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  1. TTHopeful is offline
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    #1

    Sharara Interview on new plastic balls

    This interview has been taken from MNNB blog: http://www.dohastadiumplusqatar.com/...playing-field/



    Is the ITTF going to change table tennis balls?

    From the technology point of view, we’re going to reduce speed. In fact, we’re developing a technology test, which’ll have a bounce limit. If you see Chinese players performing the stroke, it’s difficult to see the ball. This has to slow down. We’re also changing balls. FIFA made the balls lighter and faster, but we’re changing balls from celluloid to plastic for less spin and bounce. We want to slow down the game a little bit. It’ll come into effect from July 1, which, I think, is going to be a very big change in the sport.

    Will there be any change on the racquet?

    In the past, we’ve tried various ways to control the power of the racquet. But players are always ahead of us. They’ve tried other means, which made the action faster. Now we’ve decided to measure the racquet from the outside. The racquets will have a bounce limit as well. We’ll introduce this next year. However, there’ll be no changes in table dimensions.

    What do you think?

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    #2
    Thanks for the info! I disagree with the racquet bounce. I think that if every player can get every rubber, it shouldn't be restricted unless it is harmful, like speed glue

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    #3
    This is great news !! Once ITTF fails in this pursuit , they will start increasing the length of the table and the height of the net and so on and so forth and just in a matter of few days .. voila !!! you will get to see your favorite table tennis player say zhang jike playing your favorite tennis player say roger federer !!!!!! Now then we can get millions of dollars in prize money and sponsorship

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    #4
    just when I found the blade I was looking for all these years
    ..well its back to the drawing board.
    Last edited by craniumburn; 02-26-2014 at 01:27 AM.
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    #5
    The problem is just like basketball.
    It requires the other countries to step up, than oppose to ask Team USA to send a weaker or reduce squad to the Olympic or World Championships.
    If the other countries fail, then even this weaker Team USA will win comfortably, right?

    I am wondering, what else China can do to "help" the world and put themselves in a more disadvantage.....
    They are training the "enemies" and making them stronger.
    They are sending less players to world events
    They are sponsoring foreign players/teams to take part in Chinese leagues
    They are doing more marketing to promote the sport than ever before
    They fund and provide coaches for some countries (exchange programs)
    They enoucrage provincial teams to set up relationships with other countries (exchange programs)

    There are thousands of coaches, players, practice partners in the world, that is helping the other countries. Yet, the problem is still - China is dominating the sport and its bad for the sport.

    What other countries is doing 10% of what China is doing to help the sport - please list it, and then we can talk.
    Other than that, the China domination is based on poor management from other national federations and until the true "root" of the problem is addressed - changing rules, adding handicaps to China, won't stop China from doing well with they "winning formula"

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    The problem is just like basketball.
    It requires the other countries to step up, than oppose to ask Team USA to send a weaker or reduce squad to the Olympic or World Championships.
    If the other countries fail, then even this weaker Team USA will win comfortably, right?

    I am wondering, what else China can do to "help" the world and put themselves in a more disadvantage.....
    They are training the "enemies" and making them stronger.
    They are sending less players to world events
    They are sponsoring foreign players/teams to take part in Chinese leagues
    They are doing more marketing to promote the sport than ever before
    They fund and provide coaches for some countries (exchange programs)
    They enoucrage provincial teams to set up relationships with other countries (exchange programs)

    There are thousands of coaches, players, practice partners in the world, that is helping the other countries. Yet, the problem is still - China is dominating the sport and its bad for the sport.

    What other countries is doing 10% of what China is doing to help the sport - please list it, and then we can talk.
    Other than that, the China domination is based on poor management from other national federations and until the true "root" of the problem is addressed - changing rules, adding handicaps to China, won't stop China from doing well with they "winning formula"
    Couldn't agree more! It's not China beeing good and professional that is the problem here, it's other countries not doing their best!
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    #7
    BTW, why are they going to change the racket bounce? Isn't the ball change enough? Heck, we won't see players like Saive and Waldner in the future when players can't play far from the table anymore
    Don't hesitate. If you want to reach your goal, just go for it!

