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  1. MaLongPower is offline
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    Interview of a Member of ITTF Commite:That's how the ITTF wants to go against tuning!

    I guys long time I was gone, but I basically quit table Tennis because the game just isn t fun anymore because of the plastic ball.
    Taking the Spin away from a game, that unique selling factor was spin was just really a bad decision in my opinion.
    But anyways I am still a huge Ma Long Fanboi so his win motivated me to do this Translation for you - enjoy!

    original link: https://www.mytischtennis.de/public/...5co6mKd5TEKL6c

    Material-Talk, Part 2: That's how the ITTF wants to go against tuning!

    27.04.2019 - After we talk in detail with Claudia Herweg and Dr. med. Torsten Küneth on the planned change to colorful Topsheets and the plastic ball we come to an even trickier topic: the tuning. Three years ago, Timo Boll demanded that there has to be done something about it. We ask the two members of the ITTF Materials Committee what has happened since then and what should happen by 2020.

    myTischtennis.de: In the first part of our conversation we talked a lot about new plans, now I would like to talk about an old problem that Timo Boll publicly denounced three years ago: the tuning of rubbers. What is on the agenda during the World Cup?

    Claudia Herweg: A new test method for determining the thickness of the Rubbers is going to be introduced. For the pro sector, a pilot phase is planned in the second half of the year in which we no longer measure the rubber thickness on the complete racket. Instead, after the player is eliminated from the tournament, we will remove the rubber and determine its thickness with a relatively simple measurement technique. Why do we do that? The playing properties of rubbers in the professional sector depend heavily on the thickness. The thicker the rubber is, the more energy it can store and release. Our limit is currently at 4.0 mm, to prevent the game from getting to fast. I think this limitation totally makes sense, but currently our measuring technology does not garantuee that we measure one hundred percent correct. There are ways to prepare the racket so that our measurements are not correct. On Sunday, the final decision will be made as to whether this pilot phase will be implemented in the second half of the year. It would be tested on three international tournaments that are named ahead and players would not fear sanctions if their rubbers are thicker than 4.0mm. The pilot phase is just to learn and review the procedure.

    myTischtennis.de: And so it should also be found out, whether Timo Boll's estimate from the year 2016 that 80% of the players tuning their rubbers, right?

    Claudia Herweg: Thickness measurement does not directly lead to the conclusion that the rubber was prepared illegally. Thickness measurement reduces the chances that the player does something with his rubber. Boosters increase the thickness of the rubber. This means that if we limit the thickness to 4.0 mm and we are able to measure exactly in the future, we reduce the possibilities for the players to tune their rubbers. Thickness measurement is the first step. As a second step, we are currently looking at a new test method in Dortmund, with which one can possibly make better statements about what has been treated.

    myTischtennis.de: So, if you can now find a rubber covering that is 4.2 mm thick, you would not necessarily assume that it was boosted?

    Claudia Herweg: The manufacturers are very careful to ensure that the rubbers are below 4 mm. If a professional has a rubber with 4.2 mm thickness, then that is suspicious.

    Torsten Küneth: Let's first check data first. Data is always better than just speculation. This pilot phase is the middle ground between the two extreme positions. On the one hand, there are players like Timo, who say: the development is far to slow, you have to pursue the topic quickly. And on the other side are players who are against further investigation of thier rubbers. And this pilot phase is a first step in addressing this issue.

    Claudia Herweg: Our goal is that the manufacturers deliver high quality rubbers that the players do not feel incentivised to post-treat them. From my point of view, this is already the case. The quality of the rubbers must be in the hands of the manufacturer and not in the hands of the player.
    (Translator comment: revolving door principle at hand here – this is 100% the interest of the table tennis rubber manufacturer for obvious reasons – so no wonder tuning will remain banned even tough it is impossible to test for regular people)

    myTischtennis.de: You, Mrs. Herweg, as former managing director and co-owner of the company ESN were very close to the rubbers and the players with their wishes. How do you rate the problem of tuning in international table tennis? Are 80% of the players tuning, as Timo Boll says?

    Claudia Herweg: A lot of the players do that. If an athlete does a sport where material counts, like skiing, tennis or something similar, he will try to optimize his material. And of course that always goes to the legal limit . I think,That's just normal with competitive athletes . Our job must be to keep abreast of these developments and to check if it goes in a dangerous direction, compromises fairness among players or violates the rules. Chemical substances definitely do not belong in the hands of the players, but the manufacturer.

    myTischtennis.de: Three years ago Timo Boll brought attention to the topic of tuning. Since then, at least in public, little has been heard of measures taken. Why does the ITTF seem to find it so difficult to do something here, although, if Boll is right, players can take advantage of the rules at each tournament?

