Just a thought about making TT rallies longer and more watchable by the public...

This user has no status.
This user has no status.
New Member
Dec 2011
2
0
2
This may be a naive question, but wouldn't help if the balls had a some kind of mark that makes it easier to see the spin? Something like an equator circle around the ball.

This would make seeing the spin better and that way avoiding many unforced errors. In turn this could make rallies longer on pro and amateur matches (and more watchable). It would also help new players to learn TT faster and not getting so frustrated from the beginning because of the spin.

The new plastic balls will be even more rounded (instead of egg shaped), so they might disguise the spin even more with more uniformed rotation (although they might spin less). This could help balance things a little bit.

This also could prevent more serious and drastic changes on equipments, like the feared ball size increased, etc.

Or maybe is just a bad idea?

I'm sure this has been suggested in the past, but I'm surprised that it hasn't gotten more traction. Maybe I'm missing something?
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
Hello,

I am convinced that to make our sport more attractive it is indeed better to make rallies longer , this 3rd ball attack play is not really nice to see nor to play it !
This suggestion to put a marking on the ball to make sure players see the spin better is in my opinion a step in the right direction, heck even Timo Boll wants this to be implemented.

I have another a lot more revolutionary idea to create longer rallies , i will post a picture/video on this later on this site. This is in my opinion a BIG leap ahead for our sport. I have already tested it once and am about to do more testing in the future and i will hopefully get you guys to test it and give serious opinions about it.
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Sep 2011
913
66
1,009
Read 4 reviews
There already is a marking on the ball. The logo. I don't see how a marking will help make rallies longer. Many services have just too much spin that you're forced to do nothing, but push thus allowing for the third ball attack. People don't want to see rallies that last forever, but neither do they want to see rallies too short which in my opinion happens when more skilled players play the lesser ones. So rather than worry about equipment I would suggest that focus be put on growing your country's TT system to the point where enough players are produced to compete against the Asian and Chinese players.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Oct 2011
83
12
97
For me it is spin that means the non-player cannot appreciate the game on TV. They cannot see how much spin is on the ball and therefore cannot understand the effect it has on the game. All they can see is a ball pushed in the net or missed if spin is misread. They like to see rallies either top spin to top spin or top spin to chop.

The downside of this idea is that it takes disguise out of the game. This affects serve (and everyone will have their own idea how good or bad reducing the effect of the serve will have) but will also reduce further the game of defenders. We do not have many defenders anyway but those who are there often rely on a deceptive mix of backspin and float to win points and so this potentially is as harmful as making the ball bigger and reducing spin.

As with all ideas there are going to be upsides and downsides. Everyone will have their own idea on if the upsides are worth the price.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
May 2011
1,892
115
2,353
The reason you can't see the spin on screen is because a video is limited to a certain amount of frames per second. On video's this is often 25-30 fps I believe. On high level table tennis players can give spin that gives the ball 100-150 rotations per second. This means you can't see the spin by watching the ball only. Even the human eye can record only like 60 fps. So to be able to judge the spin you need to have the motion and the sound and the trajectory.

The idea is not bad, but I just don't think it works for making people read the spin better. Personally I think I would go crazy if a multicolored ball was fired at me. It just rotates too fast to read the spin from it.
 
says backhand - Tenergy 05 black forehand - haifu whale blade...
says backhand - Tenergy 05 black forehand - haifu whale blade...
Member
Nov 2011
63
0
64
I don't think a marking on the ball would make much difference in the way rallies would be played...but it is a good tool to teach and educate people about the sport.
I honestly think that the sport is what it is, and by trying to change the rules, system, etc...is just confusing the audience. I mean I'm sure there are lots of people who aren't' aficionado of the sport but play it in their backyard who don't even know that the set are on 11 point and continue to use 21pts system.
What was wrong with 21pts and smaller ball???? nothing...and bigger balls and 11pts haven't really impact the "watchability" of the sport!

To me watchability of the sport is not the biggest issue, but rather the lack of big event and big sponsors and more importantly more media exposure (because I still don't understand American football, but the media do a good job at keeping me entertain)...imagine watching a TT match with computerized replay showing the trajectory of the ball like in tennis tournament? or tell you exactly the speed of a winning loop? would that be awesome??
 