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Anders
    BTW, why are they going to change the racket bounce? Isn't the ball change enough? Heck, we won't see players like Saive and Waldner in the future when players can't play far from the table anymore
    That is plan B or Z (I lost count lol)
    Basically if it loose bounce, then the ball acceleration/spin (dwelling etc) will be reduced.

    I can understand making changes to fit the TV and spectator audience, but not for one countries dominance.
    Past rules are changed for audience purpose, but no improvements there. Thus meaning, the root of the problem was not indentified correctly

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    That is plan B or Z (I lost count lol)
    Basically if it loose bounce, then the ball acceleration/spin (dwelling etc) will be reduced.

    I can understand making changes to fit the TV and spectator audience, but not for one countries dominance.
    Past rules are changed for audience purpose, but no improvements there. Thus meaning, the root of the problem was not indentified correctly
    Tho we might see some more variation in equipent, more pips etc.. The game are not going to be as interesting anymore, no spin, not spectacular sidespin shots from far away, no more around the net shots.. No more epic lob shots.. What are really the pros of this adjustments?
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    #10
    I really wish they'd just stop fiddling with the game. It's fine as it is and if they're not careful, they'll end up in the ridiculous situation that now faces Formula One where every year there's another new "rule" aimed at making it more competitive, due to the advances in technology.......

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    #11
    They are destroying the sport. They will slowdown the game to stupid beginners level ITTF is wants to destroy the sport mire than upgrading it.

    Something is wrong with their rule about the limit of rackets bounce. Chinese rubbers are tacky and the ball bounces very low on them but when you hit the ball hard (like what Chinese player are doing) the ball will go faster than any Euro-Japan rubber. So Euro-japan rubbers will fail the test but they are actually slower than Chinese rubber.
    Another thing is some one will start a tournament with a Chinese tacky rubber and pass the test. But during the tournament his rubber loses a bit of this tackiness and will fail the bounce test.

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    #12
    That was exactly what concerned me in a recent forum post, "against plastic ball"

    it's not that change (A) or change (B) are manageable. If the ball extends rallies without changing the spin too much, maybe it's good? or bad? no one knows until the change is made.

    It's how ITTF decide changes, policies that seemed ridiculous. You have to have a SUPER CLEAR OBJECTIVE before making a change that essentially change EVERYTHING about tabletennis. Sharara was talking about the objective being HEALTH ISSUE in previous cases, now it seemed clear that it was about chinese dominance, and making the sports easier and easier, less and less about skills, SUCH THAT china don't dominate, since they have more skills at the moment!? It is okay to reduce spins or something to make the sports more entertaining, and challenging and increases the required skills. but not okay for the domination reason.

    ITTF decision making processes and policies' directions are just bothering me a lot.

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Alborz
    They are destroying the sport. They will slowdown the game to stupid beginners level ITTF is wants to destroy the sport mire than upgrading it.

    Something is wrong with their rule about the limit of rackets bounce. Chinese rubbers are tacky and the ball bounces very low on them but when you hit the ball hard (like what Chinese player are doing) the ball will go faster than any Euro-Japan rubber. So Euro-japan rubbers will fail the test but they are actually slower than Chinese rubber.
    Another thing is some one will start a tournament with a Chinese tacky rubber and pass the test. But during the tournament his rubber loses a bit of this tackiness and will fail the bounce test.
    They won't test any players at events and nor will they test blades with rubbers on because there are to many variables to consider. I think all that they'll do is test the blades (a sample set), directly from the manufacturer (as they currently do with rubbers) and test the blades by firing a ball at them without any rubbers on - i.e. directly onto the wood of the blade.

    To be honest, I'm a little more cynical and think that this has nothing to do with making the sport slower, but simply to line the pockets of the ITTF with money. I can see it now "you can only use ITTF approved blades". Manufacturers will end up paying more to get this approval and thus the ITTF will pocket more money.

