Quick Guide on How to Choose the Ping Pong Balls for Table Tennis Game

Posted by jeebon on June 23rd, 2019

So, your set of paddles and ping pong table are all prepared. What’s next? Of course, you need good ping pong balls for you to get started with your game. You might feel tempted to go out and grab the first cheapest table tennis balls you can find in the market.

While you can always do this, well, this is not really a wise idea. Even though ping pong balls all look the same, the truth is that they vary a lot when it comes to quality. This means that getting crappy and cheap ping pong balls might have a drastic effect on your game play. You wouldn’t want this to happen, right?

To help you with your decision making, here is a short guide on how to find the best ping pong balls that will give you your money’s worth.

What are Ping Pong Balls Made Of?

Some ping pong balls are made of plastic polysterene or poly and there are those made of celluloid. It is recommended to go for poly balls because the ITTF or International Table Tennis Federation as the standard option for official events considers these. While celluloid and poly balls play the same during a game, poly ping pong balls are easier to transport safely and environmentally friendly at the same time. The celluloid ping pong balls come with a cheaper price tag and are slightly more durable and it is best to stick with the standard plastic poly option as suggested by the ITTF.

One more thing to remember is that celluloid balls measure 40mm while plastic poly balls are a bit bigger that you can sometimes see them listed with a size of 40+. If you see a ping pong ball and you are not sure what material it is made of, you can always check its inscription. Poly balls are printed with 40+ while celluloid ones have 40 or 40mm printed on them.

The Meaning behind the Rating System

When comparing ping pong balls, you will notice that all of them have a star rating ranging from 1 to 3 stars. With this rating system, 3 stars mean the highest quality while 1 star is of lowest quality. It means you have to look for ping pong balls with 3 stars. Training balls as well as 1-star and 2-star balls are much less durable and could break faster compared to the 3-star ones.

1-star balls are soft and perfect for youth play. The 2-star ones are of medium quality and slightly firmer than 1-star balls. These are perfect for multi-ball practice, for game improvement, or for use in training robot. Finally, 3-star balls are of the finest quality and firmness. These balls are what you have to use for game play, with the rating level being the sole one approved and recommended for tournament play. In case you are only practicing several multiple-ball drills such as serves and smashes, you can opt for good training balls or the bulk 3-star pack solely for the purpose.

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