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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2009, 09:49 
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Debater wrote:
I joined my leagues Committee after having an argument in a car park with our Chairman late at night. I thought it was enough to always turn up for my matches and pay my fees on time. His comment was if you don't like what we are doing or think you have ideas that need to be listened to join the committee and stop crying about it. Get involved. It's not easy. It's unpaid. It can take up a lot of time. And no it's not for everyone. But please, stop going on about what the ITTF doesn't do for you and do something about it for yourself.


interesting. How's your committee going? I exited my club's committee because it was ridiculously hard to get anything done (let alone actioned).

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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2009, 10:49 
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Debater wrote:
Marathon Man wrote:
Why should we be careful not to use BS and stuff like that when noone at the ITTF is thinking about the majority of players, you, me all the guys on this forum and on other forums all over the globe. Is the ITTF showing any respect towards players???


Because some members don't like to read swearing on a forum which is supposed to be about table tennis. Because if you have to resort to swearing you've already lost the argument. Because this whole thread is turning in to a "who can shout the loudest" competition and many of the valid points which are being raised and questions asked are getting lost in amongst the emotion and aggressive language which is being used here. This is meant to be a discussion thread.

Adham wrote:
I humbly apologize for the sarcasm, and I assume you are also apologizing for calling us liars. The fact is that I did answer all these questions, but obviously not to your satisfaction. If the answers I give are not the answers you want to hear, then you call me a liar. This is normally because you have a pre-determined idea and do not want to hear anything else. If you have any specific question that was not already answered it would be my pleasure to answer you, or to get an expert in the matter answer you.


Has no one noticed this is Adham's thread and yet there have been over 20 posts by other people since his last post. That's the first time I've seen this much inactivity by Adham. As far as I'm aware the ITTF don't represent the majority of players here and has never claimed to. Your national association represents you. It's the national associations who have the power to drive the ITTF. If they chose not to do that then that is your Associations fault AND YOURS for not pushing your National Association. For those who have no confidence in your national association, do something about it rather than simply complain. Stand for election to your Association or your local league and if you can't or aren't willing then how much do you really care about this sport? Where does it really lie in your priorities in life. I make no judgement on what is important to anyone as that is up to the individual but please stop blaming the ITTF for this - and no I am not a fan of either the ITTF. The ETTA stood up for what it believed in and rightly or wrongly allowed the use of non authorised rubbers in league play below County standard. If they can do it so can your national association. If you feel you can't affect the ITTF ignore them and concentrate your efforts on your National Associations, if your National Association won't listen canvas your league, if your league won't listen canvas your club. Why must everything start at the top. Sometimes working from the bottom is the easier and more effective thing to do. If concentrating on lobbying along these lines doesn't work, ask yourself why and address those issues.

Adham has already said this many times over and I'm finding the whole thread getting stale as we rehash and rehash issues about the ITTF not representing us the players. There is a thread here on this forum called "All ideas to promote table tennis".

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=4900

The first post was made by haggisv on Nov 7th 2008. It's had a total of 7 posts on it. 7 posts in nearly 10 months. People talk on here about how little the ITTF is doing to support us the mass who play the game. I'll turn the question round. What are we "the mass" doing to support the game. If people are so passionate about this game why aren't you posting there. Instead of criticising Adham and the ITTF lets hear what you are doing, or your league or what ideas you have to promote table tennis there. Criticising the ITTF is easy. Looking in at ourselves and what we do is harder. Maybe we don't do that because we won't like what we see.

I joined my leagues Committee after having an argument in a car park with our Chairman late at night. I thought it was enough to always turn up for my matches and pay my fees on time. His comment was if you don't like what we are doing or think you have ideas that need to be listened to join the committee and stop crying about it. Get involved. It's not easy. It's unpaid. It can take up a lot of time. And no it's not for everyone. But please, stop going on about what the ITTF doesn't do for you and do something about it for yourself.

In the meantime trawling through what has already been asked since Adham's last post I'd like to bring the thread back to actual questions and give Adham a chance to respon (as speedplay has already noted)

1. Is it true that the ITTF is going to ban the use of different sponges with different top sheets
2. If it is true at what level of competition will this rule be enforced and who will make that decision
2. IF it's true, how does the ITTF expect this rule to be enforced at local league level

Sorry for the directness of my comments especially if this upsets some.


Great post Debater!!!