    I use a custom hand-made blade that cost me a lot of money. It complies completely with the rules of what a racket must be (in size, thickness, construction, etc). However the person that makes it one guy out in America who does it for a hobby. I doubt he will ever pay the ITTF to have his blade approved, so it's going to impact him. Will this stop me using my blade? Nope, not at all. Plus at local league level, the amount of people who have blades that are older than me is huge. None of these will be ITTF approved but none of those players will change their blades either. This is something that will only affect the professional players I'm sure.
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    #14
    Couple of other points to add.

    1.) FIT (Federation of International Table Tennis Manufacturers) has already declined the ITTF's request to supply sample rackets and blades. I guess they can see where this is going to go (lining the pockets of the ITTF again!). What with the introduction of the new ball and now the possible regulation of blades, I think people are getting a bit fed up with the ITTF meddling.

    2.) I don't think this will ever impact at the grass roots "local league" level. I can see why it works for rubbers because they diminish over time with use and you have to replace them, but blades don't. Plus blades are much more expensive to change. Generally, players will have a couple of blades that they'll keep for years and just swap the rubbers over each season. There is no way that at local league level, any local league committee is going to say "you can only now use ITTF approved blades", it's just not going to happen.

    3.) Imagine spending £150-200 on a blade only to find that the manufacturer has discontinued it a season later for a newer version. No local league player is going to go out and buy the new version (unless they have money to burn). They will continue to use their own, still new, expensive blade! Plus NOBODY will turn up to a match, look at the blade and say "sorry we can't play, it's not on the approved blade list". It's just not going to happen because at local league level, people just want to play Table Tennis and aren't bothered about whether a blade is approved or not.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbuer
    They won't test any players at events and nor will they test blades with rubbers on because there are to many variables to consider. I think all that they'll do is test the blades (a sample set), directly from the manufacturer (as they currently do with rubbers) and test the blades by firing a ball at them without any rubbers on - i.e. directly onto the wood of the blade.

    To be honest, I'm a little more cynical and think that this has nothing to do with making the sport slower, but simply to line the pockets of the ITTF with money. I can see it now "you can only use ITTF approved blades". Manufacturers will end up paying more to get this approval and thus the ITTF will pocket more money.

    I use a custom hand-made blade that cost me a lot of money. It complies completely with the rules of what a racket must be (in size, thickness, construction, etc). However the person that makes it one guy out in America who does it for a hobby. I doubt he will ever pay the ITTF to have his blade approved, so it's going to impact him. Will this stop me using my blade? Nope, not at all. Plus at local league level, the amount of people who have blades that are older than me is huge. None of these will be ITTF approved but none of those players will change their blades either. This is something that will only affect the professional players I'm sure.
    Almost all of players in my club use ITTF approved equipment. They will keep them for a long time after the change of the rules but they have to change them after some time. Our of the ball in our club is ITTF approved so the change of the ball will surely effect us and because of that we will change our equipment to adjust with the new ball. So it will effect all of the players.

    They said they will make a limit for "racket" bounce not "balde" bounce. The easiest way for them is to test the pros racket before every match.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Alborz
    Almost all of players in my club use ITTF approved equipment. They will keep them for a long time after the change of the rules but they have to change them after some time. Our of the ball in our club is ITTF approved so the change of the ball will surely effect us and because of that we will change our equipment to adjust with the new ball. So it will effect all of the players.

    They said they will make a limit for "racket" bounce not "balde" bounce. The easiest way for them is to test the pros racket before every match.
    The point I'm making is that rubbers and balls are degradable in that, over time and with use, they need replacing. Currently players are more likely and willing to replace their rubbers with the latest versions because "they're going to have to change them at some point" due to the wear from use. The same goes for balls because they break and new ones have to be purchased. The same doesn't apply to blades because a good quality blade does not deteriorate to anywhere near the same extent. I know players who have top quality wood blades that are over 20 years old and although a little tarnished, are still in great condition.

    The other major factor here is the "cost to change". Rubbers and balls are relatively cheap to replace. However a good quality blade can be up to four times the price of the most expensive rubbers. Most TT players I know do not have the disposable income to simply buy the latest approved blade.

