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PostPosted: 24 May 2013, 13:39 
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16 April 2013
Subject: Poly Ball
As approved by the BoD 2012, the poly balls will be introduced at [TTF events as of July 2014.

The new balls will differ from the present balls used, since they are made of plastic instead of celluloid.
So far we know about two production methods; one by gluing two halves together - as for celluloid balls - and the second one by a different process - called rotational moulding.

Hence, these balls will behave a bit differently from our present
ones. We have had some poly balls without seam for testing and
comparison with celluloid balls. You can find the results of the
testing in following pages, as well as, on our website at the right
column of the Equipment/Balls Session, the file called "Poly -
Celluloid Balls testing".
We would like to thank everyone who helped with conducting this
testing and for agreeing to have the results published; ESN in
Germany, Dr. Dirk Meyer and Konrad Tiefenbacher.

Odd Gustavsen
Chairman of the Equipment Committee

第2页 Comparison o plastic ("poly') and celluloid balls
Evaluation of difference for rebound on racket and player perception
Aim of the study
Dr. Dirk Meyer, Konrad Tiefenbacher
Hofheim, November 6th, 2012
It was the purpose to find out how much speed and spin is generated when the two
types of balls hit the racket under conditions that correspond at typical table tennis
strokes.
Two approaches had been used: Recording of subjective perceptions of test players after
tryouts as well as an established scientific method where typical strokes are simulated
and measured in the lab.
Background
Competition rubbers cause an effect allowing production of speed and spin at impact.
The result of the impact is dependent on many parameters, one of these are the ball
properties. When a ball made of different material and construction is introduced this
may lead to different production of speed and spin in table tennis compared at
established Celluloid balls. Thus the whole game of table tennis may be changed.
Summary of results
Measurement and feeling of test players fit together. There is a deceleration on table in
horizontal direction and higher speed in normal direction after rebound.

第3.页 General speed of the ball
Given impact results here concern only the speed immediately after impact. But the
speed / spin measurements get indications that the velocity of the plastic ball decreases
in the air more than the velocity of the celluloid ball.
Reasons for this could be
. the air resistance of the material
. the size of the plastic ball (now "really" 40mm ball -> bigger than celluloid-ball)
. weight (in centre between of the tolerance limits -> lighter than celluloid).

Decreasing of speed at Topspin strokes

Measurements show esp. at Topspin strokes an increase of speed after interaction with
the covering. The feeling of the test players to receive a slower ball than with celluloid
ball can be explained with the interaction (deceleration) of the ball at the table and loss
of speed on the trajectory due to air resistance.

Conclusions
. The overall behaviour of the plastic ball is accepted by the test players.
. Most of the tested coverings show only small changes in behaviour.
. Differences between the coverings (developed for the celluloid ball) will decrease.
. One covering will have a clear advantage from the plastic ball regarding
production of spin and speed. But this one was 4.2mm thick, had quite poor
behaviour with celluloid, catches up but does not outdistance the others.

Description of test methods

Tryouts

Test players that are used to compare equipment in table tennis as part of their
profession exercised with the two types of balls. Their subjective perceptions have been
recorded and summarized.

Measurements

The other method is a more scientific approach and more difficult to explain. The idea is
to objectively measure differences in rebound.
It is very difficult to measure speed and spin in real table tennis. Further it is difficult to
find differences between materials in game situations using human test players due to
the variation of strokes when executing supposedly same strokes.
Due to non-linear behaviour of material on the other hand it is important to measure
under conditions that correspond to real striking conditions.
Thus the approach (change of frame of reference) to objectively measure difference in
impact behaviour is the following :

