How to Choose the Right Table Tennis Ball?

Playing with any old ball you find laying around in the yard seems fine if you’re an occasional recreational player. Even then, however, choosing the right ball might mean the difference between stepping up your game or giving up on table tennis altogether, says

What Is a Ping Pong Ball Made of?

The little hollow plastic ball is an item that is commonly ignored when shopping for table tennis equipment. Focusing on the ping pong paddle is what most beginners do but all avid players understand the significance of the right lightweight ball. The material, from which table tennis balls are usually made, is now plastic – it was previously celluloid. The inside of the ball is actually filled with air and not a flammable gas, contrary to what most people believe.

What Are the Official Requirements?

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has 5 regulations that apply to all table tennis balls, namely:

·        The shape of the ball should be spherical, with a diameter of 40 mm

·        Weight –  2.7 g

·        Material – celluloid or similar plastics

·        Color –  white or orange

·        A matt finish


Official tournament table tennis balls are 40 mm in diameter (1.57 inch), but you could also try the 38 mm (1.5 inch) if you’re playing just for fun. They are generally faster and provide more spin than the 40 mm balls, so some players prefer them, despite the latter being the current standard.


The ITTF-approved weight of table tennis balls is 2.7 g (source), but there’s an accepted tolerance of between 2.67 g and 2.77 g. If you’re a novice, try the heaviest balls first as they are faster and more stable in their trajectory. Don’t invest in lighter ones as they tend to wobble. 


The official requirement is that the table tennis ball is either white or orange. It’s necessary that the ball’s color is in contrast to the player’s clothing so it could be easily spotted during the game.


The bounce of a ping pong ball usually depends on its hardness and quality of material. Harder balls have a better bounce, so always gently squish the ball with your hand to determine its bouncing abilities. 


When choosing a ping pong ball, always opt for the harder one regardless of your game intentions. Hard balls can’t be easily pressed with a thumb, which generally means they are more durable. 


The thickness of a ping pong ball is 0.40 mm, according to Reddit, and its official diameter is 40 mm. 

What Do the Stars Mean?

The ITTF uses a star ranking as a tool to evaluate the quality of table tennis balls. There are three types of rating: 1-star, 2-stars, 3-stars, and special no-star balls.

The 1-star ball is of the lowest quality and can only be used while training, it’s not permitted in any official competition. The 2-star ball is recommended for players with technically advanced skills, it’s usually used in game practice of a more serious nature. The 3-star ball wins top ranking as it provides perfect bounce and it’s the most durable out of the three. It’s more stiff, which makes it ideal for official tournaments.

How to Choose a Table Tennis Ball, According to Our Needs?

If you’re a newbie and just looking to bounce the ball around for fun, the 1-star ball is perfectly okay. If and when you decide to take your game up a notch, you can upgrade to a 2-star ball. When you are ready to join the pros, the 3-star ball is your one and only pick. 

Accessories like a ball basket and a ball catcher wheel are always a nice addition for any ping pong enthusiast.

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