    Finally, I cannot see a scientific way for blades to be tested at events. It's just not feasible or practical. What are they going to do, bounce the ball on the blade? How hard do they have to bounce it? It would have to be the same force each time in order to get an accurate measurement. A human cannot do this so they'd have to have a machine. What about the ambient temperature in the room. This will affect the flight of the ball, so it would need to be a default temperature. What happens if the rubber passes after the first match, but through use it heats up and becomes more supple. Do they re-test for the second match?

    Testing at events is impossible and there are too many factors and variables that will affect the results. The only way to test is using the same machine, in the same conditions, at the manufacturers without any rubbers on the blade.

    This reminds me of the frictionless long pimple ban back in 2008. They said all rubbers had to be under 25nm of friction, yet as far as I know, they've never tested any rubbers at any events by bringing a machine along. All they do is test a sample set of rubbers sent from the manufacturers to ensure that they're above this nM limit. However there's no doubt that some rubbers will go below this limit over time with use. They are still "legal" because the rule applies to the manufacturer and not the player and I'd imagine in the case of any rules on blades, this will be the same.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbuer
    The point I'm making is that rubbers and balls are degradable in that, over time and with use, they need replacing. Currently players are more likely and willing to replace their rubbers with the latest versions because "they're going to have to change them at some point" due to the wear from use. The same goes for balls because they break and new ones have to be purchased. The same doesn't apply to blades because a good quality blade does not deteriorate to anywhere near the same extent. I know players who have top quality wood blades that are over 20 years old and although a little tarnished, are still in great condition.

    The other major factor here is the "cost to change". Rubbers and balls are relatively cheap to replace. However a good quality blade can be up to four times the price of the most expensive rubbers. Most TT players I know do not have the disposable income to simply buy the latest approved blade.

    Finally, I cannot see a scientific way for blades to be tested at events. It's just not feasible or practical. What are they going to do, bounce the ball on the blade? How hard do they have to bounce it? It would have to be the same force each time in order to get an accurate measurement. A human cannot do this so they'd have to have a machine. What about the ambient temperature in the room. This will affect the flight of the ball, so it would need to be a default temperature. What happens if the rubber passes after the first match, but through use it heats up and becomes more supple. Do they re-test for the second match?

    Testing at events is impossible and there are too many factors and variables that will affect the results. The only way to test is using the same machine, in the same conditions, at the manufacturers without any rubbers on the blade.

    This reminds me of the frictionless long pimple ban back in 2008. They said all rubbers had to be under 25nm of friction, yet as far as I know, they've never tested any rubbers at any events by bringing a machine along. All they do is test a sample set of rubbers sent from the manufacturers to ensure that they're above this nM limit. However there's no doubt that some rubbers will go below this limit over time with use. They are still "legal" because the rule applies to the manufacturer and not the player and I'd imagine in the case of any rules on blades, this will be the same.
    It's not hard to test the racket. Just drop a ball from a specific height and see the ball bounces how high on the racket. It's very easy and simple and can be done in 20 second!

    It isn't important how they are going to test them. The important thing is that they are going to slow down and destroy the game just because the domination of China
    I hope manufactures to come up with some super fast and spiny rubbers to counteract the negative effects of new rules and table tennis can continue it's current game style.

    The worth thing is slowing the rackets will not effect Chinese players since Chinese players are using tacky not bouncy rubbers. It will only make the task harder for other players because they are using bouncy rubbers.

    I have National Hurricane 3. If i drop the ball form 10cm height on it, it will stick to rubber and will not bounce at all but when i play a power-loop the balls flies faster than any other rubber such as all of Tenergies that i played with them. That rubber will pass the test but the Tenergy will not even Hurricane is much faster.
    Last edited by Alborz; 02-26-2014 at 02:57 PM.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Alborz
    It's not hard to test the racket. Just drop a ball from a specific height and see the ball bounces how high on the racket. It's very easy and simple and can be done in 20 second!