第4页
. Special playing exercises containing a typical stroke of interest are filmed in a
special setup for several players. Strokes in statistic number are then analysed
with the goal to record speed, angles and spin of ball and racket right before they
hit each other.
. Out of these results then an average hitting condition is defined for this stroke
element.
. The relative speed, angle and spin of the ball are then calculated (change of frame
of reference from "Table-Tennis-System" to "Lab-System", mathematical
formalism)
. These values are then taken as input parameters for Lektor device which allows to
measure in "Lab-System": It allows projecting the ball on a racket at rest with
almost any freely selectable speed and spin of ball and angulation of racket.
. Then balls are projected on the racket under these conditions. Since ball rebound
is not completely reproducible, to obtain meaningful results it is important to do
this for each stroke and material with a statistic number of impacts.
. For each impact incoming and outgoing speed and angle is measured as well as
spin is also determined.
. The mean result for this experiment with racket at rest ("Lab-System") then is
retransferred to "Table Tennis System" by mathematical reversion of the previous
change of frame of reference.
. To simplify presentation results are then recalculated in relative gain or loss of
speed and spin compared to a reference rubber with reference ball.
By comparison with results from various research groups (measuring "real play"
interaction) for several interrogations over decades the method has been proofed to
work.
Tested samples and measurement conditions
. Celluloid ball: Commercial approved three-star ball from one brand without any
further selection
. Poly ball: Seamless ball from best veer category (passing veer test on all five axis)

第5页. Rubber samples tested (short description not going into detail)
A) Classic rubber
B) Modern rubber type l) semi hard sponge
C) Modern rubber type 2) reference
D) Modern rubber type 3) hard sponge
E) Modern rubber type 4) soft sponge
F) Modern rubber type 5) hard sponge
G) Semi-modern sticky rubber, hard sponge 4.2mm
For each type of rubber several samples have been tested with at least 50 impacts per
rubber, hitting condition and ball type.

Measurement conditions (short description not going into detail)

Topspin vs. opening Topspin close to table
Topspin vs. Block
Topspin vs. Push
Topspin vs. Topspin away from table
Block vs. Topspin

Explanation of target figures

As explained above results are given as relative gain or loss of speed (x-axis) and spin
(y-axis) compared to reference (rubber C with reference celluloid ball type).
The starting point of each arrow marks the value for Celluloid ball and the end point for
Poly ball. In this type of presentation it is logic that the start point for arrow of rubber C
is always in the origin (reference rubber with celluloid ball).

6. Measurement Results
Topspin close to table against an arriving opening Topspin


All rubbers (except G) lose both speed (2%) and spin (5%) with Poly ball compared to
Celluloid ball

Topspin against arriving Block

In general there is not much difference found between the two types of balls, some rubbers gain, some lose spin and speed around less l%
G wins a lot, 2% in speed and 4% in spin with Poly ball compared to Celluloid ball.

7. Offensive Topspin against an arriving push

All rubbers gain about same but only in speed (2%) with Poly ball
G gains a lot in speed/spin but produces still less than other rubbers

Topspin against arriving topspin away from table

All rubbers gain a bit in speed (1%) and spin (1-2%)
G gains a lot in speed/spin but produces still less than other rubbers.

8. Block close to table against arriving topspin

Most rubbers show almost same speed/spin for both types of ball
G gains a lot in speed/spin (7%/25%) with Poly ball compared to Celluloid ball, it
produces then the same as other rubbers
A gains in speed/spin (2%/7%) but produces still less than other rubbers

Details: Player's subjective results from tryouts
. The plastic ball seems to be more slowly. Also at full power it doesn't give the
dynamic of a celluloid ball.
. The rebound of the ball changed. The plastic ball has got a higher rebound from
the table. This is comfortable for the player after the adaption on the behaviour
during tryout.
. The sound of the ball changed. Sounds like a defect ball at the beginning but
players are able to adapt during one test session.
. The feeling of the ball during the tryout is hard and constant. Control and feeling
during the rally are very good.
. Test players expect to get longer rallies. Because of the good feeling and control
together with higher rebound it will be easier to avoid mistakes and due to the
expected slower speed the time to react will increase.
. With the plastic ball the spin production decreases. Especially after service and at
topspin against push the plastic ball seems to have less spin. Due to the higher
rebound from the table it is easier to receive.
. Good behaviour at spin rallies due to the hardness of the ball.

9. Conclusions by the test players
The new plastic ball is good and it is easy to adapt to the sound and the higher rebound.
Maybe the defensive players will have an advantage from the overall behaviour.

Additional measurements for rebound on table


Plastic ball shows a reduced horizontal speed but increased vertical speed.
Due to conservation of energy and momentum the higher vertical speed of the plastic ball could be explained by a reduction of spin due to the interaction with the table.


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PostPosted: 24 May 2013, 17:01 
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That's some good information, thanks Fashion ball hf!