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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2009, 17:10 
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Adham, would it be illegal to use offcuts from a rubber as your edge tape? It could maybe make the shots that come off the edge of your bat a bit better.

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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2009, 13:33 
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Mr Adham Sharara

Ar the rule 2.4.3 it said that the maximum thickness including adhesive for a rubber and the sponge is 4.00mm.

1- Could you explain when manufacturers are selling rubbers indicating MAXIMUM for the thickness (for example 2.5mm sponge + 1.5mm rubbers) how can you put glue or adhesive or PSA (pressure-sensitive-adhesive sheet) without being increasing the thickness and becoming not illegal?

If my source is good, this rule is in effect from 1959. So if I’m right, for the last 50 years, any players who bought rubbers with maximum thickness (topsheet + sponge) was illegal.

At the last Championnats Canadian Senior, which was held last july 2009, referees had disqualify one of the top players in Canada, (Mr.Guy Germain a good friend of you), because the glue was creating a thickness exceeding 4.00mm by the thickness of a hair. From this time, he stopped playing finding ridiculous this rule after nearly 50 years of practicing table tennis.

_____________________________________________________________________

At the technical leaflet T4 (last updated march 5, 2009) at the section: Definitions Qualitative criteria it said:
The manufacturers should be aware that the practice of "re-gluing", i.e. removing the racket covering, adding adhesive and re-applying the covering immediately before a match, might cause rubber / sponge to expand. When the resulting thickness is measured by an umpire it may be found to be illegal.

In the same Technical leaflet T4 at the section: Quantitative criteria it said:
It is the player’s responsibility to limit the total thickness of his racket covering to no more than 4.0 mm, including top sheet, sponge and adhesive.

2- Mr Sharara, how players can respect the total thickness of their own racket when manufacturers are not obligated to indicate the thickness of the topsheet and the sponge?

Considering that the thickness of the topsheet could be 2.0mm (maximum thickness aloud) and that players don’t have this information, they are taking a risk to buy rubbers with a 2.0mm sponge or more, because the total thickness could be 4.0mm leaving no space available for the thickness of the glue.

3- How could the ITTF gives the responsibility to players to be legal but not obligating manufacturers to indicates the thickness of their products ???
_________________________________________________________
I read in this forum that at the last AGM 2009, the Chinese table tennis association had proposed to modify the paragraph 2.4.3 to find a solution about this situation and here it is:
2.4.3 A side of the blade used for striking the ball shall be covered with either ordinary pimpled rubber, with pimples outwards having a total thickness including adhesive of not more than 2mm, or sandwich rubber, with pimples inwards or outwards having a total thickness excluding adhesives of not more than 3.8mm and including adhesives of not more than 4mm.
It was defeated like you said receiving only 70% of the votes (minimum 75% to be adopted)

4-Is the ITTF is planning to do something for this situation in a near future?

Thank You.
Connor
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 Post subject: Rubber thickness....
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2009, 18:35 
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According to my e-mail correspondence with Mr. Gustavsen, actual thickness value (total rubber thickness) has to be imprinted onto EVERY rubber envelope to be manufactured as of September 2009.
All of the world`s major rubber-makers had, in the early 2009, been instructed by the ITTF EQC "not to produce and market any rubber sheets over 3.85 mm thick."

Igor
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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2009, 02:57 
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Something interesting about our possible future: http://www.ittf.com/_front_page/ittf_fu ... p?ID=16257 (an interview with Adham)

"A Visionary View into the Future

The Canadian Adham Sharara is one of the most powerful sport politicians in the world. ...

(A) The enlargement of the balls from 38 to 40 millimetres has had a good impact on our sport. The players first complained rightly that the quality of the balls suffered. That’s where we insist. We already have 42 millimetre balls in a test series and are waiting for the results. ... And of course, the increase of the net up to one centimetre is always a topic. But for me it is clear that we will not approach a next rules change until the players had time enough to adapt the new circumstances owing to the new gluing rule.

(Q) But the players often dislike rules changes.

(A) And that’s what I don’t understand. First of all nothing at all has changed during the last 64 years in our sport and especially now Europeans should be entirely happy since chances give them the chance to come closer to China."


