When choosing the right 3 star ping pong ball, you should element in its technical specifications, your degree of play and the time you will be spending playing. In terms of technical specifications, one of the most reliable methods you can use is the ping pong ball star rating which indicates the quality of the ball. In the event that you were to go by the feel and appearance of the balls, you might go wrong since it seems like they all feel and look pretty similar. The rating will affect pricing because the balls differ in their manufacturing. We’ve explained the actual ping pong ball rating system is, what the various stars indicate, and the dissimilarities between 1 star vs. 3 star ping pong balls rating system.
Buying table tennis balls should be a simple task. But alas not! There are plenty of different types of ball available – competition balls, training balls and cheap ‘just for fun’ balls. Some balls are constructed of celluloid. Other balls are made of non-flammable plastic.
So which are the best balls to buy? In this website post, I’ll give my views of an variety of different balls and give specific suggestions on the best competition and training balls you can buy. I also give tips where balls to buy for informal play.
Ping pong balls have a star rating, ranging from 3 star to no star. The 3 star rating means the balls are of the highest & most regular quality and (assuming it is ITTF approved) it ought to be within the stipulated parameters that the ITTF specify. Although 3 star balls without ITTF approval status are generally still good balls, there is no guarantee since they manufacturers don’t need to justify their ratings to anyone!
The 1 and 2 star balls are generally still decent quality, and tend to be the discarded balls from a 3 star production run, because (after tight quality control checks) they may be just beyond your specification of the ITTF. However there is no reason why they can’t be made by using a cheaper production method that make inferior balls, as there is no approval process for these balls. In general I have found these balls of quite satisfactory quality, sufficient for social play or basic practice.
With no-star balls there are no quality checks required in any way, plus some are of very poor quality. Since the price tag on 1 or 2 2 stars balls is usually only a little more than no-star balls, it’s probably well worth the additional few dollars.
The legal colours as stipulated by the ITTF are white and orange. I have not found there to be significant performance difference between your colours… any significant differences will be because of a different manufacturing runs, then the actual colour. The colour chosen for a particular event or venue may be related to the background of the floors or walls (although for ITTF endorced events there are restricition on the colour of wall and floors as well). Additionally the ITTF decides what colour to work with for future events, & most table tennis organizations have a tendency to follow suit…
Well they don’t make them like they used, that’s for sure! Nowadays balls can be expected to last for a only few session (if that!), and they are usually worn or develop small cracks. As soon as there is the slightest crack in the ball, it’s well worth changing over, because the gas inside escapes, making the ball softer and less bouncy.
Some brands of balls last longer than other, and there are often significant variations from the same balls in one batch to a different. Generally the 3 star balls are more durable, but this is merely an over-all guide…
You might also reduce the lifetime of a ball by playing on concrete floors, but this should affect all balls, not just a specific brand…
If you want to be serious, and want to improve and play competition, there is little choice, you really should use 3 star ping pong balls. However if you only play socially, or want to train serves or drills, then one or two 2 star balls are usually sufficient. This will likely save you quite somewhat of money since with repetition drills you usually step on far more balls. We would not recommend to no-star balls, unless it’s an extremely everyday muck around, like outside or simply with a group of kids…