Table tennis balls are changing! Starting on July 1st the old celluloid balls will be replaced by new plastic or poly balls. There seems to be quite a lot of confusion surrounding this change so here is what you need to know.
Why are this change?
The change is being introduced by the ITTF, the International Table Tennis Federation. ITTF President Adam Sharara said the change from celluloid to plastic/poly is to reduce the speed of the game in an attempt to make the sport more viewer friendly.
The following is a quote from Sharara...
From the technology point of view, we're going to reduce speed. In fact, we're developing a technology test, which'll have a bounce limit. If you see Chinese players performing the stroke, it's difficult to see the ball. This has to slow down. We're also changing balls. FIFA made the balls lighter and faster, but we're changing balls from celluloid to plastic for less spin and bounce. We want to slow down the game a little bit. It'll come into effect from July 1, which, I think, is going to be a very big change in the sport.