    Torsten Küneth: Because it is relatively complex and expensive. After the 2016 World Cup, I got in touch with Professor Motschmann from the University of Regensburg, who brought the idea of ​​rheometry into conversation. And that took its six months, until it was clear: The required process needs highly complex $ 100,000 equipment that can only be operated by trained personnel and needs to be disassembled for each transport, reassembled and recalibrated to work properly. So you could never use that outside of the high priority tournaments. In addition, it would require a significant limitation of allowable sponges. At the end of 2017, these arguments led to the decision of the Executive Committee that this path should not be pursued for the time being and that one would first of all try to get the rubbers off the bat in order to examine it with the conventional gauges that we use anyway at big events. And then it was a question of getting a majority for this idea among 200 associations.

    Claudia Herweg: In addition, rubbers are extremely complex high-tech products. Even with measurement methods like that of Professor Motschmann it is difficult to find out what has been treated and what is approved by the ittf . The degree is very narrow. But we are working on it.
    (Translator Comment: In Case you tought it isn t ridiculous enough...)

    myTischtennis.de: What is the goal of the ITTF until the Tokyo Olympics 2020? Do plan to have the problem under control by that time or is that unrealistic?

    Claudia Herweg: No, this is not a problem that you could get under control so quickly. But the project has the highest priority and we are working hard on it.

    Torsten Küneth: Of course, many things are possible to counteract this injustice. The default example is the standard bat that are issued before the game. But then we do not have table tennis anymore. We also do not want to build a 'police state' and hunt our players. That's not out intention. We want to support fair play whereever possible, but do not want to ruin the sport.

    Claudia Herweg: At the same time we have to ensure that the players can deliver their best performance. The presentation of our top players is incredibly important to us. So, if the players can show their best table tennis because they are satisfied with their material then we all win.

    myTischtennis.de: It was already in the room once, just allow tuning. Is that still an option? After all, it is not harmful to your health ...

    Torsten Küneth: In the run-up to the 2018 World Cup, there was a request to considerably ease the general ban on post-treatment. But it was withdrawn before voting because virtually everyone was against it. This was an important indication for us that we are the right with our basic idea.

    Claudia Herweg: If you allow boosting, you do not just allow boosters, but any after-treatment of coverings. And that leads to the fact that players use again things that are harmful to health. We as ITTF have the responsibility that the sport is harmless to health. If we do that, we give up all the control. And that would be a big step backwards.

    myTischtennis.de: That means that this option is no longer up for discussion?

    Claudia Herweg: Is not quite off the table. But the Executive Committee has given us all time to take the next steps against the after-treatment. Of course, this also applies to the aftertreatment of pips out rubbers. We are trying to developed measuring methods and tests as fast as possible.

    myTischtennis.de: We have now talked a lot about what can happen at the top level of the sport. But how high is the chance that in the end you will find a ruling that also affects the association's league players in Germany? Not every club can have an expensive meter ...

    Claudia Herweg: The measuring device for thickness measurement costs about 250 euros and can be used by any player or referee without any problems.
    (Translator comment: would not be suprised that she owns the manufacturer of those instruments too...)

    Torsten Küneth: That is also done until the 3rd league with every club before the match. Sure, these are not yet Kreisliga players, but in principle, the DTTB can now order random tests down to the top league. It is important to me that we find a method that is applicable to as many levels as possible.
    ( To my knowleage in my local association (WTTV) we only have 3 of those measuering instruments...)

    Claudia Herweg: But we still have no means to determine the booster properly. We still need time for that. The thickness measurement limits the whole, but you can not do more at the moment. I can only recommend to the players, to take a look at the market and the huge range of rubbers. When I compare that to when I was young, there was only one product whose properties were varied with speed glueing. I can only recommend each team to have a test case sent to them and find out which one is the best rubber for the individual player. For us table tennis players there are so many possibilities, you do not need a booster!

    All credit to myttischtennis

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    Last edited by MaLongPower; 04-28-2019 at 02:28 PM.
    Control your emotions ->control the game!

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    The new thickness probe made in Japan. 340 Euro.
    Last edited by igorponger; 04-29-2019 at 10:16 AM.

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    I have quit table tennis as well and over the years I have bought Viscaria, Xiom blades, Butterfly blades, tenergies, tibhar rubbers etc and all the top expensive stuff, I could hold top spin rallies and play at high level including competitive matches in a local league.

    I don't find it fun anymore, the most fun I had with table tennis when I played it at school at the age of 14 and everyone just had normal medium speed rackets. None of this overly expensive commercialised tuned crap that is now.

