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PostPosted: 17 May 2013, 15:37 
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With all the "alleged" corruption in the ITTF ranks, maybe the Kuhn's weren't getting a slice and saw an opportunity. Hopefully it does all fall apart on there is a miraculous new SAFE way to produce celluloid found ;)

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 01:24 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
With all the "alleged" corruption in the ITTF ranks, maybe the Kuhn's weren't getting a slice and saw an opportunity. Hopefully it does all fall apart on there is a miraculous new SAFE way to produce celluloid found ;)


The patent was filed in 2006. Reading it suggests that a fair bit of testing was done. That suggests that money was spent and risked to obtain good information. Considering this, Dr. Kuhn may have created the opportunity. These are all reasonable things to do and if Dr. Kuhn was involved (seems likely) that would make sense since he knows a lot about table tennis balls. The main problem with the current situation from where I sit is the lack of transparency and the apparent failure to reveal that there is a conflict of interest in Dr. Kuhn advocating for the new ball. "Getting a slice" is fine by me if it is all done above board. Present the new ball material on its own merits. No need to shield good work behind misinformation.

Which brings me to your comment about safety. So far, there has been no evidence brought forth to support the concerns expressed about safety. Nitrocellulose, the component of celluloid that seems to present the highest safety concerns is manufactured all over the world. Seems to me that such products can be produced safely. There is little reason to think that making celluloid is as unsafe and dangerous as has been claimed. Surely whatever safety issues that might exist are very solvable.

It seems to me that the real problem is that celluloid is a niche product made by only a few companies. The lack of manufacturing diversity does carry some real risk and does, IMO, warrant investigating alternatives. But ramrodding such endeavors through by using false proclamations (the ban, 80% the same as nitroglycerin, its why Hollywood is going digital) and failing to provide support for the claimed safety concerns is not the way to go about it. That's the real problem IMO.

And while we can complain about Sharara and the ITTF in general, it is the members who vote on these things who I blame for not doing their due diligence and verifying the claims for themselves before casting a "yes" vote. Or if they did investigate and verify, for not providing the evidence that supports their decisions (assuming that they found some) to their constituencies.

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Last edited by wturber on 18 May 2013, 07:42, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 01:33 
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Oh - and one last thought. Note how we know about this because F.I.T. wrote a letter. Their concern seems to be that potential costs could be damaging to their individual companies and the industry in general. Does anyone really think that F.I.T. would sit idly by if there was a strong and imminent threat that we wouldn't have the celluloid to continue making TT balls? It doesn't make sense to me that such an organization would sit idly by. There never was a need for the ITTF to create an initiative for a new plastic ball. Surely F.I.T. is well positioned to protect the industry.

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 03:06 
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wturber wrote:
There never was a need for the ITTF to create an initiative for a new plastic ball.

Not to mention setting a deadline to switch over to an undeveloped plastic ball that doesn't even exist yet. It looks like the one-piece ball they were touting as the savior of table tennis is already a failure. Sharara's plan all along was to increase the ball size, IMO.

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 03:26 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
wturber wrote:
There never was a need for the ITTF to create an initiative for a new plastic ball.

Not to mention setting a deadline to switch over to an undeveloped plastic ball that doesn't even exist yet. It looks like the one-piece ball they were touting as the savior of table tennis is already a failure. Sharara's plan all along was to increase the ball size, IMO.


I honestly don't think that was "the plan." I think the new ball merely created that opportunity as a side benefit.

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 03:58 
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The way he tried to nonchalantly slip in the bigger ball, I DO think it was part of the plan. :n:

He has been working on this like 8 years now. Nothing was done by accident.


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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 04:08 
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hookshot wrote:
The way he tried to nonchalantly slip in the bigger ball, I DO think it was part of the plan. :n:

He has been working on this like 8 years now. Nothing was done by accident.


Part of the plan? Sure. I just don't think it was the main part. Not that it really matters. Whatever the plan, my main gripe is how the plan was presented and promoted.

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 04:52 
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hookshot wrote:
The way he tried to nonchalantly slip in the bigger ball, I DO think it was part of the plan. :n:

He has been working on this like 8 years now. Nothing was done by accident.


He did say more than once he wanted to experiment with bigger balls years ago, so I think you are right. He's a weasel so he knows he can't really make it much bigger than it is right now, along with new material and all. This is the second time he's increased the size of the ball.


