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Thomas Weikert on efforts to improve ball quality

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GMan4911 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03/17/2017 at 1:29pm
http://www.ittf.com/2017/03/17/ittf-president-thomas-weikert-ensures-work-improve-quality-balls/

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ITTF President Thomas Weikert ensures work to improve quality of balls

17 Mar 2017

Since Tuesday 1st July 2014, the ITTF made the use of plastic balls instead of the traditional celluloid balls mandatory for all ITTF sanctioned and World Title events. Many players around the world have expressed their concern regarding the difference in characteristics of a ball sold by different manufacturers and brands. ITTF President Thomas Weikert opens up on his plans to tackle this issue.

By Neha Aggarwal

Since the change, the main issue that has been put forth is that a ball from different manufactures acts differently, thus making it difficult for the players to adjust to the change. The ITTF understands this issue, and has been relentlessly working to minimize such differences in order to provide the best equipment to the players.

Current situation

“The ITTF understands that the transition between the celluloid ball and the plastic ball has not been as smooth as we would have liked! However, we have been working very closely with our ball manufacturers,” admitted Thomas Weikert. “For example our World Tour ball sponsor DHS has been working hard to improve the quality of the balls and has been recently distributing new and improved balls to the top players, apparently the new balls are more resilient and the best thing is the price can be decreased.”

Currently there are 93 different brands of table tennis balls approved by the ITTF, including 35 celluloid balls, which gives the opportunity to a lot of different brands to have a presence in their respective geographical markets and ensures the availability of balls to be sold all over the world. However, different brands may have slightly different characteristics, making it a point of dissatisfaction from players.

“This is perhaps due to the wide range of materials currently allowed in ITTF’s rules, which is at the same time positive as it gives the opportunity to manufacturers to work with all sorts of plastic but at the same time difficult to ensure that all different types of balls have otherwise same or similar playing properties,” said Weikert.

Measures to improve quality

Thomas Weikert understands this issue, and thus, along with his entire team, he has been making efforts to reduce these differences.

“We know that our manufacturers, based on our strong encouragement, have been researching, testing and looking for new production technologies to improve the quality of the ball. At the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open, ITTF’s partner DHS will start supplying new DHS D40+ balls, which according to our feedback is preferred by a lot of the players compared to the DHS 40+ balls. Hopefully it will ensure more spectacular rallies and more durable balls for all table tennis players.” – Thomas Weikert

He further added, “We are currently investigating ways to evaluate the tolerances to ensure that all ITTF approved balls are of similar quality and characteristics, regardless of the type of plastic they are made or what manufacturer they are coming from.

Assurance

During the recent EC meeting in Dubai, the Japanese representative Mr. Maehara Masihiro expressed the dissatisfaction from manufacturers on the rule that allowed a larger tolerance in bounce of the balls.

“As ITTF President and to support my colleague, I have decided to look closely at this decision and to investigate whether we maybe need to go back to the original tolerance. We will look closely whether necessary and if yes at how to do that within the rule structure in the next weeks,” assured Thomas Weikert.

Explaining Tolerance Range

As mentioned in the chart below, seven properties are tested for a ball to be approved by the ITTF. Currently, the range of each property is high, which is sometimes responsible for a difference in the characteristics of a ball produced by different manufacturers.

The ITTF is currently looking to resolve this issue to reduce these differences to promote similar characteristics in balls produced by different manufacturers.






OSP Virtuoso+, Butterfly Tenergy 80/Tenergy 80
Yinhe T-7, Xiom Vega Asia/Xiom Vega Asia
Yinhe T-7, DHS Hurricane 3/DHS Hurricane 3
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qpskfec View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote qpskfec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 2:08pm
Veer test, 2/24 can fail. 8.3% failure rate and the ball is approved.

ITTF should explain why such a high failure rate is acceptable.

How much would the cost of a ball increase if the test criteria was changed to 1/24 can fail? Balls that fail the veer test for 3* can be sold as lower quality balls.
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zeio View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 4:06pm
I guess this is why.

From the veer test done by PathfinderPro, the Joola Super 40+ barely passed the test. Exactly 2 out of the 24 balls failed twice among the 72 rolls.

This criterion has been in place since celluloid and can be traced back to 2003.

The cellulose acetate ball is pushing the limit on all fronts, so to speak. Weight, veer, bounce, and what not.



Edited by zeio - 03/17/2017 at 4:34pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote qpskfec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 6:21pm
Nice video, but it doesn't answer why the quality sort cannot be set to a lower number.