    It isn't important how they are going to test them. The important thing is that they are going to slow down and destroy the game just because the domination of China [IMG]file:///C:\Users\CBUE~1.LII\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.png[/IMG]
    I hope manufactures to come up with some super fast and spiny rubbers to counteract the negative effects of new rules and table tennis can continue it's current game style.
    Sorry I disagree, it's very important how they will test them. If they are going to disqualify people at tournaments for having "illegal equipment", then they need to fully justify it. Can you imagine a situation where Timo Boll is not allowed to play because the ref has bounced the ball on his blade and "thinks" it may not conform to the bounce rules? That is never going to happen. What about all of those fans who have turned up to see Timo play? What about Timo himself? It's just not feasible.

    Just in practical terms, the ref has to perform a proper test in order to be able to accurately assess the blade.

    The ref is not going to just hold the ball from any given height and bounce it on the racket, then subjectively say “I think it might be bouncing higher than allowed”. I can’t see, by simply looking, how the ref will determine if it’s within the “bounce regulations”. What’s he going to do, hold up a ruler up to ensure that the ball doesn’t bounce above a certain height? If so, he’ll have to ensure that the ball is dropped from a specific height and how exactly will he measure how high it bounces? With the ruler again? He'd better have very fast eyes because I don't know anyone who could do this accurately. I'd imagine he'd need a slow motion camera to capture the bounce height to measure it accurately? Oh and what happens if he performs the bounce test in one room where the ambient temperature is different to another room - i.e. the blade may pass the test in one room but fail in another.

    There are too many variables and simply bouncing the ball on the bat won’t be enough….

    One last thing I will say is that I do find it slightly amusing how people are getting frustrated and annoyed at the ITTF are trying to slow down and destroy the game. They’ve been doing this for years, but most of their changes haven’t had an impact on the majority of players. I used to use frictionless long pimples but they were banned because they wanted to remove a style of play. I’ve had to re-adapt my game with friction pimples, which is fine, but because I’m in a minority (of users playing with these sorts of rubbers), nobody really challenged the ITTF. I just wonder now, with the changes to the balls, the blades and the general tinkering over the last few years, how long it’ll be before players and national associations get bored and distance themselves from the ITTF.

    The game is fine as it is. They’ve already changed a number of rules so that the game is apparently “better” to watch on TV – Changing the scoring system from 21-up to 11-up, now they’re changing the balls to slow it down…and the blades to slow it down more, they’ve removed speed gluing to slow it down further (blaming health and safety lol!!). The list goes on and will continue to go on until people get fed up and vote with their feet!!
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    #19
    This interview really sounds like they want to destroy the sport..
    Heavy spin on the ball is what makes table tennis unique. You won't be able to play table tennis with the same spin than tennis. (or if you do so, 90% will quit table tennis)
    Making the net higher to slow down serve and reverse would be reasonable, but reducing spin is just crap.

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Alborz
    ...

    The worth thing is slowing the rackets will not effect Chinese players since Chinese players are using tacky not bouncy rubbers. It will only make the task harder for other players because they are using bouncy rubbers.

    I have National Hurricane 3. If i drop the ball form 10cm height on it, it will stick to rubber and will not bounce at all but when i play a power-loop the balls flies faster than any other rubber such as all of Tenergies that i played with them. That rubber will pass the test but the Tenergy will not even Hurricane is much faster.
    So, and with respect, your suggestion of simply "dropping the ball from a specific height" doesn't work with what you've added above does it?

    Let's also add in that a major component of the rubber's speed comes from its reaction to lateral loading. For example, when you loop, block against loop, push against chop, etc. A test of flat bounce says nothing about the behaviour with lateral load. As I've said previously, the maximum bounce will depend on racket configuration and testing conditions.
    Blade: Ross Leidy custom blade
    Forehand: Tenergy 05-FX 1.7mm
    Backhand: Giant Dragon Giant Long OX

    -----
    Ever tried, Ever failed? No Matter.
    Try again, Fail Again, Fail Better!

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