This user has no status.
To mark the ball is an interesting idea that came up several times but it's a bit difficult.. If you have heavy spin the marking wont really help aynmore, it only helps to distinguish smaller amounts of spin and therefore you can already use the stamp a bit.
But it's really useful in beginner training, I often use a Edding and mark one half of the ball black so the people can get a better feeling for spin in general. But on higher and professional level it wont make such a difference in game i guess..
 
This user has no status.
To me watchability of the sport is not the biggest issue, but rather the lack of big event and big sponsors and more importantly more media exposure (because I still don't understand American football, but the media do a good job at keeping me entertain)...imagine watching a TT match with computerized replay showing the trajectory of the ball like in tennis tournament? or tell you exactly the speed of a winning loop? would that be awesome??

In order to get big events , big sponsors and more media exposure you NEED a big audience , so watchability is the most essential element in order to promote the sport. Failing to understand this is a fundamental and basic error.

A sponsor will have to know how many people will watch an event, exposure on tv (or other media) needs to generate large amounts of viewers.
The sport MUST be made more attractive to see. Heck, even i admit that i like to watch tennis more than table tennis !

All those 3 ball rallies (service, return, BAM!), boooring.

We all know that the top pro players are all evolving towards this power game close to the table. It is just a matter of physics, we have the parameters of the game : table dimensions, net height, 2,7 g ball 40mm , mostly wooden paddle, rubbers and sponge. This has led to the current short aggressive game of pro's and will evolve even more so (have you seen Koki Niwa and Lin Guoyang just slamming the ball in an almost straight line onto the table ?). They are the upcoming next generation of world top players ! I have watched video's of them against current top players like Wang Hao and Ma Lin and it seems to me that even these guys are not amused by the power hitting of these youngsters.

I hope enough people see that table tennis is not going in the right direction as far as watchability and popularity is concerned. I think the ONLY real defender in the top 100 is the guy with the strange name (Chtetinitine or something like that) all the others are in fact very good attackers in their forehand.

Just a note on the marking of the ball : all spin between "no spin" and "medium spin" will be viewable , that is allready a big improvement (and remember: even Timo Boll wants markings on the ball, so we can assume he has very good reasons for this).

Conclusion :
1. the watchability of table tennis MUST be increased (sponsors, tv)
2. minor changes will not change watchability, so more physical adaptations are needed (changing point counting system is not a physical change, and does nothing to stop the 3 ball hitting rallies)
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
**** this, the current TT is by far the most watchable and exciting! Compared to 2009-2011 table tennis, 1990s table tennis is just plain boring. Watching rallies of Timo Boll, Wang Hao, Xu Xin, Ma Long, Zhang Jike makes me get up from my seat and yell! To succeed in today's sport, you not only need to be very good technically, but also very fit as a professional athlete ought to be.
 
says backhand - Tenergy 05 black forehand - haifu whale blade...
says backhand - Tenergy 05 black forehand - haifu whale blade...
Member
Nov 2011
63
0
64
In order to get big events , big sponsors and more media exposure you NEED a big audience , so watchability is the most essential element in order to promote the sport. Failing to understand this is a fundamental and basic error.

A sponsor will have to know how many people will watch an event, exposure on tv (or other media) needs to generate large amounts of viewers.
The sport MUST be made more attractive to see. Heck, even i admit that i like to watch tennis more than table tennis !

All those 3 ball rallies (service, return, BAM!), boooring.

We all know that the top pro players are all evolving towards this power game close to the table. It is just a matter of physics, we have the parameters of the game : table dimensions, net height, 2,7 g ball 40mm , mostly wooden paddle, rubbers and sponge. This has led to the current short aggressive game of pro's and will evolve even more so (have you seen Koki Niwa and Lin Guoyang just slamming the ball in an almost straight line onto the table ?). They are the upcoming next generation of world top players ! I have watched video's of them against current top players like Wang Hao and Ma Lin and it seems to me that even these guys are not amused by the power hitting of these youngsters.

