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5 Changes That Rocked Table Tennis

Which Do You Think Is The Biggest Change?

Five Changes That Rocked Table Tennis


The Sport of Table Tennis Has Undergone Many Changes

One of the best things about table tennis is that there is always more to learn. 

Your game. My game. Everyone's game can use an adjustment every now and then. Even Ma Long's! 

But the sport itself has undergone many adjustments in recent years. 

Some good. 

Some not so. 

Here are some of the things that impacted the game of table tennis. 

#5 changes that rocked the sport of table tennis

Change #1: Changes in the Table Tennis Ball 

The very first table tennis balls were actually wine corks used in British parlour games.

Things have changed a lot since then regarding table tennis balls.

In 2000, for the first time since 1937, the ITTF decided to increase the diameter of the ball from 38mm to 40mm. 

Then in 2014/2015 balls were changed from celluloid to plastic.

Prior to 2014 balls were either white or orange. 

The IIF rules allow white or orange balls. But for the last few years since the 2015 change, manufacturers have only made white balls. 

After the Tokyo 2020 Olympics there was a new proposal was on the table (sorry, pun intended!) to bring back orange balls . Nowadays suppliers to offer both white and yellow balls.

But white balls remain popular. 

Change #2: Changes in the Table Tennis Racquet & Rubbers 

The rubbers on a table tennis bat used in competition are normally black and red.

It wasn't always this way.

In the late seventies and early eighties Coach Paul Uttley from the Cairns Table Tennis Club remembers players were not only playing with different colours, but also the same colour on both sides.

But since the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this restriction has been lifted. 

The former ITTF President Thomas Weikert said different colours other than red may be used on one side, while the other should remain black. 

From October last year the new rubber colours are:

  • Blue
  • Green

  • Purple

  • Pink

The traditional red and black combo also remains. 

changes in the sport of table tennis

Obviously, to play table tennis you need a racquet. 

The Brisbane Table Tennis club pro-shop offers table tennis bats and other equipment.

The best table tennis bat for beginners is the Bronze Bat.

The best table tennis bat for intermediate players is the Silver Bat. 

Our Table Tennis Pro shop experts also can create a bespoke bat for you. Your custom-made bat comes with a blade and rubbers. And our staff will also assemble it for you.

Change #3: Changes in Table Tennis Scoring 

Perhaps the biggest change to rock table tennis was the change to the scoring system.

Prior to 2001 games were scored up to 21 with service changing every 5 points.

Since then the game has been scored up to 11 with service changing every 2 points. 

If both players (or both pairs in doubles) score 10 points, then the game is won by the first player (or pair) who wins by 2 points.

Change #4: Sponge & Inverted Rubber

Before smooth rubber was common, most Table Tennis racquets had pimples. 

People flipped the pimples up-side-down, or "inverted" them. 

So the smooth rubber was on the top.

Today smooth rubber is more common.

That being said, there are still lots people who play with pimples. And there a lots of varieties, such as:

  • short pimples
  • medium pimples, and
  • long pimples.

Change #5: Changes to Coaching Rules 

In 2016 there was another big change to the table tennis game.

Corner coaching is now allowed in between points provided the flow of play is not disrupted.  Now a coach can call out advice and strategy during a match, as long as a player has not served the ball. 

Note during a tournament a player is only allowed one coach.

For example, a player can go to the corner to collect a ball and their coach to offer an insightful tit-bit! 

Previously coaches were supposed to only offer advice in between games. 

In Summary - Five Changes That Rocked The Sport of Table Tennis 

There are a lot of changes in table tennis that have rocked the sport.

Have you been impacted by these changes that rocked table tennis?

What do you think is the biggest change?
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