What Balls Are Used In Olympic Table Tennis?

What Balls Are Used In Table Tennis For The Olympics

In official international competitions, including the Olympics, the ball used must follow specific guidelines. According to International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rules, the ball used for such official table tennis matches must:

  • Have a diameter of 40mm (1.57 inches)
  • Weigh 2.7 grams (.095 ounces)
  • Be either orange or white in color
  • Have a matte finish
  • Be from a brand approved by the ITTF 

The Olympic Committee wants to stay in line with the ITTF, so an international standard must be maintained for what equipment is used during official play.

How are balls tested and approved?

In approving a candidate ball for international competition, there are four main categories in which balls are tested. These include:

  • Qualitative criteria
  • Quantitative criteria
  • Markings
  • Administrative items

Qualitative criteria include the ball’s appearance, seam, stamp, and packaging. Quantitative criteria include numerical specifications for the ball, like weight and size. Markings describe qualities like the brand and date code. Finally, the balls must be approved with specific ITTF specification codes and marks.

Are there different balls for men and women?

Both men and women use the same ball for table tennis in the Olympics. All regulations for the ball are set by the ITTF, and there are no differences between men’s and women’s equipment for competition. As a result, unlike many other sports, table tennis can be played between members of different genders.