Where does that come from please?

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PostPosted: 24 May 2013, 17:55 
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Above report originally was available on ITTF site, but link was later removed.
However it can still be found on ETTA site;

http://etta.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Poly_Celluloid_Balls_Testing.pdf

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PostPosted: 24 May 2013, 19:50 
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And the interpretation or "spin" put on the results of the tests by the ITTF is flawed in a number of places.

I emailed Mr Gustavsen back at the end of April with a number of detailed observations and questions about how they reached their conclusions based on the actual test results and also how, or more specifically what style of players and equipment were used in the testing.

This is the email I sent him on 26 April 2013 - both Adam Sharara and Stefano Bosi were copied in to my email:

"Dear Mr Gustavsen

I have just read ITTF Equipment Committee's report regarding the Poly Ball - http://www.ittf.com/Stories/pictures/po ... esting.pdf
. Thank you for publishing it. However, I would ask you to consider the in depth testing my league did on the poly ball in 2012 when we compared the prototype poly ball, the current celluloid balll and the old 38mm ball.

Please note:

Our tests whilst not "scientific" are:

- thorough
- involve comparisons with a wider variety of shots and styles than your tests
- involve high speed film analysis and comparative footage to support the findings
- involve testing with a variety of table tennis equipment which is ITTF authorised, will be impacted by the poly ball but which for some strange reason were not included in your tests

Our in depth findings and testing can be seen here and was made available at the end of 2012.

Please note, a considerable amount of upaid effort and time was spent on these videos trying to ensure an unbiased report. Some hve criticised them for being an excuse for the ITTF, others an attack on the ITTF - they are infact an unbiased attempt to understand the logic behind changing from celluloid to plastic and the true impact on players, equipment and styles of play playing a wider variety of shots with a wide variety of equipment :

Pt 1: One Piece Prototype Ball vs 40mm vs 38mm Table Tennis Balls - Physical Differences Compared http://youtu.be/rv_XlZvpm0g


Pt 2: One Piece Prototype Ball vs 40mm vs 38mm Table Tennis Balls - Rebound speed, bounce, spin http://youtu.be/P9jlzkQW7Po


Pt 3: One Piece Prototype vs 40mm vs 38mm Table Tennis Balls - Players Impressions http://youtu.be/7JBr08kSAiI


Of particular note in your report's opening comments you state:

"The new balls will differ from the present balls used, since they are made of plastic instead of celluloid".... "Hence these balls will behave a little differently from our present ones".

Now let us consider - using your points of reference - your findings in comparison to ours:

1. Higer rebound: "There is a deceleration on table in horizontal direction and higher speed in normal direction after rebound"

Agreed. The ball did bounce higher when dropped vertically and it does seem to "skid" on impact with the table when travelling horizontally. This was more noticeably when playing with different types of equipment and styles. Our test defender and all round player particularly noticed differences in bounce - our defender did not like the higher bounce as the ball sat up more and would be easier to kill which hinders a defensive style - it does not compliment it. Our two attackers did not notice much difference in bounce. Please note, the surface texture of the poly ball also impacts on the bounce as does the "thickness of the plastic" which your report discusses in detail at the end and the amount of spin imparted on the ball ie a heavily top spun ball will kick up on contact with the table and has a greater arc. The greater ability to spin the "old" 38 mm ball and the current celluloid ball have an impact on "bounce in play" which you cannot ignore.

2. General speed of the ball: "... the velocity of the platic ball decreases in the air more than the velocity of the celluloid ball"

- the air resistance of the material:

Agreed. But you don't seem to consider another possible reason for this - namely the texture of the surface of the ball and how air displaces over it during movement of the ball through the air. Our close up photography shows the poly ball surface to be far smoother than the celluloid ball. Consider the development and evolution of the golf ball. They have a rough surface (dimples) for a reason. A dimpled surface was found to increase distance/speed AND spin characteristics of a golf ball. The poly ball, because of it's relative smooth properties compared to the current celluloid ball achieves the reverse. Less speed, less spin than the current celluloid ball. Has any consideration been given to "roughening up" the surface of the poly ball.

