Joined: 13 Jan 2014, 20:27 Posts: 4633 Has thanked: 0 time Been thanked:464 times
Back in the day (1970s is when I first became aware of table tennis stuff) red was the predominant color. Pretty much all "pro" sheets were red. though there were green sheets (and possibly blue) here and there (I remember buying a green sheet of Spectol once). However, where you DID find a lot of green and blue sheets was on the cheap Chinese pre-made bats you found in bookstores. Generally pretty low quality, the topsheets would come off in a couple months of playing (after which you'd play with the bare sponge). Most of these were still red, though. Didn't see any black sheets until Tackiness showed up, aside from the original Yasaka Black Power (the blurb on the back of which claims that there was a "taboo" against black sheets - presumably the addition of black pigment to the rubber made bad things happen). But you do see black sheets of rubber on even earlier bats on the ITTF museum web site - including some hardbats. Other colors? Yasaka made "Tornado", which was had a raw-latex transparent amber topsheet, I remember someone at the University club I joined had a pair of sheets on his bat. (When the two color rule came out they had to make it in red and black, and I never did get a chance to buy the amber-colored sheets.) And the first 729 Friendship sheets that arrived in the US were a deep plum color (go find some Guo Yuehua videos, he used it).
Incidentally, Cai Zhenhua was a player who was really hurt by the two color rule (or you could say, he thrived in the absence of it) - he used a combination bat and his opponents had no idea which rubber he was serving with.
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