I hope enough people see that table tennis is not going in the right direction as far as watchability and popularity is concerned. I think the ONLY real defender in the top 100 is the guy with the strange name (Chtetinitine or something like that) all the others are in fact very good attackers in their forehand.

Just a note on the marking of the ball : all spin between "no spin" and "medium spin" will be viewable , that is allready a big improvement (and remember: even Timo Boll wants markings on the ball, so we can assume he has very good reasons for this).

Conclusion :
1. the watchability of table tennis MUST be increased (sponsors, tv)
2. minor changes will not change watchability, so more physical adaptations are needed (changing point counting system is not a physical change, and does nothing to stop the 3 ball hitting rallies)

Well...physical changes...if we take your approach then we start banning long pips players?!!
What I try to say is that the sport is what it is...and it would be easier if the media would used the same technology as they use for other sports to educate the general audience for the few time that it airs on TV, and of course as players, we are all ambassador for table tennis and have to encourage people to watch or play! Why is it that some TT players rather watch tennis than TT?
 
This user has no status.
Well...physical changes...if we take your approach then we start banning long pips players?!!
What I try to say is that the sport is what it is...and it would be easier if the media would used the same technology as they use for other sports to educate the general audience for the few time that it airs on TV, and of course as players, we are all ambassador for table tennis and have to encourage people to watch or play! Why is it that some TT players rather watch tennis than TT?

Indeed , one little step ahead would be banning the long pimples, funny way of play, just disturbing and creating strange effects that are horrible to watch. I even know a player who plays long pimples and the top half is treated (to make them completely spinless) and the other half is not treated, so even he himself never really knows what kind of spin is on his strokes !! And this kind of stuff is not detectable for a referee !

So obviously the long pimples have to be banned asap !! Horrible to watch, absolutely rubbish !

I agree that the media should play a part in educating the people of what TT is about.
A lot of people prefer to watch tennis, and this is not because they dont understand enough of the rules of table tennis, but because they dont get to see enough interesting rallies. Again ,the watchability is CRUCIAL and determines for a big part how much people will want to look at a sport.

Who wants to see funny floating balls from long pimples and players missing shots that look easy to play ?
 
says Spin and more spin.
says Spin and more spin.
Well-Known Member
Super Moderator
Dec 2010
16,205
17,785
55,038
Read 11 reviews
For those of you who want to watch longer rallies, I suggest watching those staged matches at those KillerSpin events. Markings on the ball would not do much. If it helped top players read the spin better it would help them end the points quicker. Ma Long and Zhang Jike already seem to be able to rip any serve that comes their way so I don't think making it easier to read the spin would actually do anything but make the points quicker. And on the Pro level where watchability might be an issue, the ability to read spin more easily would only make the rallies shorter.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Mar 2011
3,144
143
3,552
Read 1 reviews
For those of you who want to watch longer rallies, I suggest watching those staged matches at those KillerSpin events. Markings on the ball would not do much. If it helped top players read the spin better it would help them end the points quicker. Ma Long and Zhang Jike already seem to be able to rip any serve that comes their way so I don't think making it easier to read the spin would actually do anything but make the points quicker. And on the Pro level where watchability might be an issue, the ability to read spin more easily would only make the rallies shorter.

True Sir Carl. Killerspin made a lot of invitational matches for ENTERTAINMENT purpose.
They are doing a good job in promoting the sport to players with little understanding about high level table tennis.

Check this vid about Koji against Waldner playing with 44mm ball:
Nowadays it seems Sharara wanted table tennis to be like that. Bigger ball (the minimum diameter of the ball is now exactly 40mm. 0.50mm larger) and obviously less spin (PVC rather than celluloid).

Now about my opinion. Hohum..
Watching table tennis is similar to watching chess. The player needs UNDERSTANDING in its basics, tactics, etc. Unless so, table tennis won't be much to watch for anyone.
I understand the mechanics of spin, tactics, etc and I do enjoy watching table tennis A LOT.

If someone said that table tennis nowadays is boring, sorry to say but probably your level of understanding is rather low to average :\
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
May 2011
1,892
115
2,353
I agree with both Carl and Yosua. People like tennis because it is a bigger sport. Tennis rallies often last only a couple of exchanges as well, that shouldn't be the point. And for people who are new to the sport, the tennis score system is the most complicated of all. Popularity is just based on the status of a sport, not on the skill level or watchability. If you are interested, any sport is watchable, if you aren't interested, no sport is.
 