In this Nittaku video, it looks like the veer test is being used to sort cell balls. The ones that make it to the end of the ramp sold at 3* premium, the ones that go off the side are 1*. (That's what it looks like - maybe someone who speaks Japanese can confirm)

It would interesting to see how far the Nittaku's are below the 2/24 standard. If well below 2/24, then it means that it is entirely possible to sort balls to a higher standard at some extra cost.


https://youtu.be/noxZ2D4Zcjo?t=604

Edited by qpskfec - 03/17/2017 at 6:30pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 6:43pm
While I'm not sure how they came up with that number, it could be the best they could do at that scale.

They already had trouble meeting that number with the 40+, which was for the 40mm celluloid. If ITTF were to set it any lower, 3-star 40+ wouldn't even exist, even at extra cost. The same with the weight. If ITTF didn't allow the tolerance to be temporarily relieved, we wouldn't even have 3-star 40+.

In that Nittaku video, the ones used at the Olympic games were hand-picked using some sort of balance ramp.

Edited by zeio - 03/17/2017 at 7:14pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 7:30pm
The timing of the new ball is not pure coincidence to me given the upcoming election.
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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No train, no gain.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 7:40pm
It's hard not to make that connection. Did they even make any press release about the weight tolerance for 40+? Why would Weikert all of a sudden talk about going back to the previous bounce tolerance, after he has the D40+ in hand?
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 9:58pm
   We need balls with different performances to cultivate different playing styles, and defenders especially.   

mr. Welkert has now got an bizzare idea that all the balls to be of the same standard and all perform alike. It is a poisoning idea to do much harm , sorry.
TO ENFORCE AN EXACT SAMENESS OF ALL THE BALLS IS MUCH LIKE THE PROCRUSTEAN BED.

Every skilled ponger does know the truth, -- different players do need different balls. Defenders will like a softer thing, and the attackers will opt for a harder one..
Mr. Welkert looking to make all the people play the same stiff ball that gives you a stony feel.    93 balls on ITTF list, all to produce a stony feel, all to perform the same play. It is some nightmare on the sport, it is some Procrustian bed.
   I strongly disagree with the given Welkert's idea of making all people playing only with a stiff ball, we need to be able to make a free choice between harder and softer balls.
Mr. Welkert, please do not take me into Procruste's bed, take care to keep up the many different balls on the market..

Thanks.
----------------
some historical reference for the inquisitive minds.       
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustes

Procrustean bed - a standard
that is enforced uniformly without regard to individuality.
Procrustean bed. A situation or place that someone is forced into, often violently. In Greek mythology, the giantic men of Procrustes would capture people and then stretch or cut off their limbs to make them fit into his bed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2017 at 11:29pm
Igor, that is the dumbest thing you have written since you compared Tenergy to a "carnal sex crazed vampiress".  Fortunately everbody else on the planet recognized that the ball situation has been bad -- even DHS. It benefits nobody.  Now that  DHS has actually managed to create a reasonable ball I was wonfering how long before you complained. You did not dissapoint.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2017 at 12:45am
While Tenergy may not actually resemble a "carnal sex crazed vampiress", you gotta admire the sheer gonzoality of Igor's metaphor.  Apropos or not, you just don't see a comparison like that every day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2017 at 2:31am
Originally posted by igorponger igorponger wrote:

   We need balls with different performances to cultivate different playing styles, and defenders especially.   

mr. Welkert has now got an bizzare idea that all the balls to be of the same standard and all perform alike. It is a poisoning idea to do much harm , sorry.
TO ENFORCE AN EXACT SAMENESS OF ALL THE BALLS IS MUCH LIKE THE PROCRUSTEAN BED.

Every skilled ponger does know the truth, -- different players do need different balls. Defenders will like a softer thing, and the attackers will opt for a harder one..
Mr. Welkert looking to make all the people play the same stiff ball that gives you a stony feel.    93 balls on ITTF list, all to produce a stony feel, all to perform the same play. It is some nightmare on the sport, it is some Procrustian bed.
   I strongly disagree with the given Welkert's idea of making all people playing only with a stiff ball, we need to be able to make a free choice between harder and softer balls.
Mr. Welkert, please do not take me into Procruste's bed, take care to keep up the many different balls on the market..

Thanks.
----------------
some historical reference for the inquisitive minds.       
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustes

Procrustean bed - a standard
that is enforced uniformly without regard to individuality.
Procrustean bed. A situation or place that someone is forced into, often violently. In Greek mythology, the giantic men of Procrustes would capture people and then stretch or cut off their limbs to make them fit into his bed.


I assume you've had too much Vodka or other substances.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2017 at 5:12am
Originally posted by berndt_mann berndt_mann wrote:

While Tenergy may not actually resemble a "carnal sex crazed vampiress", you gotta admire the sheer gonzoality of Igor's metaphor.  Apropos or not, you just don't see a comparison like that every day.


For sure it was the most memorable thing I ever read here.  I hope he didnt acfually see one, maybe along with a threatening pink elephant.
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