Joined: 04 Oct 2010, 16:19
Well, folks, a reply from Adham Sharara in less than 12 hours
- I think that's pretty impressive for the president of an international sporting body in response to a query from a nobody in the wilds of Tasmania.
I have had to edit the email slightly, because the forum's setup doesn't let me format it the way my email does. However, the message is still the same. My email to the ITTF is in blue
; the reply is in red
; quotes from ooakforum are in purple
.Thank you for giving the ITTF the opportunity to clarify the plan to introduce non-celluloid balls.
Please find the answers to the questions in RED below each section.
On 2/12/2011, at 7:06 AM, [Tassie52] wrote:
Dear Mr Sharara (and others copied into this email),
I subscribe to a very active table tennis forum - http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18031&p=197497#p197497 - where there is much speculation about the introduction of the new ball in 2013. I think ... it may be in the interests of the sport and of the ITTF to allay some of the fears people are expressing. With this in mind, I am attaching some comments and would love it if someone from the ITTF could offer a considered response, particularly in the area of changed playing characteristics of the new balls and their usability in TT robots.
Table tennis supplier Cole Ely posted the following on mytt:
Emailed to suppliers from the ITTF:
1. The new POLY balls:
The decision taken is that the new POLY balls will be officially used at ITTF events as of 1 July 2013. After this date the ITTF will NOT use celluloid balls, although they will remain legal for a while, until we officially decide the date to stop them (perhaps 2 years later).
Moreover please be aware that for the period between the 2013 WTTC in Paris and July 2013, the new POLY balls may be used exceptionally, in the case of events starting at the end of June 2013 and/or ending in the beginning of July 2013.
When I interviewed Vladimir Samsonov in September he said he had not tested the new balls yet... I sure the Althletes Commission that he chairs was consulted on this decision and there was considerable support. I will ask him.Mr. Samsonov was supplied with the samples, 3 different types, he tested the balls and asked several players to test the balls as well. Their report was provided to the manufacturers and they have made adjustments accordingly. The manufacturers provided new samples in November and the players, as well as other rubber manufacturers are now in the process of testing the new samples. The Athlete Commission Chairman is fully involved in the process. Post 3:
The ITTF does't care that this dubious ban creates hardship for 28 TT companies (729, Adidas, Artengo, Butterfly, Champion, Cornilleau, DHS, Donic, Double Fish, Dunlop, Gewo, Giant Dragon, Go Sport, Imperial, Joola, Killerspin, Nimatsu, Nittaku, Peace, Rucanor, Schildkrot, Stag, Stiga, Tibhar, TSP, Xiom, Yasaka and Yashima) who have produced 59 ITTF-approved *** balls. (http://www.ittf.com/stories/Pictures/Balls_04_2011.pdf)
They don't care that this new ball will make millions of balls worldwide pretty much worthless overnight, just like they did to us before a decade ago.
They don't care that this will likely render a large percentage of expensive table tennis robots obsolete.
They don't care that this will disrupt all of our games and likely force many of us to have to waste money on new equipment (again).
All the ITTF cares about is slowing the ball down (again) under the self-serving delusion this will suddenly make their failing pro tour catch on.
Of course the above post is totally out of place and is a hysterical reaction from someone that is ill informed and not seeking to be informed, instead venting out of control. The reality is that all manufacturers are involved in the process and nothing will change from before. The ball manufacturers can be counted on the fingers of one hand. All others receive balls pre-stamped with their own logo from the source manufacturer (2 in China, one in Japan and one in Korea). So the supply from the source will continue as it is now, and the celluloid balls will have sufficient time to be gradually phased out. At the lower levels it will actually be a bonanza, because celluloid balls will be made available at a large discount, and will be still legal as they are now for some time (perhaps 2 or 3 years) until all stocks are depleted.
Regarding the robots, the balls should all fit as they will still be 40mm balls, however, the tolerance will be upwards instead of upwards and downwards. This is not like the change from 38mm to 40mm. Most robots have a margin and therefore we do not anticipate any problems.
The early indications of the Poly balls is that it is more bouncy and less spinny. Our goal is to get it as close as possible to the current celluloid ball. It will never be 100% exactly the same, for obvious reasons, but we hope to get to around 95% the same. from early indications, we expect a very short adaptation period, of course the adaptation may vary from player to player depending on their style.Much of this speculation does not appear to be grounded in any factual data. I am aware that the president of an international sporting body has answered numerous questions (many of them overtly hostile) from ooakforum members in the past. I hope the ITTF's well of tolerance matches its desire to dispel rumour and gossip.
It is my pleasure to post answers directly on the Forum, which I read often. But lately I have less and less time to answer all the questions on OOAK and MyTableTennis Forum. Of course it does not help when some of the posts are rude and aggressive, but it indicates the passion we have in the world of TT.
It will be noted that I haven't asked all of the possible questions that could be asked. I've tried to stick to: who's involved, will it affect robots; the playing characteristics of the new ball. Anyone who wants to ask questions they think are more important - such as "I play in my club's third division. Why wasn't I asked for my opinion?"
- then I can recommend a politely written email to the ITTF.
"So long, and thanks for all the fish
So sad that it should come to this" Sung by the dolphins in The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy