Using multiple balls in a single match

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 7 years ago

Arnab Ghosh

Arnab Ghosh Asked 7 years ago


I was wondering

1. Since when did the rule start that for every serve, a ball will be provided from the umpire's chair so that the players don't have to fetch the old one. 

2. What tournaments have enforced this rule?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Arnab,

I have seen this in the Chinese League matches.  I think it makes sense.  We used to be worried about the different balls but we train with so many balls now that the players are used to switching balls from rally to rally.

Has anyone seen it anywhere else?

Do you like the concept?

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Thoughts on this question

Thomas Kunzfeld

Thomas Kunzfeld Posted 7 years ago

I like it. It saves time and is healthier for the back :-)

Arnab Ghosh

Arnab Ghosh Posted 7 years ago


I haven't seen this anywhere apart from the Chinese League matches. 

We do use multiple balls while doing training sessions but those balls are beaten and used. Is it the same here as well? Are the 'fresh ball powder' removed from them? 

It saves the time and the back I agree but there is one con to it as I see. Previously player could have a breather while walking to collect/pick-up the ball and rethink their previous/next rally in the match. Now they won't get that few seconds also to think. I leave it up to the coaches to judge if depriving the players of those few seconds is good or bad. 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

I think they would all be new balls or equally used balls...

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 7 years ago

The good side is that players cannot use that anymore as a way to kill the pace and take a "mini time-out" when they have the opportunity. Some even shoot the ball away to get that time (it's illegal, but rarely punished).

Regarding the consistency of the balls, they are all pre-selected before the match, so there is zero risk to have one that is not round for example. I'm pretty sure they are broken in as well (i.e. they're not brand new out of the bag, but have been cleaned and played with just a bit).

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