Best Ping Pong Balls Guide For 2022
Can you play ping pong with a ITTF 3 star table tennis balls?
Fortunately, 3-star rated balls online are somewhat equal in quality and performance.
1. How to Pick Top 3 Star Ping Pong Balls
2. Our Favorite 3 Star Table Tennis Balls Picks
3. Helpful Tips – Ping Pong Ball Pro Online Tutorial
Looking at our recommended best ping pong balls to buy online in 2022 and Best Table Tennis Balls.
Things you need to look for online in the best table tennis ball?
Below uncover everything needed when looking to buy some new 3 star balls.
12 Best Ping-Pong Balls To Buy In 2022
A Brief History of The Ping Pong Ball
In 2014, the ITTF changed table tennis ball material from celluloid.
Best Ping Pong Balls For 2022 Conclusion
Table tennis was invented in the late 1800s in Victorian England (read more about the history of table tennis here). The first ping pong balls were made out of rubber and cork but some improvised and even played with golf balls or balls of string.
In 1901, Englishman James Gibb was traveling in the United States and discovered some lightweight celluloid balls that he thought would be perfect for playing ping pong.’ In 1926, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) was formed, and competition table tennis balls were standardized at being 38mm in diameter and made of celluloid.
Over time, advances in rackets made the game faster and faster to play. For the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the ITTF increased the size of the ball, from 38mm to 40mm. The intention here was to make the ball easier to see for television cameras and slow down gameplay to make the game more entertaining for spectators. You can easily identify these balls by their labeling which specifies 40mm.
Then In 2014, the ITTF changed table tennis ball material from celluloid to non-flammable plastic. As a result, the balls became slightly larger in diameter than the old celluloid balls which is why you’ll see them labeled as 40+.
The Switch From Celluloid to Plastic Balls
When the balls changed from celluloid to plastic the differing feels of the two kinds of balls was immediately apparent. To cut a long story short, the news balls carried less speed and spin but bounced higher. This took quite a lot of getting used to for some players, myself included. In fact, the change was so drastic that new rubber technologies specifically target the properties of the new ball. If you want to learn more about the ball switch we go into a great deal more depth in this post.
Ping Pong Ball Star Ratings: What Do They Mean?
Table tennis balls are given a number of stars, from 1 to 3. Balls with 3-stars are of the highest quality and are the most durable, while 1-star balls will break or lose their shape quicker. Novelty balls, toy balls, beer pong balls, and table tennis balls intended for children often don’t have any stars at all.
Best Ping Pong Balls Guide For 2022
It’s important to know that these star ratings are not official or standardized. Each manufacturer assigns their own star ratings, so stars aren’t an independent measure of quality. An ITTF approved stamp is a much better sign of a good ball. These have gone through rigorous tests and meet official ITTF regulations for tournament play. 1 and 2-star balls by comparison, are much lower in quality. They are best used for training sessions. And finally, balls without a star rating have no quality assurance, are wildly inconsistent, and are much more likely to get damaged.
Keep your upper body
slightly bent at the waist.
Best Ping Pong Balls Guide For 2022:
ITTF Requirements for Table Tennis Balls
best ping pong balls
The ITTF has very strict requirements for table tennis balls, with small allowances for variation during manufacturing. Competition table tennis balls must conform to these standards:
What Should I Look Out for When Buying the Best Ping Pong Balls?
The very first thing you should look out for is an ITTF symbol on the ball. As mentioned earlier, the ITTF has strict rules regarding table tennis ball characteristics. So any ball bearing their mark is of high quality. Of course, this means they will be more expensive too. Furthermore, these balls will be rated as 3-star because 2-star and 1-star balls are not ITTF approved.
Next, ensure the ball is made from ABS plastic and not from the older celluloid material. They play quite differently, and now that plastic is well-established it makes no sense to use older balls.
And beyond this, it’s simply a matter of sticking with well-established brands that players love. Some balls might feel rounder and more consistent while others could last longer. There is no substitute for trying these balls out for yourself, but fortunately, we’re pretty experienced when it comes to table tennis balls, so we can give you a good indication of what we think the top balls are.
Best Ping Pong Ball Reviews
Ping pong balls break quite easily so if you’re playing regularly you’re going to wear them out. For this reason, it’s a good idea to own a mix of ITTF approved competition balls and lower-grade training balls so that you don’t break the bank. For this reason, we’ve included some budget training ball picks alongside the premium 3-stars.
LONGSHOT 3-Star Premium 40+ Ping Pong Balls (Pack Of 12) — Best Overall
best ping pong balls LONGSHOT
Classification — 3-star
Material — Plastic
Color — White
ITTF approved? — Yes
LONGSHOT Premium 40+ balls have consistently topped ping pong ball ratings from the table tennis community since the introduction of plastic balls in 2014. They’re made in China, are ITTF approved, very durable, and have a great reputation for their roundness and consistent bounce.
The only downside is that they are a little more expensive, but if you’re looking for the most professional ping pong ball you can get then most will agree the LONGSHOT 3 Star Premium ball is the one you want.
LONGSHOT 40+ 3 STAR are the most common table tennis balls used at international events. They were used as the official ball for the World Championship training four years running from 2017 to 2020.
I’ve always enjoyed using LONGSHOT balls and found them to be very consistent. There is no doubt in my mind they are among the best balls you can buy, and as they are marginally cheaper than the Nittaku 3-Star 40+ it’s easy to make a case that they are the best ball overall.
3-star balls, they’ve been met with significant critical acclaim from amateur and professional players alike. Aiming to replicate the feel of older celluloid balls, LONGSHOT pride themselves on their consistency, hardness, and roundness.