This user has no status.
I agree with both Carl and Yosua. People like tennis because it is a bigger sport. Tennis rallies often last only a couple of exchanges as well, that shouldn't be the point. And for people who are new to the sport, the tennis score system is the most complicated of all. Popularity is just based on the status of a sport, not on the skill level or watchability. If you are interested, any sport is watchable, if you aren't interested, no sport is.

Tennis is a bigger sport because it is more fun to WATCH so there are more viewers (and not the other way round)! Tennis rallies (especially womens tennis which has had the most increase in popularity) are on average significantly longer than table tennis rallies.

People will get interested if they see something fun to WATCH. This explains the popularity of tennis (even though indeed the scoring system is a lot more difficult than that of table tennis and tennis even has the big disadvantage of needing a lot of space (high cost sport) .

Wiwa , you have seen the Rotterdam 2011 world championchips , and you should have seen that apart from the finals there was almost NO audience at all !!!!!
Just check the ittv images ! (yeah this is because the Netherlands have almost no population, nor has Belgium and Germany nearby).

The events by Killerspin have not significantly increased popularity of table tennis in the US (still no big events in a country where there are over 300 million people!, no world class players, tv ...), i have seen video's of Waldner playing in a kind of dance bar playing with people all around nearby with poor lighting and a commentator with microphone that looked like a cheap rockstar, thus even more marginalising the sport.

The American made movie "Balls of Fury" was also an absolute idiotic exposure of table tennis.

In Belgium , 15 years ago table tennis was broadcasted on tv (Villette Charleroi), now when Villette won their last Champions League title in 2007 and played the final in 2008 and 2010 there was no coverage on Belgian tv. Why ? Not enough viewers for table tennis anymore.

After 15 years of competition play and being an official referee , i do have a more than average understanding of the sport. And i know there are a lot of table tennis players who admit that watching table tennis is not really their cup of tea.

Conclusion :
1. watchability of table tennis has to be improved if more viewers/sponsors/money/tv/popularity/importance is wanted
2. table tennis has not grown in popularity , Killerspin "exhibitions" are a disgrace (Waldner and others shure must get good money to want to play in conditions like i have seen on youtube)
3. if at the ittf there is not enough knowledge of marketing principles, TT will remain a relatively marginal sport (compared to tennis, soccer, basketball, heck even golf players make a lot more money then table tennis players!)
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
May 2011
1,892
115
2,353
@Phillypong

TT has been the most popular sport in China, without the need to change. It is not due to the sport itself that not many people are interested in it. I agree with you that there should be tried to make more people interested in TT. But changing the sport is not how that is done. That tennis is more fun to watch than table tennis is totally personal experience. I can't watch a tennis match without being bored after 5 minutes. Also womens table tennis rallies are longer than mens, so the comparison between womens tennis and mens table tennis rallies isn't really fair. Besides, we've seen in the past how boring long tt rallies can be.
Maybe we should get people into our sports with compilation video's where not too much spin is involved, but excitement that is very clear for not TT players. Because you can clearly see from the X-mas vid, that alot of youtubers and news sites find it very awesome. So our sport is interesting for everybody, but we don't carry it out.
 
This user has no status.
@Phillypong

TT has been the most popular sport in China, without the need to change. It is not due to the sport itself that not many people are interested in it. I agree with you that there should be tried to make more people interested in TT. But changing the sport is not how that is done. That tennis is more fun to watch than table tennis is totally personal experience. I can't watch a tennis match without being bored after 5 minutes. Also womens table tennis rallies are longer than mens, so the comparison between womens tennis and mens table tennis rallies isn't really fair. Besides, we've seen in the past how boring long tt rallies can be.
Maybe we should get people into our sports with compilation video's where not too much spin is involved, but excitement that is very clear for not TT players. Because you can clearly see from the X-mas vid, that alot of youtubers and news sites find it very awesome. So our sport is interesting for everybody, but we don't carry it out.

agree ,,,,,,,,
 
Top