    That game that I remember playing at school with normal rackets was the most fun I ever had.
    Last edited by bzing; 04-29-2019 at 03:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaLongPower
    I guys long time I was gone, but I basically quit table Tennis because the game just isn t fun anymore because of the plastic ball.
    Taking the Spin away from a game, that unique selling factor was spin was just really a bad decision in my opinion.
    But anyways I am still a huge Ma Long Fanboi so his win motivated me to do this Translation for you - enjoy!

    original link: https://www.mytischtennis.de/public/...5co6mKd5TEKL6c

    Material-Talk, Part 2: That's how the ITTF wants to go against tuning!

    27.04.2019 - After we talk in detail with Claudia Herweg and Dr. med. Torsten Küneth on the planned change to colorful Topsheets and the plastic ball we come to an even trickier topic: the tuning. Three years ago, Timo Boll demanded that there has to be done something about it. We ask the two members of the ITTF Materials Committee what has happened since then and what should happen by 2020.

    myTischtennis.de: In the first part of our conversation we talked a lot about new plans, now I would like to talk about an old problem that Timo Boll publicly denounced three years ago: the tuning of rubbers. What is on the agenda during the World Cup?

    Claudia Herweg: A new test method for determining the thickness of the Rubbers is going to be introduced. For the pro sector, a pilot phase is planned in the second half of the year in which we no longer measure the rubber thickness on the complete racket. Instead, after the player is eliminated from the tournament, we will remove the rubber and determine its thickness with a relatively simple measurement technique. Why do we do that? The playing properties of rubbers in the professional sector depend heavily on the thickness. The thicker the rubber is, the more energy it can store and release. Our limit is currently at 4.0 mm, to prevent the game from getting to fast. I think this limitation totally makes sense, but currently our measuring technology does not garantuee that we measure one hundred percent correct. There are ways to prepare the racket so that our measurements are not correct. On Sunday, the final decision will be made as to whether this pilot phase will be implemented in the second half of the year. It would be tested on three international tournaments that are named ahead and players would not fear sanctions if their rubbers are thicker than 4.0mm. The pilot phase is just to learn and review the procedure.

    myTischtennis.de: And so it should also be found out, whether Timo Boll's estimate from the year 2016 that 80% of the players tuning their rubbers, right?

    Claudia Herweg: Thickness measurement does not directly lead to the conclusion that the rubber was prepared illegally. Thickness measurement reduces the chances that the player does something with his rubber. Boosters increase the thickness of the rubber. This means that if we limit the thickness to 4.0 mm and we are able to measure exactly in the future, we reduce the possibilities for the players to tune their rubbers. Thickness measurement is the first step. As a second step, we are currently looking at a new test method in Dortmund, with which one can possibly make better statements about what has been treated.

    myTischtennis.de: So, if you can now find a rubber covering that is 4.2 mm thick, you would not necessarily assume that it was boosted?

    Claudia Herweg: The manufacturers are very careful to ensure that the rubbers are below 4 mm. If a professional has a rubber with 4.2 mm thickness, then that is suspicious.

    Torsten Küneth: Let's first check data first. Data is always better than just speculation. This pilot phase is the middle ground between the two extreme positions. On the one hand, there are players like Timo, who say: the development is far to slow, you have to pursue the topic quickly. And on the other side are players who are against further investigation of thier rubbers. And this pilot phase is a first step in addressing this issue.

    Claudia Herweg: Our goal is that the manufacturers deliver high quality rubbers that the players do not feel incentivised to post-treat them. From my point of view, this is already the case. The quality of the rubbers must be in the hands of the manufacturer and not in the hands of the player.
    (Translator comment: revolving door principle at hand here – this is 100% the interest of the table tennis rubber manufacturer for obvious reasons – so no wonder tuning will remain banned even tough it is impossible to test for regular people)

    myTischtennis.de: You, Mrs. Herweg, as former managing director and co-owner of the company ESN were very close to the rubbers and the players with their wishes. How do you rate the problem of tuning in international table tennis? Are 80% of the players tuning, as Timo Boll says?

    Claudia Herweg: A lot of the players do that. If an athlete does a sport where material counts, like skiing, tennis or something similar, he will try to optimize his material. And of course that always goes to the legal limit . I think,That's just normal with competitive athletes . Our job must be to keep abreast of these developments and to check if it goes in a dangerous direction, compromises fairness among players or violates the rules. Chemical substances definitely do not belong in the hands of the players, but the manufacturer.

    myTischtennis.de: Three years ago Timo Boll brought attention to the topic of tuning. Since then, at least in public, little has been heard of measures taken. Why does the ITTF seem to find it so difficult to do something here, although, if Boll is right, players can take advantage of the rules at each tournament?