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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2009, 10:49 
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Mr Adam Sharara
and
Mr Igor (national umpire Russia)

Referring to Mr Igor post dated of 05 sept 2009 about the thickness of rubbers:

In reference about your e-mail correspondence with Mr Gustavsen that the ITTF sent instructions to all of the world`s major rubber-makers and instructed them to reduce the total thickness of rubbers not over 3.85mm:

1- Your e-mail correspondence with Mr Gustavsen asking to reduce thickness not over 3.85mm seems to confirm that all rubbers in the world with the actual maximum thickness of 4.0mm (topsheet + sponge) are illegal because it is impossible to stick the rubber to the blade without adding glue and going over 4.0 mm.

For all these years and until the situation will change, referees are disqualifying players all around the world because of this rule and manufacturers sold and are still selling illegal rubbers!!!

A question about that was already asked to Mr Adam Sharara at this post subject at the page 27 (dated of 04 may 2009) by the author “Kim Is My Shadow” in reference of the proposition of the Chinese Association. The question was:

“If this was implemented would anyone who had bought a rubber which was 4mm in thickness before applying glue, not be able to use it? ”

Mr Sharara did not answer this question.
____________________________________________________________________

2- Why it took so long (from 1959 to 2009) from the ITTF to take action about this rule ?
The ITTF approbation appears on the topsheet (ITTF logo, etc.) and there is no approbation for the sponge. Because these two parts are forming one product, (because they are glued together) and because the ITTF logo is a confirmation of the respect of rules, the ITTF had certainly the right to give restrictions to manufacturers about the maximum thickness (rubber + sponge).
In another way, it is the responsibility of the ITTF that players will have enough thickness remaining to put glue to respect the maximum thickness aloud (4.0mm). And it is the responsibility of the players to respects the thickness aloud to put glue.
___________________________________________________________________

3- Because this situation is existing for fifty years, why the ITTF did not use their rights to ask manufacturers to reduce the thickness to be conform of the rules when they are putting their ITTF logo on the top of a product ?
__________________________________________________________________

4-At the last AGM 2009 the proposition by the China Association (for the rule 2.4.3 to reduce the thickness from 4.0mm to 3.8mm) was rejected like Mr Adam Sharara wrote (at this post subject, page 27 dated 04 may 2009).
What happened between the time it was rejected and the time you received your e-mail stating that the new maximum thickness is now 3.85mm ?
___________________________________________________________________

5-Mr Igor, in reference of your e-mail with Mr Gustavsen, you are indicating in this topic subject (dated 05 sept 2009 that the new maximum thickness that world’s major rubber-makers will produce is 3.85mm and in another post, the same day, you wrote that it is 3.80mm. Which one is good?

Here is the link of your other post:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=8434
___________________________________________________________________

I believe that Mr Adam Sharara is aware about this situation because it is concerning a lot of players and he will give answers for these questions.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2009, 11:42 
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Dear Adham!

Can you please tell us about the ITTF proposals of start authorising table tennis blades?

- Is this just an idea/proposal, or has it already been decided?

- What is motivation for this proposal?

- What are the benefits to the players?

I'm aware the ITTF makes rules for top level players, but I'm sure you know that rules always filter down to the lower levels eventually, so it would be good to see that implication for these players a well.

Thank you!

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2009, 12:15 
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haggisv wrote:
Dear Adham!

Can you please tell us about the ITTF proposals of start authorising table tennis blades?

1. Is this just an idea/proposal, or has it already been decided?

2. What is motivation for this proposal?

3. What are the benefits to the players?

I'm aware the ITTF makes rules for top level players, but I'm sure you know that rules always filter down to the lower levels eventually, so it would be good to see that implication for these players a well.

Thank you!


I apologize for not answering sooner. I have numbered the questions and answer them in order:

1. It is a request from manufacturers and associations to start an authorization system for the SPONGE and the BLADES just like for the rubbers. This is still at the research stage at the moment to study the feasibility. The SPONGE will be first. At the moment the ITTF only authorizes the rubber but not the sponge.

2. We have encountered many ambiguities about detaching and regluing sponge to rubber etc. There is also the whole issue of tuning and boosting sponge but not the rubber, etc. So it is felt that both parts should be the "racket covering". Regarding BLADES, we have discovered that some manufacturers actually shave the blade (concave shaving) in order to allow for thicker rubber to be used, or to allow for the expansion of the rubber when boosted. So the manufacturers that follow the rules are not happy. They find that it is cheating and unfair. We agree. Also some national associations have complained as they suspect that some players may be using these type of blades at the ITTF events. So we wish to control this matter before it goes out of hand and ensure a level playing field. Until now we used the honour system and relied on the manufacturers to produce the equipment according to the ITTF rules. Unfortunately some are not following the rules (85% wood, flat, even, etc.) and it forces us to put a system in place to control the equipment before it goes to market.

