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 Post subject: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 21 May 2020, 20:11 
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Matt Hetherington made a post on FB about the modern trend towards the conformity of styles in table tennis and Richard McAfee chimed in with some interesting thoughts on the matter:

"Now that we have better television cameras and balls made of plastic, it would be interesting to experiment with playing with 38mm plastic balls. This would produce a better balance between spin and speed and allow some styles (especially away from the table) to make a comeback."

"The switch from the 38mm to the 40mm ball was done to improve visibility on TV and to slow down the game. However the biggest impact was on spin production with a decease measured at around 18% . The manufactures quickly made up for the speed decrease but physics would not allow them to make up for the loss spin. Again when we moved to the plastic ball is also was a small increase in ball size and another negative reduction of spin. When I was a player, someone with good spin production could control play. A heavy chop or slow heavy topspin was a real weapon. In the 1980s-90s, there were at least 8 styles of play at high level. With the ball changes that has been reduced to just 3. I think that a 38mm plastic ball would be somewhat slower and less spinney than the onld 38mm but it would still be a better balance between spin and speed and allow for a wider variety of styles and more interesting play."

What do you guys think?

As a spin addict myself, I would love to see a change like that...

But perhaps there would be some unintended, knock-on consequences as well?

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 21 May 2020, 21:18 
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Interesting idea, but wouldn't the increased speed in comparison with the current ball be a problem?

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 21 May 2020, 22:16 
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I have wondered about this from time to time and thought it could be a good thing for ox lp players,however the equipment merry go round would be interesting !

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 04:23 
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Lorre wrote:
Interesting idea, but wouldn't the increased speed in comparison with the current ball be a problem?


It would be an interesting trade off. Having more spin to manipulate with the pips would help, but if you can't get to the ball in the first place it wouldn't do much good...

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 04:55 
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Joo Se Kev wrote:
It would be an interesting trade off. Having more spin to manipulate with the pips would help, but if you can't get to the ball in the first place it wouldn't do much good...


Of course if the spin component is bigger, the need to direct energy compensating for the spin will be greater, resulting in less forward energy thus speed. I think... Might be a good idea if ypu think about it. :up:

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 07:02 
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Smaller diameter ball means less air displacement -> a bit more speed.

But a possible 38mm plastic would have to stick to the same 2.7 grams weight standard?
Or it will go around 2.55-2.6 grams?


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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 16:26 
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You can get some to try out, if you like. That Minkow factory in Shanghai makes them.

For me, heck - do we REALLY want more versions of table tennis? Look at tennis - they've got SEVERAL balls. They've got balls specific for major tournaments. Heck, at a given tournament the men use one ball, the women use another. I play better today with the current ball than I ever did with the old one - far more control, I can more easily put the ball where I want to put the ball. Was the game really all that more diverse back in the 1980s and 90s? What exactly were these eight styles that were common at the top level? If you watch the videos, I really don't see much of a difference - pretty much everyone loop-attacked. Some were better than others at blocking, there was the odd pips out attacker here or there, but it was all pretty much dominated by speed-gluing loopers. Maybe a few choppers among the women (as there are today).

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 18:24 
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iskandar taib wrote:
You can get some to try out, if you like. That Minkow factory in Shanghai makes them.

For me, heck - do we REALLY want more versions of table tennis? Look at tennis - they've got SEVERAL balls. They've got balls specific for major tournaments. Heck, at a given tournament the men use one ball, the women use another. I play better today with the current ball than I ever did with the old one - far more control, I can more easily put the ball where I want to put the ball. Was the game really all that more diverse back in the 1980s and 90s? What exactly were these eight styles that were common at the top level? If you watch the videos, I really don't see much of a difference - pretty much everyone loop-attacked. Some were better than others at blocking, there was the odd pips out attacker here or there, but it was all pretty much dominated by speed-gluing loopers. Maybe a few choppers among the women (as there are today).

Iskandar


We wouldn't have several balls, but only one ball, albeit a different one.

It was certainly more diverse then, but one thing would be different between now and then: the lack of speedglue. I think the latter would make it even more diverse.