Note for Mr Gustavsen -- has consideration been given to how you will test for balls which may be deliberately "roughened" up during a game to assist in increasing spin and speed - Cricket had the same problem where cricket balls where being deliberately scuffed up to aid swing in the ball when being bowled. Or how the playing characteristics of the new poly ball will change over time as they become scuffed with use?

- the size of the plastic ball

The poly ball IS bigger - noticeably bigger than the current 40mm ball and bigger than "40mm's and whilst the ITTF report states the poly ball is "now really 40mm ball) this is plain wrong. The poly ball is bigger than 40mm. The current celluloid ball may not have been a true 40mm ball, but neither is the poly ball. Approximately .5mm difference in diameter has a huge impact on surface area and resultant playing characteristics. It is in my opinion misleading in a report of this nature to say that the poly ball is now "really 40mm ball - it isn't. It really is bigger than 40mm.

- weight

I did not have scales accurate enough to measure differences in weight. However, you have conceded the weight is less, yet the size more. This is probably reflective of the poly balls walls being "thinner" ie less material used and this will affect the balls ability to compress on impact and the elasticity of it's nature - ie speed at which it "clicks back into place". Has this been considered?

Drecreasing of speed at Topsin:

I agree with the explanation although not necessary with the generic "air resistance" explanation. My understanding is that although smoother the poly ball is not as efficient at travelling through the air as the Celluloid ball because the rougher surface area of the celluloid ball aids the air flow over the ball - scientists can explain this much better than me.

Please also note the impact this will have on the game. The further away from the table you play, the slower the relative speed of the ball will be by the time it reaches your opponent. Slower ball, less spin harder to kill from distance. This poly ball may bread a new generation of players who play up to the table and who "hit the ball". Fast up to the table play, limited spin, quick short rallies. Is this a desired consequence of the poly ball for the ITTF?

Conclusions:

"The overall behaviour of the plastic ball is accepted by the test players"

Our players accepted the poly ball because they "HAVE NO CHOICE" other than to leave their National Associations - which may be a consideration. None of the players preferred the Poly Ball. One preferred the current 40mm ball, 3 preffered the old 38mm ball we tested with. None of the players would stop playing if the poly ball was introduced but do not confuse this with being happy with the poly ball. Great concern was expressed about how these balls would be introduced. Because of the difference in their playing characteristics it was not felt that you could use the current celluloid ball and the poly ball at the same time in competition play - please note National Associations.

You say "Most of the tested coverings show only small changes in behaviour" - define small. You should have said before this report was even drafted what you considered to be small changes in behaviour - your targets and goals for this project were not "SMART". Instead of "similiar or identifcal" why did you not specify exact perameters for "similar" before testing was conducted?

You refer to "classic" and modern - define classic and modern which is easily recognised. Your ITTF Authorised list refers to "In" "Out" and "Anti" - why not use these terms of reference or even better break it down in to

Inverted, tacky, mechanical grip, soft, hard, medium sponge versions, LP's OX and with sponge, SP OX and with sponge, MP's OX and with sponge - there are so many variations in equipment that unless you explicitly state what you tested you leave uncertainty and confusion as to the validity of your results. Note, in our leagues tests, Long pimpled rubbes actually benefited in increasing "spin reversal" because of the "smoother surface" of the poly bal there was less friction on contact with the LP's meaning the rotation of the direction of the ball was affected less with the poly ball -- ironically aiding what people misleadingly call "spin reversal" characteristics of the LP's - we discuss this in detail in our second video. Please note as well, you have an authorised list of approved rubbers. You really should have tested all those rubbers and used them in the context of the styles that play with them.

"Differences between the coverings will decrease"

Agreed and this is clearly demonstrated in the second of our leagues video series. BUT, was this an intended consequence of the ITTF decision. Can we now assume that the ITTF is trying to drive us all to using the same equipment. Is it really necessary now to buy Tenergy at £60 a sheet if the introduction of the new poly ball will result in it playing similarly to a £10 sheet of Hurricane 3? Is that what the ITTF Equimpment Committee is suggesting with these findings? Or have you now subjected players to another round of "new improved rubbers" which we will all have to experiment with and buy in seeking that "edge" over our opponents?