3. Mainly an even playing field and knowing that if a blade carries the ITTF logo and authorization then it is according to ITTF rules. The same applies to the sponge. Basically the same type of "stamp of recognition" that rubbers have today. For players using legal blades there will be no difference at all. Of course there will be a phasing in period, and also the blade will be monitored at racket control stations at our events, just like the rest of the racket is checked.

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2009, 12:25 
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Connor wrote:
Mr Adam Sharara
and
Mr Igor (national umpire Russia)

Referring to Mr Igor post dated of 05 sept 2009 about the thickness of rubbers:

In reference about your e-mail correspondence with Mr Gustavsen that the ITTF sent instructions to all of the world`s major rubber-makers and instructed them to reduce the total thickness of rubbers not over 3.85mm:

1- Your e-mail correspondence with Mr Gustavsen asking to reduce thickness not over 3.85mm seems to confirm that all rubbers in the world with the actual maximum thickness of 4.0mm (topsheet + sponge) are illegal because it is impossible to stick the rubber to the blade without adding glue and going over 4.0 mm.

For all these years and until the situation will change, referees are disqualifying players all around the world because of this rule and manufacturers sold and are still selling illegal rubbers!!!

A question about that was already asked to Mr Adam Sharara at this post subject at the page 27 (dated of 04 may 2009) by the author “Kim Is My Shadow” in reference of the proposition of the Chinese Association. The question was:

“If this was implemented would anyone who had bought a rubber which was 4mm in thickness before applying glue, not be able to use it? ”

Mr Sharara did not answer this question.
____________________________________________________________________

2- Why it took so long (from 1959 to 2009) from the ITTF to take action about this rule ?
The ITTF approbation appears on the topsheet (ITTF logo, etc.) and there is no approbation for the sponge. Because these two parts are forming one product, (because they are glued together) and because the ITTF logo is a confirmation of the respect of rules, the ITTF had certainly the right to give restrictions to manufacturers about the maximum thickness (rubber + sponge).
In another way, it is the responsibility of the ITTF that players will have enough thickness remaining to put glue to respect the maximum thickness aloud (4.0mm). And it is the responsibility of the players to respects the thickness aloud to put glue.
___________________________________________________________________

3- Because this situation is existing for fifty years, why the ITTF did not use their rights to ask manufacturers to reduce the thickness to be conform of the rules when they are putting their ITTF logo on the top of a product ?
__________________________________________________________________

4-At the last AGM 2009 the proposition by the China Association (for the rule 2.4.3 to reduce the thickness from 4.0mm to 3.8mm) was rejected like Mr Adam Sharara wrote (at this post subject, page 27 dated 04 may 2009).
What happened between the time it was rejected and the time you received your e-mail stating that the new maximum thickness is now 3.85mm ?
___________________________________________________________________

5-Mr Igor, in reference of your e-mail with Mr Gustavsen, you are indicating in this topic subject (dated 05 sept 2009 that the new maximum thickness that world’s major rubber-makers will produce is 3.85mm and in another post, the same day, you wrote that it is 3.80mm. Which one is good?

Here is the link of your other post:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=8434
___________________________________________________________________

I believe that Mr Adam Sharara is aware about this situation because it is concerning a lot of players and he will give answers for these questions.


The rule did not change. The proposal from China (3.80) was defeated. In fact the rule is still a maximum of 4.00 mm all inclusive. But of course by adding glue to 4mm will exceed the maximum allowable. This is why the ITTF Committee Chairman recommended to the manufacturers that they produce rubber/sponge combination with a total of 3.85mm in order to allow for the glue. But they can do what they want in fact. The can produce 3.95mm as well. the important point is that when a player has their racket tested at an ITTF event, the total thickness should not exceed 4.00mm all inclusive.

Your question about why this was not implemented over the last 50 years is simple: "There was no need" for two reasons:
- thickness measuring devices were not very accurate
- players did not use as much glue

Lately some rackets have been found to exceed the 4mm by a lot. So in fairness to the players we have informed the manufacturers to take new measures to avoid this "cumulative" thickness problem.

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2009, 12:36 
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Connor wrote:
Mr Adham Sharara

Ar the rule 2.4.3 it said that the maximum thickness including adhesive for a rubber and the sponge is 4.00mm.

