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PostPosted: 07 Jun 2011, 23:28 
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Tassie52 wrote:
(Apologies for the length of this post - I couldn't find a way to say it shorter! :oops: )


No problem. Your posts will be longer and longer, if you continue to avoid answering simple questions, which I think you are doing, because you consciously or subconsciously do not like the probable outcome. Sorry, maybe I am wrong, but I see it this way.

Breaking an illegal rule is not breaking a rule. Hence, if someone breaks what he sees as illegal rule, it is not the same, as breaking a legal rule.

Of course, if the rule is legal, then he makes a mistake breaking it. But following a rule seen as illegal just because the rule is not abolished yet is absurd.


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 02:04 
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Tassie52 wrote:
We have a thread which specifically asks "Do you break the ITTF's Racket rules?" 29% of the respondents say they do!

The ITTF has stated that up to 90% of the pros would be in the same category.

You can buy expensive factory-tuned rubbers with the ITTF blessing and shell out hundreds of dollars to replace them every month, or save money and do it yourself. In the end, what's the difference?

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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 05:58 
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The only place a minimum friction is mentioned is in a technical leaflet and it is only applicable to manufacturers.


Technical Leaflet T4

section 1.5 Friction for pimples - out
The minimum friction level is 25mN (Milli Newton)

Technical Leaflet T4 "sets out the current Laws and Regulations, defines some of the terms used and lists some additional criteria for ITTF authorisation of racket coverings and thereafter entering the list of Authorised Racket Coverings"

So this technical leaflet covers the Laws of table tennis Rule 2.4 AND 3.1.2.3 Regulations for International Competitions.

Personally I'd forget trying to change or challenge the rules and regulations of table tennis and having to go through votes and national associations. I'd personally be more interested in how you can make changes to the Technical Leaflets which are a back door way of changing or introducing laws because of the tie with 3.1.2.3

Tassie52, to a large extent I agree with you but as the person who asked the question about the poll you refer to I think it is narrow in what it covers and so it's dangerous to quote it in a discussion like this because it doesn't cover 3.1.2.3.

Technical leaflet T4 alone is quite frightening in what it says a rubber should and shouldn't look like. I know for a fact that there are players in our league who don't use ITTF authorised rubbers (inverted rubbers), rubbers which are so old there is no way they play anything like they did in there original condition, even if they do have the ITTF logo on. I have also hardly ever in 10 years of playing table tennis seen a player show their bat to their opponent as per rule 2.04.08 - emphasis on show it rather than an opponent requesting to see it. I certainly haven't.

As for measuring how red a rubber is or how black it is or the sheen on it. Well that's almost impossible at local league level. Sure by having an authorised list, many of these checks are taken away from the leagues but over time those rubbers change and things become blurred. Until manufacturers come up with a "shelf life" for their equipment (virtually impossible to do because of all the variables involved eg time, condition of playing venue, temperature, style of play etc) most of us will need to take either a "best guess" approach or plead ignorance of the rules.

To that extent, to talk about morality in terms of playing with "legal" equipment can be dangerous because a lot of us aren't in a position to know if our equipment actually meets these regulations (too often it's easy to say about deliberately treated equipment and ignore wear and tear). I chose to try and play within the rules as I understand them not out of morals because I think the laws and rules are right but because that's the requirement. So I wouldn't say I'm morally correct because I follow the rules just as I wouldn't say someone is morally incorrect if they chose to break them. Law breaker yes, but morally incorrect? No. That's too much of a personal value judgement to cast my interpretation on someone else.

What's strange to me is that Technical Leaflet T4 in it's introduction says

"Although the racket is the choice of the player himself, it too remained unchanged during the ITTF's first decades. But it then appeared that a modification in the characteristics of the racket could mean the difference between victory and defeat. The subsequent decades have accordingly seen continual development, some of it not salutary."

What a lovely vague value laden statement. Just as I criticise MNNB for his interpretations, so too could I criticise the ITTF for this wonderful carte blanche approach to table tennis they've given themselves. If MNNB was in power, and he passed a law allowing FLP's I would follow that too because it's the law - and not necessarily because it's a morally just law. Assuming MNNB was in power, do you really think the arguements use by the ITTF currently for keeping their laws would be strong enough or moral enough to overturn rules made by MNNB? I don't. Especially if the best they can do is the wooly statement in Technical Leaflet T9.

They say history is written by the victor and so reflects their desires and beliefs and interpretations. In this case, for now the victor is ITTF. But just because they make the law doesn't make it morally correct and therefore anyone who breaks it morally incorrect. If a point of view relies on reference to following laws simply because they are the law then you run the risk of blindly following and never challenging anything. So for me, a law shouldn't be seen to be "just" and morally sound simply because it's a law. It should be just because it's the right law. And if it's not the right law it is morally wrong and should be challenged.