Ignoring for the moment the reasons given by the ITTF for the need to switch to a poly ball or the "increase" in size which has been introduced with the poly ball, based on your own findings and ours I have serious concerns as to whether or not the poly ball actually meets the original requirements for it's introduction, that the ITTF Equipment Committee would accept a compromise if the playing characteristics of the poly ball are similar or identical to the current celluloid ball. This seems to be far from the case when your own test results and ours are considered.

Now consider the players perceptions:

"The plastic balls seems to be more slowly. Also at full power it doesn't give the dynamic of a celluloid ball." This is a clear difference in how the plastic and current ball perform..

"The rebound of the ball changed" This is a clear difference in how the plastic and current ball perform.

"The sound of the ball changed" This is a clear difference in how the plastic and current ball perform.

"With the plastic ball the spin production decreases" This is a clear difference in how the plastic and current ball perform.

Crucial characteristics of the ball have changed. Spin, speed, bounce. Your report even mentions control has changed - namely improved, but an improvement is in fact a recognition of a clear difference in performance and control was not what you yourselves stipulated this study was about (Speed and Spin). I am therefore puzzled as to why control is referenced at all in your comparative document. It was not and never was one of your test criteria.

You also say in your conlclusions by the test players section "The new plastic ball is good and it is easy to adapt to the sound and the higher rebound. Maybe the defensive players will have an advantage from the overall behaviour."

The shots you describe in your tests are not those played by defenders. Did any of your testers chop away from the table. Where any of your rubbers long pimpled or anti spin. Did you ask any defenders to test this equipment. The defender we asked who chopped away from the table found the plastic ball sat up - which you acknowledge in your test results - and made it easier for players to hit through him. He also felt the poly ball came through to him with less spin which meant he had less spin to work with. The poly ball did not make it easier to defend with. I am shocked that in a scientific paper a vague "opinion" should be included. If the players who tested the ball were not defenders then you should not be including under a section "conclusion by test players" an "opinon" such as this. In a paper like this you should be stating facts and unless a defender actually said he would have an advantage with the poly ball you should not be including a statement like "Maybe the defensive players will have an advantage..." If a defender did test the equipment, you should not have said "maybe". Instead you should have been able to state as fact "defenders will have an advantage". This is not a scientific observation and based on what you have revealed abou the testing, it appears to be unsubstantiated and should be withdrawn.

The last line of your own report is also very telling - "This finding calls for additional trials to really find maximum and minimum material thickness". Unless there have been more trials - in which case publishing this report is futitle unless you clearly explain it refers to balls which are not going to be used - ie a report in April about tests carried out in 2012 is obsolete before it's been published, then the report cannot be seen as anything other than a "late" update and not the true current position of the state of the poly ball which is what we as players and officials require with the deadline for introduction so near.

Regardless, by your own findings, you have shown that the poly ball does not meet the one over riding requirement stated by your own Equipment Committee for it's introduction to go ahead - that it plays similarly or identical to the current celluloid ball.

There should be no need to "adapt" to a ball which plays similarly or identical. More to the point should they have to. By your own requirments for the introduction of this ball they should not. The new ball should play similarly or identical to the current celluloid ball and by your own finding you have shown it does not - being able to adapt was not part of the original requirement for it's introduction.

Question:

Please advise why this poly ball is being introduced at this time when it clearly does not meet the conditions you set for it's introduction.

Thank you."


I received an initial "holding" response from Mr Gustavsen which I won't post here out of respect to Mr Gustavsen (I haven't asked permission to do so), however, the jist of his reply was
- he would need some time to absorb my email
- the change to plastic balls because of serious hints that celluoid production would be closed down due to health reasons and
- he was certain the ball will be improved over time

I asked a couple more questions about the validity of "hints" being grounds for a major change in ball production and whether or not anyone in the ITTF had actually got written confirmation from the celluloid manufacturers of whether

a) celluloid production will cease and
b) what date that will be from

I also asked why, if the plastic ball played similarly to celluloid balls and which is a stated requirement of the ITTF Equipment Committee requirements for the plastic ball to be accepted, would things "need to improve" over time.

Despite a follow up email asking for an update on his reply to either of my emails I've heard nothing which is unusual as normally when I've contacted Mr Gustavsen in the past he's either acknowledged my email or replied in full promptly.