1- Could you explain when manufacturers are selling rubbers indicating MAXIMUM for the thickness (for example 2.5mm sponge + 1.5mm rubbers) how can you put glue or adhesive or PSA (pressure-sensitive-adhesive sheet) without being increasing the thickness and becoming not illegal?

If my source is good, this rule is in effect from 1959. So if I’m right, for the last 50 years, any players who bought rubbers with maximum thickness (topsheet + sponge) was illegal.

At the last Championnats Canadian Senior, which was held last july 2009, referees had disqualify one of the top players in Canada, (Mr.Guy Germain a good friend of you), because the glue was creating a thickness exceeding 4.00mm by the thickness of a hair. From this time, he stopped playing finding ridiculous this rule after nearly 50 years of practicing table tennis.

_____________________________________________________________________

At the technical leaflet T4 (last updated march 5, 2009) at the section: Definitions Qualitative criteria it said:
The manufacturers should be aware that the practice of "re-gluing", i.e. removing the racket covering, adding adhesive and re-applying the covering immediately before a match, might cause rubber / sponge to expand. When the resulting thickness is measured by an umpire it may be found to be illegal.

In the same Technical leaflet T4 at the section: Quantitative criteria it said:
It is the player’s responsibility to limit the total thickness of his racket covering to no more than 4.0 mm, including top sheet, sponge and adhesive.

2- Mr Sharara, how players can respect the total thickness of their own racket when manufacturers are not obligated to indicate the thickness of the topsheet and the sponge?

Considering that the thickness of the topsheet could be 2.0mm (maximum thickness aloud) and that players don’t have this information, they are taking a risk to buy rubbers with a 2.0mm sponge or more, because the total thickness could be 4.0mm leaving no space available for the thickness of the glue.

3- How could the ITTF gives the responsibility to players to be legal but not obligating manufacturers to indicates the thickness of their products ???
_________________________________________________________
I read in this forum that at the last AGM 2009, the Chinese table tennis association had proposed to modify the paragraph 2.4.3 to find a solution about this situation and here it is:
2.4.3 A side of the blade used for striking the ball shall be covered with either ordinary pimpled rubber, with pimples outwards having a total thickness including adhesive of not more than 2mm, or sandwich rubber, with pimples inwards or outwards having a total thickness excluding adhesives of not more than 3.8mm and including adhesives of not more than 4mm.
It was defeated like you said receiving only 70% of the votes (minimum 75% to be adopted)

4-Is the ITTF is planning to do something for this situation in a near future?

Thank You.
Connor
Quebec, Canada


1. This is why the ITTF has recommended to the manufacturers to not exceed 3.85mm. This is in fairness to the players.

2. Manufacturers have been asked to reduce the thickness so that the glue is taken into account. But i someone uses a very thin layer of glue, say .05mm (theoretically), then of course they could use a racket covering that is 3.95mm, as long as the total thickness all-inclusive does not exceed 4.00mm

3. Like in every sport the player is responsible for their own equipment. As you know, in Canada we have a great athlete, Silken Lauman. Well, sje lost the Gold medal at a Pan-American Games because she was tested positive for a banned substance that was no=t listed on the cold medication she took. She was disqualified. At the end it's the athlete that is responsible.

4. The ITTF has already acted, we asked the manufacturers to reduce the thickness at the source so that the players have room to add their glue.

If only one player was disqualified, then I assume that all the others were OK?

By the way, it seems that Guy is still playing, no?

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2009, 21:17 
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no one, especially me, will force you to answer, but is it a mere coincidence that these questions are left unanswered? i`m sure it was only because of lack of time... :D



"so let me be specific and kindly point out where exactly you have answered these questions specifically and if not, kindly do so to actually do some effort in trying to restore the ittfs image:

1) an ominous letter reached the ittf complaining about a "rather frictionless" tt-master ruber. what exactly were the ittfs next steps?
a) did the ittf find that every single insider or swingback if after it they had been approved did not meet the requirements any longer (meaning that they were different to the original version) or were there mere inconsistencies in the production?
b) if so, how many rubbers did the ittf test and how many of these rubbers did not meet the requirements?
c) where exactly on paper does the ittf state how many "inconsistant" rubbers lead to the elimination of a specific rubber?
d)how many mN did these sheets reach?

2) how does the machine work that tests the friction and why is the ittf reluctant in providing further information on this matter?

