Article by David Strang- Coach/Clubs Director for Connecticut Table Tennis - NETTA
((860) 635-1942 e-mail address NETTADAVE@INAME.COM)
This page is being modified soon (during July/August 2000) to provide information and links to issues related to the 40mm 'big-ball'.
THIS PAGE IS CURRENTLY IN ROUGH DRAFT STAGE AND NOT AUTHORIZED FOR
REPRODUCTION OF ANY KIND AT THIS TIME. IT DOES NOT YET OFFICIALLY REPRESENT
CT.TT OR D.STRANG all copyrights reserved reproduction in any way not
authorized at this time
(latest update done on July 24, 2000) This will include references to quotes and web pages by 40mm sceptics among US and world class players and TT in coming weeks.
We will also be adding our answers to many of the issues raised by the most enthusiastic promoters of the bigger ball in trying to convince you to switch to 40mm even if you prefer the current ball after OctoberBIG QUESTIONS ABOUT A BIG BALL- Many players are aware that the 40mm ball 'replaces' the current 38mm ball ***for ITTF events *** starting in October 2000 AFTER the 2000 Olympics but this DOES NOT apply to ALL US tournaments after that date ! This was done based on recomendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)in the hope that it might make the sport more attractive to spectators by making the ball a little easier to see. And they also suggested an as yet unproven hope that points may last longer, because the bigger ball moves slower and has reduced 'spinnyness', hopefully reducing points won by strong or deceptively spinny shots that non-playing spectators may not understand or appreciate (unless explained by TV color commentators. THE BIG 'BUT' ABOUT the BIG BALL Yes 40mm becomes 'legal' for USATT events in October BUT contrary to popular misconceptions the current 38mm ball will also continue to be 'legal' for club and tournament use in the USA for the foreseeable future (years) according to the May 2000 board decision by the USATT. WHY THE CONFUSION ? A recent article in a widely distributed catalog, written by a very prominent and widely respected US Coach and Player has confused the issue among many US players because it many believe it seems to say we are ALL switching to 40mm in October.
It goes on to endorse the 40mm ball and doesn't mention in a clear and understandable way that the 40mm 'Big ball' is only manditory for the International ITTF sanctioned tournaments, but is otherwise optional with local tournament directors. This catalog reaches at least 10 or 20 thousand club and tournament players .
Also, while they have been mentioned, (see the last paragraphs by USATT Official "Dr.Azmy" page 12 July 2000 USATT magazine), the details about the USATT decision to continue allowing a choice of 38 or 40mm hasn't been stated as emphatically or 'prominantly' as needed (at least as of July 2000)to counter this potentially misleading article in the catalog with at least 3 times the circulation of the USATT magazine.BUT YOU REALLY DON'T HAVE TO CHANGE BALLS IF YOU DON"T WANT TO After October 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. Check the 'fine print' before you enter any tournament scheduled for after October. Tournaments before Oct 2nd will ALL still use the current 38 mm ball that we are all accustomed to. If, like so many of the 'serious' but non-professional players I've talked to , you would prefer not to switch to the 40mm ball in October, tell your local club or tournament director you aren't in a hurry to experiment with a slower less spinny ball until at least 2001 (as the French TTA reportedly has decided) - after the 'PRO's have had a chance to try it for at least few monthes first ! And actually the Pro's aren't eager either - some have discussed a 'strike' after the olympics to change the ITTF's mind. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
MORE COMING SOON ! check back (here) from time to time
( These topics below may become 'clickable' as we add to our pages )
TOPICS discussed here (soon / as links added) include:
WILL 40mm HELP (or actually Hurt) PARTICIPATION in CLUB TABLE TENNIS ? DOES THE BIG BALL ACTUALLY HURT THE DEFENSIVE STYLES ?
WHAT HAVE TOP PLAYERS LIKE WALDNER SAID ABOUT 40MM ?
IS TABLE TENNIS REALLY LOSING POPULARITY COMPARED TO OTHER SPORTS?
HOW CAN TT GROW WITHOUT A RADICAL CHANGE LIKE 40mm ?
IS 40mm REALLY A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE SPORT ?
IF MOST PLAYERS DON'T WANT A CHANGE HOW/WHY DID ITTF VOTE FOR IT ?
WILL 40mm FAVOR TALLER AND STRONGER PLAYERS ?
(UNLIKE THE "EQUALITY" OF CURRENT TT regardless of size and body type.)
JOIN OUR E-MAIL NOTICE LIST :
TO HEAR ABOUT 38/40mm related news and updates or learn how you can help inform your TT friends e-mail me with '40mm e-mail list' on the subject line