I will keep emailing Mr Gustavsen on a regular basis asking for an update on his reply to my comments and our leagues testing results.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2013, 20:19 
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Above query is truly a masterpiece :clap:

Also I now fully understand why ITTF was so eager to withdraw the report from their site :lol:

Please keep us updated Debater.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2013, 22:01 
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Fashion ball hf wrote:

Player's subjective results from tryouts
. The plastic ball seems to be more slowly. Also at full power it doesn't give the
dynamic of a celluloid ball.
. The rebound of the ball changed. The plastic ball has got a higher rebound from
the table. This is comfortable for the player after the adaption on the behaviour
during tryout.
. The sound of the ball changed. Sounds like a defect ball at the beginning but
players are able to adapt during one test session.
. The feeling of the ball during the tryout is hard and constant. Control and feeling
during the rally are very good.
. Test players expect to get longer rallies. Because of the good feeling and control
together with higher rebound it will be easier to avoid mistakes and due to the
expected slower speed the time to react will increase.
. With the plastic ball the spin production decreases. Especially after service and at
topspin against push the plastic ball seems to have less spin. Due to the higher
rebound from the table it is easier to receive.
. Good behaviour at spin rallies due to the hardness of the ball.


I tried the ball yesterday. I'd confirm most of the subjective player's basic results as stated above. The problem with the report above is that it is all framed positively. I tried the new ball yesterday and didn't like anything about it. Neither did my opponents (all double inverted). I will post more detailed findings in the other thread (new poly balls hit the market)

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PostPosted: 24 May 2013, 22:07 
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Pipsy wrote:
Fashion ball hf wrote:

Player's subjective results from tryouts
. The plastic ball seems to be more slowly. Also at full power it doesn't give the
dynamic of a celluloid ball.
. The rebound of the ball changed. The plastic ball has got a higher rebound from
the table. This is comfortable for the player after the adaption on the behaviour
during tryout.
. The sound of the ball changed. Sounds like a defect ball at the beginning but
players are able to adapt during one test session.
. The feeling of the ball during the tryout is hard and constant. Control and feeling
during the rally are very good.
. Test players expect to get longer rallies. Because of the good feeling and control
together with higher rebound it will be easier to avoid mistakes and due to the
expected slower speed the time to react will increase.
. With the plastic ball the spin production decreases. Especially after service and at
topspin against push the plastic ball seems to have less spin. Due to the higher
rebound from the table it is easier to receive.
. Good behaviour at spin rallies due to the hardness of the ball.


I tried the ball yesterday. I'd confirm most of the subjective player's basic results as stated above. The problem with the report above is that it is all framed positively. I tried the new ball yesterday and didn't like anything about it. Neither did my opponents (all double inverted). I will post more detailed findings in the other thread (new poly balls hit the market)

Really? Apart from the strange sound I kinda liked it or at least did not feel a big difference, detailed remarks in the PolyBall thread...


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PostPosted: 25 May 2013, 03:53 
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hopper wrote:
Above query is truly a masterpiece :clap:

Also I now fully understand why ITTF was so eager to withdraw the report from their site :lol:

Please keep us updated Debater.


Will do :)

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PostPosted: 25 May 2013, 04:15 
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Debater wrote:
Despite a follow up email asking for an update on his reply to either of my emails I've heard nothing which is unusual as normally when I've contacted Mr Gustavsen in the past he's either acknowledged my email or replied in full promptly.

I will keep emailing Mr Gustavsen on a regular basis asking for an update on his reply to my comments and our leagues testing results.


When I emailed Mr. Gustavsen about whether bamboo (botanically a grass) was considered by the ITTF to be "wood" for use in racket blades, I was contacted by the USATT head of officiating and told to send such requests through him. Never did get an answer after multiple follow-ups.

Anyway, I'm going to answer your main question for you.

In the ITTF report, the criteria changed to meet the results because it is the end result of showing that changing to a new poly ball will be good or OK is what actually matters. Meeting a pre-set objective ball performance criteria is not the goal. Demonstrating that the new ball is good or OK is the objective. That's my conclusion based on observing the ITTF's history of commenting on the new ball.

