New plastic Table Tennis Balls
New ITTF regulations require new design for non-celluloid plastic table tennis ball:
The ITTF has ruled that in 2014 the official table tennis ball for ITTF events must be made of non-celluloid material. The ball manufacturers are hard at work producing the best possible ball to meet the new ITTF regulations. The design process takes some time, as this affects the future of our sport. A few proto-type balls have been given to a select few top level players and coaches. Here is a video from William Henzell giving his impressions of the test ball he received at the 2012 World Championships in Dortmund. The text from his video is also transcribed below:
Review from William Henzell for new plastic ball:
I received a few packs of the latest version of the new plastic balls from Wang Liqin at the World Team Championships in Dortmund last week. They were brand new and were the best that manufacturer Double Happiness has come up with yet. Everyone is curious about the new balls. How differently will they play? Will there be less spin? Are they going to be faster or slower? So apart from some interesting marketing, I think it may have been lost in translation, let’s have a look at how the new balls fared.
The first thing you notice is the different sound. They sound broken. As it turned out, this would be tested in a few minutes time. The bounce feels different and generally higher. The height and speed of the bounce was less dependent on the spin the player puts on the ball. It sort of evens out the effect of the spin. We predicted that it would be easier to hit harder and more through the ball against long backspin pushes as the ball will sit up higher. The bounce will take some getting used to. The ball will be in a different position than we are used to and are expecting. Not easier nor harder, just different. Tens of thousands of hours of training will have to be re-worked to start expecting the ball to act differently.