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• The 40mm ball replaces the 38mm ball as the official ITTF ball on October 1. How will this change the sport, and how do you adjust to it?
• Blocking: Blockers can't use the speed of the ball to re-direct the ball at high speeds. Players must be "more active" when blocking – i.e. blockers must supply their own power, since the 40mm ball won't rebound out as fast.
• Off-table play: Since the ball slows down faster due to air resistance, players who play off the table will need more power. They will also have to adjust their instinct for how far they play from the table, since their natural instincts will now have them too far from the table.
• Service: There will be less spin on the serve. Therefore, placement will become more important. With the 38mm ball, players often serve crosscourt; with the 40mm ball, players will have to learn to add more variety to their placement.
• Top quality ball brands are provided in different quality levels determined by seam quality, roundness and consistency from one to the next.
• The three star balls is the highest quality level ball.
• The two star balls are next in quality.
• The one star is the lowest in quality in star graded balls
• Larger size balls were developed as an experiment in order to allow longer rallies and to make play somewhat easier for senior and novice players.
• Low quality balls have irregular seams. Competition balls are evenly constructed to allow a true flight and bounce.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|