My simple summary of the controversial side of things is this. If celluloid production really were to go away for some reason (make up any reason you wish, a government ban, factories closing, safety ... you name it, since that seems to be the order of the day), surely F.I.T. members would be at least as aware and easily as concerned as ITTF officials. So they would be quick to find an alternative and take action. You need TT balls to have a TT industry. Finding a good replacement would have been a critical mission. No action by the ITTF was ever needed other than for them to test the new poly balls to see if they met the appropriate criteria. All the ITTF would need to do would be to respond to the manufacturer's initiative. As Adham has said, the rule allowing a different material has been in place for years. There never was any need for the ITTF to do anything other than to test any new balls that a manufacturer might present to them. And there never was a critical need to change - otherwise we'd have seen the initiative from the manufacturers.

I'd like to say one last thing on the whole ITTF "safety of the workers" claim. It seems to me that if this was really their concern, that they should take a hard look at how they approve any TT gear that is made in China since Chinese factories in general are not known for good adherence to health and safety policies.

http://www.news.com.au/world-news/factory-fire-went-unnoticed-for-3-hours-amid-china-smog/story-fndir2ev-1226554710072

So, do not be surprised if you don't get a follow-up to your detailed and lucid inquiry. And if you do receive a follow-up, don't be surprised if the answers aren't satisfying. It seems apparent to me that this isn't simply a matter of objective equipment evaluation. Clearly the ITTF wants the new poly ball. It seems that an ITTF board member was working on developing such a ball (and patenting it) in 2006 and earlier. And given the money now sunk into the endeavor by DHS and Doublefish, and the F.I.T. proclamation that the new poly ball is superior to celluloid, it seems pretty obvious that many manufacturers are behind the initiative now as well. We are going to have to live with some form of the new poly ball. It's a done deal. There's little need for the ITTF to answer any of these questions. In fact, is the original evaluation you referenced still currently available on the ITTF site? Given their track record of putting out amateurish information and mis-information on this topic, if I were a representative of the ITTF I'd probably say as little as possible right now.

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PostPosted: 25 May 2013, 04:52 
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Agreed Wturber. I think most of us know and accept that the health aspect is at best a weak argument for the ball change.

However, the question was asked to Mr Gustavsen because I wanted Mr Gustavsen to reply himself. I was once asked a question at work and gave a reply on behalf of someone else basically saying it was a pointless question because the decision had been made. The person who asked me the question told me that there was no point asking me any other questions because I never gave their questions a chance to see the light of day. The report in question was put together by the Equipment Committee and I wanted to ask Mr Gustavsen - as Chairman of the Equipment Committee - the questions direct, to give him an opportunity to respond.

Whether he does or not is his choice. Whether or not to keep emailing him until I get a response is my choice. There is so much speculation and uncertainty I wanted to go direct to him. Whether or not he is a spokesperson or puppet for someone else is irrelevant to me as that aspect is another topic and will no doubt be discussed elsewhere.

Regarding the "USATT head of officiating" and their attitude, I'd have told him no. They have no authority to tell "me" what I can and can't do. At best they can offer themselves as an alternative source of information. Mr Gustavsen posts his email address openly on the ITTF website. He doesn't list any conditions or protocol for contacting him.

Perhaps we should all start emailing Mr Gustavsen to ask for an update on the current situation around authorisation of a plastic ball (time scales), what form that plastic ball will take, physical construction and size.

It seems national associations aren't interested - even Adham back in 2012 said he expected National Associations to keep their members informed of matters such as this. Has anyone heard anything from their National Association about the plastic ball?

Perhaps National Associations either:
a) aren't interested in the type of ball used in table tennis
b) are ignorant of the situation or
c) they suffer from "ostrich syndrome" and are hoping this will all go away

Or maybe there is another reason for their silence on the matter.

Like I said, I will keep emailing Mr Gustavsen until he either responds or changes his email address as it's Mr Gustavsen's response as Chairman of the Equipment Committee that I would like to hear. In the meantime, I'll keep reading threads and posts on this forum - as it seems to be the most proactive forum on this topic and the best source of information and opinion.

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PostPosted: 25 May 2013, 05:49 
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Debater wrote:
Agreed Wturber. I think most of us know and accept that the health aspect is at best a weak argument for the ball change.

Yet the ITTF has not yet relented on this point.