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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 20:58 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
The ITTF probably thought they owned the rights because Joachim Kuhn was working for them. But the actual patent was awarded to a company in the name of Kuhn's wife called "In Sook Yoo International Project Management—IPM." It appears they quietly had it patented by the World Intellectual Property Organization which covers 90% of the world's countries, plus the European Patent Office, plus it looks like they specifically had it patented in China, the United States, Germany, Korea, Japan and Austria before the ITTF even knew what hit them.

My guess is Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn are looking for a big million dollar payoff from the ITTF to resolve this.


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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 21:16 
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roundrobin wrote:
hookshot wrote:
The way he tried to nonchalantly slip in the bigger ball, I DO think it was part of the plan. :n:

He has been working on this like 8 years now. Nothing was done by accident.


He did say more than once he wanted to experiment with bigger balls years ago, so I think you are right. He's a weasel so he knows he can't really make it much bigger than it is right now, along with new material and all. This is the second time he's increased the size of the ball.


Basically, the new ball is 40mm, just like the old one. I really don't understand all these complaints about the 'bigger' plastic ball. Ok, maybe the old ball was slightly under 40mm (39.85?) and the new one will be exactly 40, but you must be a real hero to feel the difference in size between the two.

On the other hand, the material (plastic instead of celluloid) is very different, but that's a totally different discussion.

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 21:56 
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I don't think the actual size is the issue here... it's the fact that there was no need for a change in size, and there was no consultation or discussion about it...so why change it? An increase in ~0.7mm is significant (I've measured them to compare), and this makes it even harder to make it similar to the existing ball, so why would they do this? It meant old machines could not be used or modified to save costs, and new machines would need to be built, but for what purpose?
As you can see, this raises the question of why they changed it, and who would gain from a change...

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PostPosted: 18 May 2013, 22:46 
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Pipsy wrote:
Basically, the new ball is 40mm, just like the old one. I really don't understand all these complaints about the 'bigger' plastic ball. Ok, maybe the old ball was slightly under 40mm (39.85?) and the new one will be exactly 40, but you must be a real hero to feel the difference in size between the two.

On the other hand, the material (plastic instead of celluloid) is very different, but that's a totally different discussion.


Problem is the old one was around 39,6mm and the new one will be about 40,3mm. Like haggisv said: that's significant. The ITTF raised the tolerances, you know. Why did they do that? For what purpose?


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PostPosted: 19 May 2013, 02:19 
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When they're easier to make (and therefore less costly to make in large quantities), it results in more profit for Kuhn's wife. If they also break more easily it's a total win-win for the Kuhns.

But it might just be that the proposed new material is harder to mold into the exact specifications.
Btw, the 40mm ball seems very weak to me compared to the old ball. I don't remember the balls cracking open nearly as often back in the day. (larger sphere is weaker). People playing with soft tensors bottoming out, makes it worse.


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PostPosted: 20 May 2013, 03:53 
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Pipsy wrote:
roundrobin wrote:
hookshot wrote:
The way he tried to nonchalantly slip in the bigger ball, I DO think it was part of the plan. :n:

He has been working on this like 8 years now. Nothing was done by accident.


He did say more than once he wanted to experiment with bigger balls years ago, so I think you are right. He's a weasel so he knows he can't really make it much bigger than it is right now, along with new material and all. This is the second time he's increased the size of the ball.


Basically, the new ball is 40mm, just like the old one. I really don't understand all these complaints about the 'bigger' plastic ball. Ok, maybe the old ball was slightly under 40mm (39.85?) and the new one will be exactly 40, but you must be a real hero to feel the difference in size between the two.

On the other hand, the material (plastic instead of celluloid) is very different, but that's a totally different discussion.


You seems to be assuming a .15mm difference in size. The actual difference is more like .55mm.
Typical existing balls were 39.65mm. The expectation is that the new balls will be 40.2mm. Calculate the surface area difference and considering that the weight stays the same, the difference can be expected to be significant.

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PostPosted: 20 May 2013, 03:56 
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Roenie wrote:

But it might just be that the proposed new material is harder to mold into the exact specifications.
Btw, the 40mm ball seems very weak to me compared to the old ball. I don't remember the balls cracking open nearly as often back in the day. (larger sphere is weaker). People playing with soft tensors bottoming out, makes it worse.


If so, then it would be harder to make a 3* ball. Besides, the range variation (gap in what is allowed) is about the same. And actually, that range is far larger than manufacturers need. Based on current balls, manufactures could easily comply with a +/- gap of .15mm for a total range of about .3mm. There every reason to believe that modern plastics are at least as easy to mold accurately as is one of the oldest plastics still made - celluloid.

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