The big problem for me is no two people are the same. Who decides what's right and wrong. For us, those of us who play in leagues run by National Associations it seems the ITTF does. If we don't like the rules or think they are morally wrong, challenge the ITTF. Breaking rules in secrete isn't challenging the ITTF. Standing up and breaking the rules and being seen to break the rules, that's what takes guts. That's what has consequences. That's what's visible. But what price morality? To a professional player it's probably a luxury they can't afford.

Me personally, I admit it. I've got fed up, I'm board and I'm tired with fighting the fight with the rules around equipment. I'll make a judgement call on what's legal according to the rules as I understand them and take my chances. Frankly I can't be bothered anymore. And becaused I can't be bothered anymore I deserve everything I get in table tennis and stupid uneforcable laws.

I might not agree with some people here, I might get infuriated that threads go astray, at how inneuendo and interpreation is portrayed as fact, that sometimes all some people seem to do is talk the talk here but hide in the shadows in the real world out in tournements or competitions. But I do admire the passion they have for what they believe and their desire to try and publicise what they think is wrong and which is admittedly a small step in trying to do something about the rules. And as such, ultimately I accept they can act in a moral way by not complying with laws they see as unjust even if that opinion is different to my own.


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 07:09 
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Debater wrote:
Technical Leaflet T4

section 1.5 Friction for pimples - out
The minimum friction level is 25mN (Milli Newton)

Technical Leaflet T4 "sets out the current Laws and Regulations, defines some of the terms used and lists some additional criteria for ITTF authorisation of racket coverings and thereafter entering the list of Authorised Racket Coverings"

So this technical leaflet covers the Laws of table tennis Rule 2.4 AND 3.1.2.3 Regulations for International Competitions.

Personally I'd forget trying to change or challenge the rules and regulations of table tennis and having to go through votes and national associations. I'd personally be more interested in how you can make changes to the Technical Leaflets which are a back door way of changing or introducing laws because of the tie with 3.1.2.3


No, there is no legal back door for changing "the Laws of Table Tennis" (Section 2 of the ITTF rules) through a Technical Leaflet by a decision of the Board of Directors. For a simple reason: the BoD have no right to change anything in the Laws of Table Tennis, they have only the right to make "detailed explanations and interpretations of regulations, including equipment specifications" "published as Technical Leaflets" (3.01.02.07)

If there is something in the Technical Leaflet T4 that contradicts or is not in line with the Section 2 of the ITTF rules, then it is illegal and invalid. That perfectly applies to the "minimum friction level".


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 07:53 
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Debater wrote:
Technical leaflet T4 alone is quite frightening in what it says a rubber should and shouldn't look like.

Very well thought-out post Debater.

Technical Leaflet T4 spells out specifications table tennis rubber manufacturers must adhere to for ITTF authorization and doesn't apply directly to players.

Technical Leaflet T9 details racket testing procedures for international ITTF tournaments that are wholly impractical for most amateur and recreational competition.

Most recreational players don't even know these documents exist. They simply prepare a racket that compliments their game and go play.

Smartguy wrote:
If there is something in the Technical Leaflet T4 that contradicts or is not in line with the Section 2 of the ITTF rules, then it is illegal and invalid. That perfectly applies to the "minimum friction level".

:up:

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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 13:20 
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Smartguy wrote:
Debater wrote:
Technical Leaflet T4

section 1.5 Friction for pimples - out
The minimum friction level is 25mN (Milli Newton)

Technical Leaflet T4 "sets out the current Laws and Regulations, defines some of the terms used and lists some additional criteria for ITTF authorisation of racket coverings and thereafter entering the list of Authorised Racket Coverings"

So this technical leaflet covers the Laws of table tennis Rule 2.4 AND 3.1.2.3 Regulations for International Competitions.


No, there is no legal back door for changing "the Laws of Table Tennis" (Section 2 of the ITTF rules) through a Technical Leaflet by a decision of the Board of Directors. For a simple reason: the BoD have no right to change anything in the Laws of Table Tennis, they have only the right to make "detailed explanations and interpretations of regulations, including equipment specifications" "published as Technical Leaflets" (3.01.02.07)

If there is something in the Technical Leaflet T4 that contradicts or is not in line with the Section 2 of the ITTF rules, then it is illegal and invalid. That perfectly applies to the "minimum friction level". (emphasis added)


Can you explain how the "minimum friction level" is at all contrary to anything in Section 2 of the rules?