3) what exactly happened to the tt-master crossbow, it was approved and then mysteriously vanished from the list. "

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2009, 21:39 
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adham wrote:
1. It is a request from manufacturers and associations to start an authorization system for the SPONGE and the BLADES just like for the rubbers. This is still at the research stage at the moment to study the feasibility. The SPONGE will be first. At the moment the ITTF only authorizes the rubber but not the sponge.

2. We have encountered many ambiguities about detaching and regluing sponge to rubber etc. There is also the whole issue of tuning and boosting sponge but not the rubber, etc. So it is felt that both parts should be the "racket covering". Regarding BLADES, we have discovered that some manufacturers actually shave the blade (concave shaving) in order to allow for thicker rubber to be used, or to allow for the expansion of the rubber when boosted. So the manufacturers that follow the rules are not happy. They find that it is cheating and unfair. We agree. Also some national associations have complained as they suspect that some players may be using these type of blades at the ITTF events. So we wish to control this matter before it goes out of hand and ensure a level playing field. Until now we used the honour system and relied on the manufacturers to produce the equipment according to the ITTF rules. Unfortunately some are not following the rules (85% wood, flat, even, etc.) and it forces us to put a system in place to control the equipment before it goes to market.

3. Mainly an even playing field and knowing that if a blade carries the ITTF logo and authorization then it is according to ITTF rules. The same applies to the sponge. Basically the same type of "stamp of recognition" that rubbers have today. For players using legal blades there will be no difference at all. Of course there will be a phasing in period, and also the blade will be monitored at racket control stations at our events, just like the rest of the racket is checked.

Hi Adham,

Would this mean that sponges and top sheets currently sold separately would no longer be allowed to be used in tournaments?

If blades need to be approved, would discontinued, custom or homemade blades be disallowed?

Is any thought being given to the feasibility of enforcing this throughout table tennis?

Since most associations would automatically implement this if the ITTF goes ahead with it, it sounds like it might cause a lot of confusion and additional expense for us amateur players.

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2009, 22:20 
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AA wrote:
no one, especially me, will force you to answer, but is it a mere coincidence that these questions are left unanswered? i`m sure it was only because of lack of time... :D



"so let me be specific and kindly point out where exactly you have answered these questions specifically and if not, kindly do so to actually do some effort in trying to restore the ittfs image:

1) an ominous letter reached the ittf complaining about a "rather frictionless" tt-master ruber. what exactly were the ittfs next steps?
a) did the ittf find that every single insider or swingback if after it they had been approved did not meet the requirements any longer (meaning that they were different to the original version) or were there mere inconsistencies in the production?
b) if so, how many rubbers did the ittf test and how many of these rubbers did not meet the requirements?
c) where exactly on paper does the ittf state how many "inconsistant" rubbers lead to the elimination of a specific rubber?
d)how many mN did these sheets reach?

2) how does the machine work that tests the friction and why is the ittf reluctant in providing further information on this matter?

3) what exactly happened to the tt-master crossbow, it was approved and then mysteriously vanished from the list. "


Here are the answers briefly (all this was answered before somewhere):
1. No next steps based on one letter. When several complaints were received from players but also from other manufacturers, then the ITTF took samples from the market and tested them. The ITTF does random testing on all its approved or authorized equipment in any case. In this particular case, because complaints were received, the ITTF conducted a random test on this particular product.
a) the samples provided by the distributor were fine and the samples obtained directly from the manufacturer were also fine. ALL the samples taken from the retail market that the ITTF tested were not legal according to the ITTF's tests.
b) The ITTF tested a sufficient number of rubbers on several occasions from different retail batches according to our testing protocols. All were found to be illegal.
c) There is no set number. Of course if a rubber is found illegal based on one set of tests, then further tests are conducted systematically from random locations (where the samples are taken). Often, as you state, it is a certain bad batch from the manufactiurer, and then the ITTF works closely with the dirtributor and the manufacturer to solve the problem.
d) I do not know the details of the friction levels reached. In fact that was not the main problem. The main problem was that the sheets had a variation of friction level on the same sheet surface, which is against the ITTF rules.

