How to Choose the Best Ping Pong Balls


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Oh, balls! Which ping pong balls should I choose? learn everything about the We’ve got you covered, so hang in there with us: If you’ve arrived here, it’s likely that this is what you’re trying to figure out right now. different types of ping pong ball and how to Choose the best table tennis balls for your game.. Let’s jump into it.

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Short Answer: Best Table Tennis Balls (2021)

What is a ping pong ball?

Ping pong balls are hollow plastic balls that are used in the game of table tennis.

You need to know more than the dictionary definition of a table tennis ball; you also need to know what they’re made of, how they’re designed, and the rules that govern their use.

Surprisingly, players frequently devote a significant amount of time (and significantly more money) to the game. choosing the right ping pong paddleIf you’re just having fun, playing with cheap table tennis balls is fine, but if you want to improve your game, you’ll need the right balls for the job. , but they completely overlook the importance of getting the right balls.

What are the official ping pong ball regulations?

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) handbook defines all table tennis balls as (https://www.ittf.com/handbook/), are subject to 5 regulations:

  • The ball must be spherical and 40mm in diameter.
  • The ball shall weigh 2.7g
  • Celluloid or a similar plastics material must be used to make the ball.
  • The ball shall be white or orange
  • The ball shall have a matt finish

Ping pong ball size

Official tournament table tennis balls are 40mm in diameter (1.57 inch).

The majority of the balls on the market are this standard tournament size, but there are also 38mm (1.5 inch) balls available, such as these. Franklin Sports 38mm table tennis balls.

‘The’ Ping pong balls with a diameter of 38mm are faster and have more spin than those with a diameter of 40mm. After the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 40mm became the industry standard., and some players still prefer 38mm balls.

Try both 38mm and 40mm balls to see which you prefer if you’re playing with friends or for fun.

Ping pong ball weight

ITTF-approved table tennis balls must weigh 2.7g. But there’s an accepted tolerance of between 2.67 and 2.77g.

Ping pong balls that are lighter are slower and more likely to wobble, whereas heavier balls are faster and more stable.

If you’re a beginner, look for the heaviest ping pong balls you can find that are close to 2.77g. As an example, these KEVENZ balls weight 2.75g.

Ping pong ball color

Eugene Wang of Canada plays table tennis with a white ball at the 2019 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Table tennis balls can only be white or orange.

It’s thought that these colors have the greatest contrast with most backgrounds, making the ball easier to spot during play.

There is one more rule to remember: before an official tournament, you and your opponent must agree on which balls to use, and this must be done before the tournament begins. Some players prefer to train with orange balls and then switch to white balls for tournaments, but this is not required. At any time, you can use white or orange balls. The ball’s color must be sufficiently different from your clothing’s.:

Other than the sleeves and collar of a shirt, the main color of a shirt, skirt, or shorts must be clearly different from the ball in use.

It’s not a winning strategy to show up to a table tennis match wearing fluorescent orange and wanting to play with orange balls!

White balls are usually used during televised tournaments because they provide better contrast for viewers.

Color will not affect the performance of any ping pong ball, but it will help you spot the ball and react faster if it contrasts with the background of the room you’re playing in and the clothing of your opponent.

Quick question: which color ping pong balls should I purchase?

If you’re playing ping pong in a room with white walls or flooring, you’re in for a treat. Choose balls that contrast with the rest of your surroundings. choose orange balls. If you play in darker areas, go for white ping pong balls.

What’s inside a ping pong ball?

Surprisingly, Aside from normal air, a table tennis ball contains nothing.It’s a common misconception that ping pong balls must be filled with flammable gas because they burn so hot, but the flammable celluloid plastic is what causes them to catch fire. ..

Table tennis ball plastic explained

What’s a ping pong ball made from?

Table tennis balls are made of plastic, to give you a quick answer.

However, there are many different types of plastic, and the construction of ping pong balls has changed dramatically in recent years. Let’s take a look at it…

Celluloid has traditionally been used to make table tennis balls., a transparent flammable plastic made from camphor and nitrocellulose in sheets. In 2014, the ITTF broadened its list of acceptable materials to include other plastics, allowing manufacturers to experiment with new table tennis balls. It’s the same kind of plastic that was used in old 35mm film.

Officially, both The ITTF allows both celluloid and non-celluloid ping pong balls.Celluloid balls, on the other hand, are expected to lose popularity because they are more expensive to produce and cause problems for manufacturers (for example, because they are extremely flammable!).

So, as a player looking for the best balls, what does this mean for you? There are a few differences between celluloid and non-celluloid ping pong balls, the most important of which is that newer plastic balls can be made with or without a seam. It implies that you have a lot of options.

Celluloid vs plastic balls

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As shown in the graph above (Source: ITTF Plastic Ball Q and AIf you want to learn more about the physics of table tennis balls, check out this article. ), there are a few distinctions to be made between celluloid and plastic balls, as well as between plastic balls with seams and seamless balls. this study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics compares the performance of celluloid and plastic balls in an excellent way.

