PingPod #39 – 40mm vs 38mm Table Tennis Ball

Table Tennis Thoughts


Jeff: Welcome to the PingPod, the ping pong podcast by PingSkills. Welcome Alois.

Alois: Thanks Jeff

Jeff: Now today we’ve got an interesting topic.We’re talking about the 38mm ball vs the 40mm ball. Very exciting. Now how big a change has this been for table tennis when they introduced the new bigger 40mm ball?

Alois: Well there was a lot of talk when we first came out with with the bigger ball. The game was going to change, it was all going to get different, it was going to be slower.

Jeff: So it was going to be much better for defenders because it was going to be slower, it was going to bring back choppers into the game.

Alois: That’s right.

Jeff: How did that turn out?

Alois: Well, let’s have a look. I mean there’s just not that many defenders that are at the top of the world still. And looking at table tennis as a whole, as a spectator sport, I don’t think it’s changed at all.

Jeff: Not at all. So if we look back before the 2000 Olympics and see when Waldner was playing Kong Linghui, are the rallies any different?

Alois: I don’t think so. I mean if you’re looking at it purely from a spectators point of view there isn’t any real difference with what is happening. The rallies look the same, the game looks the same. It hasn’t made any big difference to the promotability of the game.

Jeff: Okay so in hindsight, looking at what we know now was the change worth it or because it made no difference it just doesn’t make any difference?

Alois: Yeah, I just think it hasn’t made any difference. Was it worth the change? Probably not.

Jeff: Okay there you go. So we want to know your thoughts. What do you think about the change from the 38mm, if you’re old enough to remember when we did play with 38mm balls, to the 40mm ball. Let us know!

Posted 10 years ago

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Vijay Madge

Vijay Madge Posted 8 years ago

I agree with Alois. The change of size of the ball hasn't made any substantial difference not only from the spectators' point of view but also from that of the players. And I fear the same is going to be the case with the new plastic balls. Playing as I have been since 1960s I do not find these frequent changes making any significant difference to the basics of the game.

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