CT.TT HOMEpage       NEXT 'bigball' PAGE (Main + Links) Article by David Strang- Coach/Clubs Director for Connecticut Table Tennis NETTA

(latest update done at 4pm NOV 5, 2000)

by David Strang- Coach/Clubs Director for Connecticut Table Tennis - NETTA

((860) 635-1942 e-mail address NETTADAVE@INAME.COM)

(red or blue type denotes clickable links to tournament entries or other pages)

  (AKA 'nettadave' or nettadave38 on the TT news & discussion groups-)

'Which ball is legal now ?'



Many players remark "40mm isn't

'that bad' - and many have changed to 40mm because of it's prevalence

of 40mm in Major US and international tournament play.

It seems that currently popular 40mm balls have been designed

to play as much like 38mm as possible to blunt criticism.

Also some players have adopted slightly faster or spinnier

equipment to compensate for the slight reductions in spin & speed.

The question becomes - why did they push this through - and what's next?

(Let's hope they are satisfied to sell more expensive balls and rackets.)


40mm BALL (and top TT stars) 'wobble' at World Cup


Check out the results of the recent World Cup held in China using 40mm balls:

Early round 'losers' included Kong, Waldner and Samsonov All three 'star' players of the 38mm ball lost TWICE in opening round robin qualifying play. Blamed primarily was the short period for adjustment between the 38mmm Olympics in Sydney and the 40mm world cup. But criticism of the quality, predictability and consistancy of 40mm balls was evident in some player remarks and as also mentioned in the news forum " Rec.Sport.Table Tennis " Go to "DEJANEWS.COM and put '40mm wobbles' in search window




Reports of Fall and even Spring (2001) tournaments using the 38mm ball after October (when 40mm becomes 'legal' for US and required for ITTF events) are beginning to appear as Fall tournaments are announced.

Early reports include events in Middletown, PA and . David Marcus's events near Boston and Yvonne Kronledge's club near Baltimore has also reportedly retained 38mm for monthly tournaments in October ,November & December 2000 ' Maryland Circuit' and a Fall 38mm event (or two?) is/are also likely in Connecticut in late Oct or early November and December.

Also the Phoenix Ariz. "Best of the West" tournament uses 38mm for 14 of it's 18 events.

This is just a sampling - since many tournaments are never listed on the internet.

BUT If you know of a tournament or league event offering 38mm competition,

please e-mail the link to the entry form to me at Nettadave@iname.com or fax a copy to me at (801)991-9961

and I'll try to add it to this list as my time and li ited computer skills allow. (links are prefered if you want to improve changes of being linked more quickly)

If you enjoy the spin and speed of the familiar 38mm ball be sure to contact your area clubs and tournament directors to express your opinion - BEFORE they print up entries commiting themselves to a possible change to 40mm.

If they are concerned about elite players who may have already switched to 40mm - suggest they have a 40mm 'Championship' or Invitational event to draw the 2200+ crowd while using 38mm for the other events.

If worried about confusion - make the specified 40mm ball white and the 38mm ball Orange to prevent any mix-ups.

CLICK THE 'NEXT PAGE' OPTION at the top to see other 38/40mm information. This page is to provide information and links to issues related to the 40mm 'big-ball'.


After October 1st US Tournament directors will select and announce their choice of ball size on each entry form as they currently do with brand and color of ball. And of course club or league play is also entirely up to local players and organizers. While some events seeking foreign players have already committed to use 40mm in deference to USOC/ITTF/or sponsor wishes others have announced 38mm tournaments for this fall and winter as more will if the local and non-professional players encourage it.

I play a little hardbat, chopping and even penhold for the fun and challenge and might even try some more 40mm at times, but the fun of those challenges tends to 'fade' with practice, while I've found my spin and speed oriented all-around inverted shakehands game hasn't lost it's fun and challenge after 20 years of play ! I just want to preserve it as an option, whether 40mm 'self-destructs' on further testing as a viable game, or even becomes accepted among professional or other players.

Supporting 38mm events this fall insures your right to choose won't be revoked by USATT as not needed or wanted - when we know most players, at all levels, including the pro's never asked to change our great (and spinny) game.

It's the marketing and grass-roots coaching and promotion that need to be improved (as I've tried locally and discussed in the TT newsgroups).

Get a recent TT video or ask those who attended the last US Open or recent Mathew Murad tournament if the 'action' wasn't exciting to watch ! (Or see the US Open ITTF on TV in Chicago soon or on the soon available USATT videos)