2014 ushered in another major equipment change to the sport of table tennis as the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) approved the use of plastic table tennis balls in place of the venerable celluloid balls. This recent change is in line with past developments such as 40 mm balls, speed glue ban, 11 point games and unblocked service, in an effort to make table tennis a more competitive and entertaining sport. In February 2014, Alois Rosario and Jeff Plumb at Pingskills published one of the earliest reviews of the plastic vs celluloid balls. Their review was conducted with a Paleo brand ball.
Now the folks over at Table Tennis Daily did their own review of plastic vs celluloid. This time, they featured a plastic ball from a major and well known table tennis manufacturer, Stiga. One of the interesting comments about previous plastic ball reviews was the unusual “broken” ball sound it made when it bounced. Have a look/listen at this portion of the video and see if you can tell the difference in sound between a Stiga plastic ball and celluloid:Video Courtesy of TableTennisDaily.co.uk
The rest of the video provides insightful analysis as they put the plastic ball through its paces. Watch the entire video straight through, or click on one of these links for a particular section of interest: (0:37) Weight/Bounce; (1:20) Sound; (1:56) Ball Trajectory; (2:45) Speed; (4:02) Blocking; (4:38) Spin; (6:04) Short Game; (6:55) Match Play; (9:10) Conclusion; (10:51) Awesome Rally!