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New balls were introduced at professional level in 2014 and there has been much controversy. The article by Table Tennis England is a good summary of the official situation. Basically there was a great commotion caused several years ago when a load of the old celluloid balls caught on fire and the ITTF deemed it necessary to replace the century old technology with much safer balls.
However, the quality of the new balls have proven very difficult to match the previous ball. On top of that the plastic ball is not very durable such as at the Brazil Olympic games according to the New York Times where the pros built a temple to the broken balls.
The district committee has made it mandatory to play with the plastic balls but at our club, which provide free balls for practice, we simply cannot afford the new balls. Our three star celluloid balls cost a third of the new ball and lasts twice as long, so the new ball is effectively six times costly. We already spend approximately $500 a year providing balls to our members, using DHS 3 star balls for competition, but it would cost $3,000 a year to supply the 3 star plastic balls. Until the cost is affordable and they produce balls that last much longer, sorry but we will not supply the plastic balls for free. We do sell the new plastic balls for practice, the good ones (Stiga) for $2 each but no one has bought it. Please do not take the competition plastic balls away.
- Created: 02 January 2017 02 January 2017
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