balls right for you and what are the important
requirement, to ensure you get good value.
tennis / Ping pong balls Reviews
Reviews and comments on the most common ITTF approved balls