Debater wrote:
However, the question was asked to Mr Gustavsen because I wanted Mr Gustavsen to reply himself. I was once asked a question at work and gave a reply on behalf of someone else basically saying it was a pointless question because the decision had been made. The person who asked me the question told me that there was no point asking me any other questions because I never gave their questions a chance to see the light of day. The report in question was put together by the Equipment Committee and I wanted to ask Mr Gustavsen - as Chairman of the Equipment Committee - the questions direct, to give him an opportunity to respond.

I do understand and appreciate your desire to get the answers straight from the source. And I don't disagree with you asking the questions or following up. My point wasn't that you shouldn't ask the question. My point was, "good luck with that." It was more of a prediction than anything else. I have become, admittedly, rather cynical about the ITTF in regards to their handling of this issue.

Debater wrote:
Regarding the "USATT head of officiating" and their attitude, I'd have told him no. They have no authority to tell "me" what I can and can't do. At best they can offer themselves as an alternative source of information. Mr Gustavsen posts his email address openly on the ITTF website. He doesn't list any conditions or protocol for contacting him.

I apparently wasn't clear. I had initially emailed Mr. Gustavsen directly with the question. He never responded to my inquiry. I then followed up with the USATT and was later asked not to inquire directly with the ITTF. Given that my association asked me not to email Mr. Gustavsen directly and given that he never responded anyway, it seemed pointless to do anything other than pursue the matter through my association - which eventually just ignored my repeated follow-ups. So I guess that was pointless as well. BTW, while admittedly the question is fairly trivial, it is still a valid one that deserves answering since major blade makers are using bamboo (and cork) in their blades.

Debater wrote:
Perhaps we should all start emailing Mr Gustavsen to ask for an update on the current situation around authorisation of a plastic ball (time scales), what form that plastic ball will take, physical construction and size.

If we all sent emails to Mr. Gustavsen, my bet is that we'd just make the chances that you'd receive a good answer even smaller.

Debater wrote:
It seems national associations aren't interested - even Adham back in 2012 said he expected National Associations to keep their members informed of matters such as this. Has anyone heard anything from their National Association about the plastic ball?

Perhaps National Associations either:
a) aren't interested in the type of ball used in table tennis
b) are ignorant of the situation or
c) they suffer from "ostrich syndrome" and are hoping this will all go away

Or maybe there is another reason for their silence on the matter.

There's probably some truth in your list, but I'd add these three items as well.
1) They are constantly busy with national and local issues and this never becomes a priority.
2) They don't want to "rock the boat" since they need to work with the ITTF and sometimes need favorable decisions and/or support from them.
3) When it comes to issues with a political flavor, they've long realized that they are essentially powerless anyway.

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PostPosted: 25 May 2013, 08:14 
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Debater wrote:
Perhaps National Associations either:
a) aren't interested in the type of ball used in table tennis
b) are ignorant of the situation or
c) they suffer from "ostrich syndrome" and are hoping this will all go away


or d) some people there have their cuts from various equipment scams, officially called "rule changes"...


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PostPosted: 28 May 2013, 09:14 
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Debater wrote:
I will keep emailing Mr Gustavsen on a regular basis asking for an update on his reply to my comments and our leagues testing results.

Debater, try emailing your excellent letter to the new ITTF Equipment Committee Chairman Federico Lineros Jurado at fedelineros@gmail.com

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PostPosted: 29 May 2013, 04:10 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Debater wrote:
I will keep emailing Mr Gustavsen on a regular basis asking for an update on his reply to my comments and our leagues testing results.

Debater, try emailing your excellent letter to the new ITTF Equipment Committee Chairman Federico Lineros Jurado at fedelineros@gmail.com

Thanks for the email address. As I'd contacted Mr Gustavsen originally I'll keep asking him the questions but now I'll copy Mr Jurado into them as well.

What surprises me is how quickly this change in the equipment committee took place. Mr Gustavsen gave no hint that he would be "stepping down" in the email he sent me. I wonder if it came as a surprise to him as well.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 16:03 
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wturber did a review of the Palio ball on another site. His opinion is as follows

Quote:
So the upshot to all of this is that by changing the ball tolerance, the ITTF is able to effect a change in ball performance approximately equal to the change from 38mm to 40mm - something that required a rules change.

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