    Torsten Küneth: Because it is relatively complex and expensive. After the 2016 World Cup, I got in touch with Professor Motschmann from the University of Regensburg, who brought the idea of ​​rheometry into conversation. And that took its six months, until it was clear: The required process needs highly complex $ 100,000 equipment that can only be operated by trained personnel and needs to be disassembled for each transport, reassembled and recalibrated to work properly. So you could never use that outside of the high priority tournaments. In addition, it would require a significant limitation of allowable sponges. At the end of 2017, these arguments led to the decision of the Executive Committee that this path should not be pursued for the time being and that one would first of all try to get the rubbers off the bat in order to examine it with the conventional gauges that we use anyway at big events. And then it was a question of getting a majority for this idea among 200 associations.

    Claudia Herweg: In addition, rubbers are extremely complex high-tech products. Even with measurement methods like that of Professor Motschmann it is difficult to find out what has been treated and what is approved by the ittf . The degree is very narrow. But we are working on it.
    (Translator Comment: In Case you tought it isn t ridiculous enough...)

    myTischtennis.de: What is the goal of the ITTF until the Tokyo Olympics 2020? Do plan to have the problem under control by that time or is that unrealistic?

    Claudia Herweg: No, this is not a problem that you could get under control so quickly. But the project has the highest priority and we are working hard on it.

    Torsten Küneth: Of course, many things are possible to counteract this injustice. The default example is the standard bat that are issued before the game. But then we do not have table tennis anymore. We also do not want to build a 'police state' and hunt our players. That's not out intention. We want to support fair play whereever possible, but do not want to ruin the sport.

    Claudia Herweg: At the same time we have to ensure that the players can deliver their best performance. The presentation of our top players is incredibly important to us. So, if the players can show their best table tennis because they are satisfied with their material then we all win.

    myTischtennis.de: It was already in the room once, just allow tuning. Is that still an option? After all, it is not harmful to your health ...

    Torsten Küneth: In the run-up to the 2018 World Cup, there was a request to considerably ease the general ban on post-treatment. But it was withdrawn before voting because virtually everyone was against it. This was an important indication for us that we are the right with our basic idea.

    Claudia Herweg: If you allow boosting, you do not just allow boosters, but any after-treatment of coverings. And that leads to the fact that players use again things that are harmful to health. We as ITTF have the responsibility that the sport is harmless to health. If we do that, we give up all the control. And that would be a big step backwards.

    myTischtennis.de: That means that this option is no longer up for discussion?

    Claudia Herweg: Is not quite off the table. But the Executive Committee has given us all time to take the next steps against the after-treatment. Of course, this also applies to the aftertreatment of pips out rubbers. We are trying to developed measuring methods and tests as fast as possible.

    myTischtennis.de: We have now talked a lot about what can happen at the top level of the sport. But how high is the chance that in the end you will find a ruling that also affects the association's league players in Germany? Not every club can have an expensive meter ...

    Claudia Herweg: The measuring device for thickness measurement costs about 250 euros and can be used by any player or referee without any problems.
    (Translator comment: would not be suprised that she owns the manufacturer of those instruments too...)

    Torsten Küneth: That is also done until the 3rd league with every club before the match. Sure, these are not yet Kreisliga players, but in principle, the DTTB can now order random tests down to the top league. It is important to me that we find a method that is applicable to as many levels as possible.
    ( To my knowleage in my local association (WTTV) we only have 3 of those measuering instruments...)

    Claudia Herweg: But we still have no means to determine the booster properly. We still need time for that. The thickness measurement limits the whole, but you can not do more at the moment. I can only recommend to the players, to take a look at the market and the huge range of rubbers. When I compare that to when I was young, there was only one product whose properties were varied with speed glueing. I can only recommend each team to have a test case sent to them and find out which one is the best rubber for the individual player. For us table tennis players there are so many possibilities, you do not need a booster!

    All credit to myttischtennis
    Very interesting. This must have got burried by all the wttc posts.

    Thanks for translating. Much appreciated. Gonna try to also read the interview on their website.

    I really respect Claudia Herweg, as she was so kind to quickly reply to me when I had a question about the rules and even allowed me to post it here.

    But seriously, I think this here won't be a very succesful task.

    If I understood correctly then there is no 100% safe method to distinguish between factory tuning and post-factory tuning which will make this quite difficult if not close to impossible.
    I also thought that baby oil and other oil based boosters aren't as dangerous as speedglue.
    But maybe I just misunderstood.

    From my point of view I very much agree on what somebody else just posted here lately.
    It was like: just legalize boosting and limit the max sponge down to 2.0mm and find out that even boosting will reach its limits.
    In my book this will give better results than hunting down windmills.


    Anyhow, thanks again.
    [BTW: interesting comments underneath the interview.]

    Too bad you took a pause playing, even if I can understand this to a degree. Spin is essential to the game and also what makes the world go round.

    But even though it happens a little less than with cellballs, i still make opponents misread my serves and push them into the net or make 'em return high if not long.
    So maybe you're just taking a little timeout.

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    Last edited by Suga D; 04-29-2019 at 07:25 PM.

  5. langel is offline
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