2. I personally do not know how the machine works, I leave that to the experts. But the machine used by the ITTF is certified by the proper authorities in the matter and is located in a laboratory in Germany that is also certified by the proper authorities. There are several ways to measure friction or rubber properties, and of course there are several machines and brands that can do that. The machines used by the ITTF were accepted by the court as reliable and official. The method of testing is not a secret, in fact it is a standard non-arbitrary method. But when testing, the ITTF has its own criteria that it uses to be able to quickly discover irregularities. This technology and information belongs to the ITTF because we use it for detection and random testing. The criteria to "produce" the rubber are well known and provided to the manufacturers and if they follow them, then their product would meet the ITTF's criteria. The "testing" belongs only to the ITTF obviously. The best analogy I can give, is an academic exam. First the school provides all the information and knowledge on the subject to the students, and then tests the students. The knowledge is open, but the questions in the tests are not give out in advance openly. This is also the same in doping tests. The criteria for a failed doping test are known openly. But the testing method (lab analysis) is not. This is normal.

3. I do not know what happened to this product. Nothing is mysterious. If it is not on the authorized list, then either it did not meet the ITTF criteria or the company producing it did not request authorization.

I hope that I have answered your questions. I am not an expert in this matter, if you need further clarification please send me an e-mail directly to [email protected] and I will forward it to the relevant expert for answer.

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Adham Sharara


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2009, 22:34 
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King of Ping!

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mynamenotbob wrote:
adham wrote:
1. It is a request from manufacturers and associations to start an authorization system for the SPONGE and the BLADES just like for the rubbers. This is still at the research stage at the moment to study the feasibility. The SPONGE will be first. At the moment the ITTF only authorizes the rubber but not the sponge.

2. We have encountered many ambiguities about detaching and regluing sponge to rubber etc. There is also the whole issue of tuning and boosting sponge but not the rubber, etc. So it is felt that both parts should be the "racket covering". Regarding BLADES, we have discovered that some manufacturers actually shave the blade (concave shaving) in order to allow for thicker rubber to be used, or to allow for the expansion of the rubber when boosted. So the manufacturers that follow the rules are not happy. They find that it is cheating and unfair. We agree. Also some national associations have complained as they suspect that some players may be using these type of blades at the ITTF events. So we wish to control this matter before it goes out of hand and ensure a level playing field. Until now we used the honour system and relied on the manufacturers to produce the equipment according to the ITTF rules. Unfortunately some are not following the rules (85% wood, flat, even, etc.) and it forces us to put a system in place to control the equipment before it goes to market.

3. Mainly an even playing field and knowing that if a blade carries the ITTF logo and authorization then it is according to ITTF rules. The same applies to the sponge. Basically the same type of "stamp of recognition" that rubbers have today. For players using legal blades there will be no difference at all. Of course there will be a phasing in period, and also the blade will be monitored at racket control stations at our events, just like the rest of the racket is checked.

Hi Adham,

1. Would this mean that sponges and top sheets currently sold separately would no longer be allowed to be used in tournaments?

2. If blades need to be approved, would discontinued, custom or homemade blades be disallowed?

3. Is any thought being given to the feasibility of enforcing this throughout table tennis?

Since most associations would automatically implement this if the ITTF goes ahead with it, it sounds like it might cause a lot of confusion and additional expense for us amateur players.


1. This matter is currently under study. We are just at the early stages. I am not sure how the authorization procedure would take place. It is possible that sponge be treated separately as we do rubber, or perhaps it would be the two as one unit? I am not sure. The experts are now studying the matter. It could also just be that some test on the sponge is conducted and as long as it means the ITTF criteria it would be OK. I am not sure yet. This will take some time before we get the final recommendations.

2. I believe the idea is to "authorize" blades and not approve them. Approval provides a guarantee of quality, whereas "authorization" simply means that the product meets the ITTF criteria, quality is not guaranteed. I am not sure how the home-made or custom blades would be treated. If it is custom made from a reputable craftsman, we may also authorize, as a blanket, all the products of this source, but of course we would randomly test their product to ensure that it continues to meet our criteria. For self-made blades, not authorized by the ITTF, we would probably oblige this blade to pass through the racket control station at our events for verification, or we would provide a "phase-out" period. I am not sure what the experts dealing with this matter will recommend.

3. I am not sure what you mean by "throughout table tennis"? Do you mean at all levels? In fact our rules are for ITTF events only, but then all other levels can choose to adopt them or not. There should be no confusion even if adopted at all levels, it would be exactly the same as the current rubber authorization. There are always snags here and there, but I would not call it confusion. Confusion is usually caused by the "confusionaies" (sic).

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