The odd pips out attacker like Liu Guoliang?

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 20:53 
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1000 Flowers in the Garden

Yeas, ITTF is now becoming a breeding farm of table tennis balls. This is the happy idea by ITTF to make more money. Mr.Stive Dainton is the father of the idea of having 1000 flowers to grow in the garden.

Likewise, ITTF now welcomes more and more rubbers on market with the ultimate idea to collect more approval fees. Do we really need 1600 rubber items and 118 rubber-makers to be present on the market ? Actually, we only use a few products from few major brands.
The downside of the ITTF policy of "1000 Flowers" is that, while seeking a bigger money revenue, ITTF has by far loosen control of the rubber products, and this is the reason for many manufacturers to have downgraded standards, to change rubber formulas thus worsening characteristics of their rubber products year by year. Huricane 3 rubber is known to use the forbidden rubber formula and illegal oily boosting.


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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 23 May 2020, 18:02 
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I disagree that it was more diverse. After the 40mm ball came in, you actually had a male chopper make it all the way to second place in a WTTC. Today there are a few in the top 50 - Gionis, for instance. How many were there back then? In general, I think ITTF succeeded in doing what they wanted to do with the new ball - increase the length of rallies and decrease the unobvious (to the spectator) unforced errors (especially serve return errors) that were common back then. It wasn't just the ball, of course.. eliminating the hidden serve had a lot to do with it.

I sure as heck don't want to go back. I'd rather have Joo than Liu Guoliang, actually... :lol:

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 23 May 2020, 19:11 
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iskandar taib wrote:
I disagree that it was more diverse. After the 40mm ball came in, you actually had a male chopper make it all the way to second place in a WTTC. Today there are a few in the top 50 - Gionis, for instance. How many were there back then? In general, I think ITTF succeeded in doing what they wanted to do with the new ball - increase the length of rallies and decrease the unobvious (to the spectator) unforced errors (especially serve return errors) that were common back then. It wasn't just the ball, of course.. eliminating the hidden serve had a lot to do with it.

I sure as heck don't want to go back. I'd rather have Joo than Liu Guoliang, actually... :lol:

Iskandar


Type diversity isn't equal to type success, Iskandar. The ball would increase the emphasis on the technical aspect of the game (the spin) in exchange for the athletic aspect of it (the speed), thereby increasing the diversity in styles.

It also increases type success, but only if other measures are taken. Those are already taken by eliminating speedglue and eliminating the hidden serve.

We wouldn't go back to the 38mm we know about. If anything we would go to an era between the 38mm ball and 40mm ball, with no speedglue and more spin than the 40mm ball. I think due to the absence of speedglue and the greater emphasis on spin the result will be speed about as equal as that of the 40mm ball, but it might also be a bit more or less.

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 23 May 2020, 19:51 
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Well, I'd also take a change to the aspect ratio to help pips players have more of a fighting chance against these modern Dignics style rubbers, but I don't see that happening...

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 24 May 2020, 04:19 
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Joo Se Kev wrote:
Well, I'd also take a change to the aspect ratio to help pips players have more of a fighting chance against these modern Dignics style rubbers, but I don't see that happening...


We should be careful not to overcompensate for the imbalance currently displayed. I think the target should be several styles should have an equal chance of winning the big titles, not that defensive styles should be the dominant style in TT. That'll result in one sided TT once again.

I think changes will only occur if not enough money is earned with the current state of TT. Seeing how much more TT is broadcasted on TV and how crowded the tournaments are, that might be sooner than you think. Just follow the money... They are changing the tournament structure for a reason (but like the change of the ball it won't help either).

As long as the goal is to become tennis, TT will struggle as a sport. Copies have always less worth than the original. That's common business logic and requires leadership and taking risks, things a lot of CEOs and other incompetent followers lack.

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 Post subject: Re: A 38mm PLASTIC ball?
PostPosted: 25 May 2020, 07:56 
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Definitely standing up for 38 mm.
A so much better medium of expression.......of energy we transfer...and of skills...


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