Rubber, 2006 ITTF Proposal

2006 ITTF Short Pips Proposal

Technical Leaflet T4A

The Proposal:

A requirement that for the racket coverings the rubber surface should be uniform and without coating shall be included in the Technical Leaflet.

This is a new type of requirement in T4, in order to get closer to measuring playing properties. The background is the following:

Treated rubbers: This term is used for pimples-out racket coverings that have a coating on top of the pimples or have been through some other process in order to reduce the friction. The intention is to confuse an opponent when a player is making a stroke, which normally would give a spin to the ball. Instead the ball has little or no spin, making it hard for opponent to make a good return.

We estimate today that we have 25 - 30 rubbers on our List of Authorized Racket Covering, which we believe come under this heading. The reason they are there is that we did not have a good enough method to identify this.

Now we may have found a laboratory, which can measure what is named micro friction on the top and the sides of the pimples.

What we would like to do now is to collect data. After having made some measurements we hope we could establish a minimum friction level for rubber for racket coverings.

The target is to introduce later this minimum friction level for all pimples-out coverings as part of the authorization.

We hope thereby to underline more the players' skill and less the importance of the material.

This could be a first step for test of the playing properties of rubbers instead of merely some physical ones.

Information from a post on Feb. 27, 2006 on the USATT forum.