According to USA Table TennisDue to the material difference and slightly larger size of plastic balls, they are thought to be slower than celluloid balls. Plastic balls also have less spin than celluloid balls because plastic is a stiffer material.

Make decisions based on your playing style. Trying both celluloid and plastic ping pong balls is the best way to figure out which you prefer.

Best celluloid ping pong balls

Celluloid table tennis balls are becoming increasingly rare, but some high-end manufacturers, such as Japanese specialist Nittaku, continue to produce them.

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Nittaku Premium 3-Star Celluloid Balls

Tip: celluloid balls are marked with a “40”.

Best plastic ping pong balls

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✅ Nittaku Premium 3-Star Plastic Ping Pong Balls

Tip: Plastic balls are also known as “poly” or “40+” balls.

Seamed vs seamless ping pong balls

As previously mentioned, newer plastic table tennis balls can be made with or without a seam, whereas celluloid ping pong balls are required to have one.

What is the difference between a table tennis ball that is seamless and one that is seamed?

Although seamless balls are difficult to come by, some players believe they provide a comparable playing experience to cellulose balls. Seamed and seamless ping pong balls differ in a few ways: seamless balls are more durable because they don’t have a weak point at the seam.

According to the manufacturer, here are some of the potential advantages of a seamless table tennis ball. Baal from TableTennisDaily:

Among the plastic balls, the XuShaoFa (XSF) ITTF approved ball is clearly a superior product…. I would actually say vastly This is due to the fact that, unlike all other Chinese seamed balls, superlative the bounce is as high as celluloid. They provide a consistent playing quality. Their roundness is also superior.. And when it comes to durability, there is no comparison. XSF balls are far more durable than any other plastic ball..

Best seamless ping pong balls


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✅ XuShaoFa (XFS) 40+ Seamless Poly Table Tennis Balls

Best seamed ping pong balls

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✅ Butterfly A40+ 3 Star Table Tennis Balls

Celluloid or plastic can be used to make seamed table tennis balls. Plastic balls make up a large portion of the lower-cost balls available online.

If you’re serious about ping pong, you should practice with the type of ball you’ll be using against opponents, which is usually a plastic seamed ball. While plastic seamed balls aren’t always admired, they’re widely used, and you’re likely to see them at your local table tennis club or in tournaments.

For example, for the past three years, seamed plastic balls have been the official balls of the World Table Tennis Championships (Butterfly’s balls [see above] in 2018 and 2019, and Butterfly’s balls [see above] in 2020). NITTAKU Premium 40+ balls in 2017).

Ping pong ball star ratings explained

It’s as simple as that: stars denote quality. You might be curious as to what the stars on ping pong balls mean. The maximum rating is three stars, which denotes the highest quality balls. Table tennis balls with a one-star or no-star rating will be of lower quality.

It all boils down to sturdiness: When it comes to using balls in a tournament, the star rating is irrelevant as long as the balls meet the required regulations (size, weight, etc.). Ping pong balls with a 1-star or 2-star rating are less durable than 3-star balls and are better suited to training or casual games.

However, manufacturers set their own star-rating guidelines and there are still plenty of low-cost 3-star table tennis balls on the market (such as those made by Wilson). this pack of 50 KEVENZ 3-star balls) that aren’t as good as other options (such as these). seamless 3-star ping pong balls from XuShoaFaIf a company’s name is associated with a product, Even in the 3-star ball market, there is a lot of variation in quality, and you usually get what you pay for, so consider the brand reputation when making a purchase. (Imaginative+ paraphrase). only sells 3-star ping pong balls that can’t be compared to anything else.

Are there ping pong balls with four or five stars?

However, because manufacturers award star ratings and there is a unified standard, there’s nothing stopping someone from calling their balls “4-star” or “5-star.” A four- or five-star ping pong ball does not exist. Three stars is the highest possible quality rating.

What is a 40+ ping pong ball?

A table tennis ball labeled as “40+” is made from poly or plastic, not to be confused with celluloid. A celluloid ping pong ball, on the other hand, is marked “40.”

Best ping pong ball brands

Here are some of the most well-known brands, many of which we’ve already mentioned: The best table tennis brands come from China and Japan, where the sport and its associated industry are huge.

  • Nittaku
  • Butterfly
  • XuShaoFa
  • Franklin Sports
  • STIGA

ITTF-Approved table tennis balls

The complete list of ITTF-approved ping pong balls can be found here. refer to the ITTF website.

The official list for 2021 includes 112 different balls: Here’s a sample of what’s available for purchase today on the internet:

Now it’s up to you…

You’ve learned everything there is to know about ping pong balls. Given the variety of options available, it may appear complicated, but there are only a few options to consider: orange or white, plastic or celluloid, seamed or seamless. Try them all and you’ll quickly discover a new favorite.

Are you in the market for a new table tennis racket? Check out our guide to the best ping pong paddles in 2021.


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