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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2014, 19:10 
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Copied from TT11 mailout - I thought this rather good and it matches my [limited] experience with the new ball.
*************************************
Hello again!
The new ball has been introduced to international competition, now is the time to master it!
Seven simple tips to adjusting to the new plastic ball by our passionate equipment expert, Matt Hetherington:

1. Don't Be Cynical, Give it a Chance!
Most people have already turned their noses up, of course! We don't like change. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the new ball. The new ball does have some differences but a great effort has been made to create a ball as similar as possible to the celluloid ball. First important pointer, it's not all that bad, it's still playable and will require some small adaptations, but it's not the end of table tennis as we know it.

2. Stay Closer to the Table in Topspin Rallies
One thing we noticed when in loop or topspin rallies was that the ball trajectory after the bounce was actually a little bit lower than with the celluloid ball. This means if you are used to staying further back in topspin exchanges you are going to find yourself picking the ball up a bit late. Make sure you adjust to the new lower bounce off the table so you can continue to be effective and deadly on attack!

3. Be Ready for Shorter Serves
A standout of the new ball is that it does react less on the table, this means a lower and slower bounce and consequently serves which don't often drift longer. There is a lot more comfort short serving the ball. Most of the short serves we tried which bounced twice with a celluloid ball could find three bounces at the other end with the poly ball. So be prepared for tighter serves.

4. Start Thinking Placement
While powerful strokes can still be achieved with the plastic ball, there is certainly a small loss of speed and spin. It is more comfortable to block offensive balls and once you get used to it the error margin on shots seems to be a little more on the safer side. This means placement is going to become twice as important as it is more difficult to hit through your opposition.

5. Close Those Angles A Bit More
While the ball is less reactive off the table surface, it does seem to have a firmer bounce on the rubber. In short exchanges the ball was a little harder to keep low over the net and it's more difficult to try and impart amounts of spin on a short push. You will need to create a little more angle on your short pushes in order to keep that ball low to the net, otherwise it's going to be floating a little too far into the danger zone.

6. Put in the Hours
The obvious way of mastering anything new. Don't hesitate, get your hands on some poly balls sooner rather than later. The best thing to do is to use one poly ball and one celluloid ball in the beginning and try and analyse some of the comparisons between them. This will help you understand the differences between the two balls and you will start to see some things you will need to alter in order to master the new ball.

7. Defensive Players Have Advantage
With less spin and power on the ball, defensive players are going to be more than a little pleased. We tested the ball against chop and close table long pips blocking. It appeared the defensive strokes were more consistent with the poly ball and it was a bit harder to exploit weaknesses or force mistakes. So for all you people with pips or chopping out there, you may just enjoy this new ball a bit more than you think ;)

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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2014, 19:20 
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Good stuff, thanks so_devo :up:

I'm not sure that I agree entirely about defenders having an advantage, as I think we need to be able to generate heavy spin to stop people from hitting the ball. I'll have to make up my own mind once we start playing with these balls.

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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2014, 19:48 
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<<<<7. Defensive Players Have Advantage
With less spin and power on the ball, defensive players are going to be more than a little pleased. We tested the ball against chop and close table long pips blocking. It appeared the defensive strokes were more consistent with the poly ball and it was a bit harder to exploit weaknesses or force mistakes. So for all you people with pips or chopping out there, you may just enjoy this new ball a bit more than you think ;)>>>>

That would apply to LP's users USATT rated 2200 under. The high speed spin balls which were hard to block chop with the 40C now are easier and especially for players rated under 2000.

So, the push blocker style may become even more effective than before.

Would Oliver the pushblocker agree or disagree ?

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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2014, 20:29 
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Since there will be less spin on the ball, there will be less to 'reverse', which will not work in their favour.

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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2014, 23:58 
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I have played a lot with these new balls at least 15 hours now, and the OP is pretty consistent with my experience with seamed Chinese plastic balls.

They don't mention that you can expect breakage and deviations from roundness.

The one thing I would add is that the higher your level the more you will notice the difference (based on experience of people at my club). The differences become a lot more apparent in live play than just hitting counters, or loop-and-block, where you know where the ball is going. It is when you don't know in advance where the ball is going that the different trajectory and low bounce will cause you to make mistakes.

I think statement 1 in the original post is perhaps a bit more optimistic. You will not adjust immediately. You will need more time than you think to get used to it. But it is not the end of table tennis.

I actually tend to agree that this will help defenders because they will be getting to balls they couldn't reach before, but I am not a defender myself, so what I am thinking there may not be worth much.

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PostPosted: 09 Aug 2014, 05:34 
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IMO Giving a small advantage to defenders is a good idea.
That's because chopper playstyle vs. attacker playstyle is impressive.
Then...
More defenders = more show = more audience = more :cash: :cash:

That's what I think. :)


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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2014, 02:40 
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I played with one a couple of hours. I agree defenders will be pleased with this ball. You can place the ball better because of the reduction of speed and spin, but there is still enough spin to work with.


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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2014, 08:59 
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http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yjs_jnLtuU8

Here is Matt (tabletennis11.com) playing with plastic.
He is some monster; he would be able to manage a stone globe as well.
Really skilled boy, Hat off to him !!!


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