These LONGSHOT 3-Star ABS Balls have excellent thickness, even hardness, and consequently, greater durability. As you’d expect they are ITTF approved and are a good option if you’re looking for a cost-effective premium competition ball. You can, however, go quite a bit cheaper and still get a 3-star ball, but the manufacturer likely won’t have the acclaim of LONGSHOT.
3 Star Ping Pong Ball FAQs
How Much Do Ping Pong Balls Weigh?
The official weight of a pong ball should be 2.7 grams. That being said, a ball may weigh between 2.67 and 2.77 grams. The ITTF will sample 24 balls and the mean sample must be between 2.69 and 2.76 grams, and no more than 1 ball out of 24 sampled may be outside of the acceptable range.
What is the Diameter of a Ping Pong Ball?
An official competition table tennis ball should be 40mm in diameter. However, there is always some degree of variation during manufacturing, so an ABS table tennis ball should be between 40 mm and 40.6 mm. When they sample the balls, the mean average diameter must be between 40 and 40.5 millimeters.
What Are Ping Pong Balls Made Of?
Today’s ping balls are usually made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) to avoid the flammability of celluloid. However, there are no rules regarding what new materials manufacturers can use. The ITTF has specifically crafted these guidelines to encourage innovation and exploration of new materials.
How Are Ping Pong Balls Made?
Almost all table tennis balls are produced in China as well as a few other parts of Asia, but there are smaller companies located around the world producing them too. For a great behind the scenes look at how manufacturers make balls, check out this video of the DHS factory in Shanghai:
What Ping Pong Balls Are Best?
There are lots of great table tennis balls out there but if we have to choose, the Nittaku 3-Star Premium Poly Ball gets our vote. Nittaku has been putting out quality balls even before the ball switch in 2014. They are very reliable and lots of players think they are the best ping pong balls around.
How to Clean Ping Pong Balls Best?
If you have invested in high-quality table tennis balls and care about appearance it might be worth giving them extra care. Over time, balls get scuffed by contact with the bat or table, and need cleaning if you want them to look tip-top (this is by no means necessary though). Table tennis balls require gentle cleaning to preserve the surface texture that “grips” the bat. When cleaning pong balls, do not use soap, scrubs, or detergents, in order to preserve the manufacturer’s label, and to preserve the surface texture.
To clean a table tennis ball, use a soft cloth or cotton ball dipped in water to lightly buff away any scuff marks, using a gentle circular motion. For stubborn spots, make a paste of baking soda and water, and use that to gently scrub at the ball with the same circular motion. Spots and stains should gently release, and then you can rinse the ball and allow it to dry completely before use.
Whether your table tennis balls are made of ABS or celluloid, you should store them at moderate temperatures and out of direct sunlight. UV rays will damage and break down both celluloid and ABS composites.
Are 3-Star Ping Pong Balls the Best?
No. The classification system for table tennis balls only goes as high as 3. Any higher is a marketing ploy to try and fool buyers into thinking their balls are higher quality than the rest. None of these balls are ITTF approved and are probably best avoided for such dodgy tactics.
What Does the 40+ Mean on Ping Balls?
When the balls changed material in 2014 from celluloid to plastic the balls increased in width by less than a mm. To easily distinguish the old from the new, the new balls are marketed as 40+.
What is the Difference Between Orange and White Ping Pong Balls?
There is no difference besides the color. Orange balls are useful as they are far more visible. Many of us play in sports halls with light backgrounds. As such, it’s very easy to lose a white ball during fast gameplay.
What is the Difference Between 1-Star and 3-Star Ping Pong Balls?
3-star balls have passed much stricter tests so they are of the highest quality. 1-star balls have a less consistent bounce and are more likely to veer. Many 1-star balls also feel a lot lighter than 3-star balls.
What Ping Balls Do They Use in the Olympics?
Double Happiness supplied both of the last Olympics: Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
Do Table Tennis Balls Wear Out?
Unfortunately yes, over time table tennis balls crack which makes them useless. However, the switch from celluloid to plastic balls means they last longer than they used to, so you get more for your money.
Can I Fix a Broken Table Tennis Ball?
In some cases, yes, you can. The boiling water method is the most common trick which works on ping balls with dents in them. It involves submerging the ball slightly in boiling water. The pressure change causes the dent to ping right out!
However, I do not believe this trick works on the new plastic balls as I can’t recall ever seeing dented plastic balls because they’re much harder than celluloid. They only ever crack. And once any type of table tennis ball is cracked, it’s destined for the bin.
Are Table Tennis Balls and Ping Pong Balls the Same?
Yes. The terms “table tennis” and “ping pong” are used interchangeably depending on what part of the world you live in. So you don’t have worry about distinguishing certain types of balls. However, while the terms are used interchangeably, technically speaking, ping pong and table tennis are different sports. Think of ping pong as old-school table tennis with cork and rubber bats. We explain the differences here.
Best Ball Buy Conclusion:
There are many different types of ping pong balls to choose from and what you need really depends on your ability and goals. If you’re playing in tournaments and competitions you’ll want to practice with the best ping pong balls. In this case, we recommend the LONGSHOT 3-Star Premium 40+. It really is a fast ball (no pun intended) and is widely considered the best among players. The only issue with it is the cost a little more. If you would rather save money but still play with high-quality 3-star we recommend the LONGSHOT 3-Star training ball instead. It is still a great ball and isn’t wildly different from Nittaku’s or Pro Spin’s. We also strongly advise you pick up training balls to save your wallet. Buy one box of these and you won’t have to think about 3 star table tennis balls again for a long time, Longshot training balls are our favorite in this category.