The Laws of TT state:
2.04.03 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 2.0mm, or sandwich rubber, with pimples inwards or outwards, having a total thickness including adhesive of not more than 4.0mm.
2.04.03.01 Ordinary pimpled rubber is a single layer of non-cellular rubber, natural or synthetic, with pimples evenly distributed over its surface at a density of not less than 10 per cm2 and not more than 30 per cm2.
2.04.03.02 Sandwich rubber is a single layer of cellular rubber covered with a single outer layer of ordinary pimpled rubber, the thickness of the pimpled rubber not being more than 2.0mm.


The Regulations then determine how it is decided which rubbers conform to the rules:
3.02.01.01 The approval and authorisation of playing equipment shall be conducted on behalf of the Board of Directors by the Equipment Committee; approval or authorisation may be withdrawn by the Board of Directors at any time if its continuation is found to be detrimental to the sport.
3.02.01.03 The covering material on a side of the blade used for striking the ball shall be currently authorised by the ITTF


The Equipment Committee then clarifies and interprets what the Laws mean when they say "ordinary pimpled rubber", and that includes determining that "ordinary pimpled rubber" has a minimum friction level:
1.4.4. Friction for pimples - out
The minimum friction level is 25 µN. The rubber surface of the racket coverings should be uniform and without coating.


The fact that the Laws say nothing about minimum friction level is irrelevant. After all, they don't say anything about pimple shape either, or glue sheets or lacquer or solvents. Instead, the ITTF authorises the Equipment Committee to interpret and clarify. All of this is entirely within the authority of the governing body.

The one thing which does intrigue me about Technical Leaflet T4 is its lack of reference to a minimum friction level for inverted rubbers. As far as I can see, "ordinary" rubber behaves in a certain fashion, until the friction level drops below a certain point. At that point, the rubber behaves in an entirely different fashion - that is, it is no longer "ordinary". "Frictionless" is not normal, and that is obvious to everyone (including those who use it - otherwise they wouldn't be interested in it!). But if it is determined that 25 µN is the number for pimples out, then why is there no criteria for inverted? Quite frankly I think it's a serious oversight on the part of the Equipment Committee to identify that friction levels need to be considered but then not apply that to all rubbers.

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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 13:50 
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I agree with debater and it really is a "simple is best approach".

Use what you feel it legal and morally correct until someone challenges it and gets a ruling that its not. If the challenge gets a ruling that says you were right in the first place keep using it. If not, then go about finding something else.

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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 14:23 
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Tassie52 wrote:
The Equipment Committee then clarifies and interprets what the Laws mean when they say "ordinary pimpled rubber", and that includes determining that "ordinary pimpled rubber" has a minimum friction level:
1.4.4. Friction for pimples - out
The minimum friction level is 25 µN. The rubber surface of the racket coverings should be uniform and without coating.

You are quoting from an old T4. The current T4 states:

1.5. Friction for pimples - out
The minimum friction level is 25 mN (Milli Newton).


This specification only applies to manufacturers seeking to have a new rubber authorized as the current T4 clearly states under 1.7 that players are only responsible for thickness and color. In any event, any friction spec is a moot point at most levels of play since there is no practical or accurate method available to measure it. It's just words on paper.

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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 22:15 
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Tassie52 wrote:
The fact that the Laws say nothing about minimum friction level is irrelevant. After all, they don't say anything about pimple shape either, or glue sheets or lacquer or solvents. Instead, the ITTF authorises the Equipment Committee to interpret and clarify. All of this is entirely within the authority of the governing body.


Wrong. Factually and logically wrong.

Factually: the Equipment Committee has no right "to interpret and clarify", there is no such a rule.

Logically: whether the passages in the Technical Leaflet T4 about "pimple shape , or glue sheets or lacquer or solvents" are legal or not, it does not affect the issue about the "minimum friction level". Actually you have given examples of both kind, the passages about glue sheets or solvents are illegal too, but let us talk about it in detail later. Generally, you can not justify an illegal passage by giving examples of other illegal passages.

Maybe you have noticed, that the Section "The Laws of Table Tennis" of the rules does not simply mentions the racket, but gives a lot of details about blades and rubbers. To change that requires 3/4 majority of the AGM. The BoD have no right to do that, neither have the Equipment Committee.

But some details are unclear, like "matt" or "red", they can be legally interpreted by the BoD.

There is no mention of friction, smell, taste etc. of the racket in the ITTF rules. To change that requires 3/4 majority of the AGM. The BoD have no right to do that, hence their "minimum friction level" is illegal.

By the way, that is exactly the reason, why all the antis and FLP got authorisation. They were legal according to the rules and they still are.


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