Ping pong balls come in different varieties and quality. Most of them come with stars that show their level of quality and recommendation. The stars can guide you when choosing the best ball for you or your kids. ITTF rules of ping pong balls are majorly used in ranking the balls. To begin with, let’s have a look at the ping pong ball rules set by the ITTF.
ITTF official rules that a ping pong ball should meet
- The ball has to be spherical in shape. It should be evenly spherical
- The ping pong ball should be at least 40 mm wide. This means that its diameter should be 40 mm long and if exceeding, it should not exceed the length with more than 0.5 mm.
- It should strictly weigh 2.7 g
- The ball should be made of plastic or celluloid
- Your ball should be orange or white in color. It should also be matt.
All official ITTF matches should be played with balls that meet the above rules. Other practice matches may be played with balls that are not tested for the standards.
The stars are used to show how much a ping pong ball is fit for the standards set by the ITTF. They also show the quality of that ball. All balls are good and can be used for various purposes. Let’s have a look at the non-starred balls.
The non-starred balls
1. Fun balls
Fun balls are also known as novelty balls. They are good for children and other people can also use them in recreational games. They come with features that make them good and appealing for simple plays. The balls come in different sizes and colors. The texture they have varies and the balls can be bought in packs. Fun balls can also be used in competitions if they meet the rules set for a ping pong ball.
2. Training/ practice balls
These balls are suitable for beginners and young players. They are specifically made to favor the players who are not so good in ping pong. The balls normally don’t withstand strong hits and can easily break. They are bought in packs and can be used in authorized competitions if they meet the official ping pong ball standards set by the ITTF.
Starred balls are rated. They are given a number of stars depending on how much good and fit they are for a ping pong game. Most of them meet the ITTF official ping pong ball rules.
1. The one stars
These balls belong to the one-star group of classification. They are good for players in youth clubs and schools. The balls are normally soft and do not withstand hard hits for long. They are readily available and can be bought in packs. For a ball of this class to be fit for competitions, it has to meet the ping pong ball rules.
2. The two stars
These balls belong to the two-star group of classification. They are good for all players who are advancing in the game. The balls are good enough to be used in robot games and various practices. Balls that only missed to meet the highest standards with a hardly noticeable thing fall in this group. They can be used in advanced matches if they are orange or white, have a 40mm diameter and weigh 2.7 g.
3. The three stars
These balls belong to the three-star group of classification. They are of the best quality and meet the international standards. The balls are authorized by the ITTF and should be your choice if you want to take your game to the highest level. They are normally tested and verified before release. The three stars can withstand hard hits and normally lasts for a very long period of time. ITTF has listed the companies it finds capable of producing these balls. The non-listed companies are also good and have only not involved the ITTF when checking their balls. Their three star balls can be used in competitions.
Quality and durability help in making the main point of differentiating between the various levels of ping pong balls. Stars are awarded according to quality and how much a ball fits with the standards set by ITTF. You should be able to choose which balls best fits your level of playing. If you are just playing for fun, low-level balls would be good as they are cheap. Highly rated balls would be good for you if your play is to be taken professionally. Getting used to playing with ping pong balls that are of the highest star rating is important.