What Are Good Ping Pong Balls

What Are Good Ping Pong Balls

Last modified: October 13, 2023

There’s something genuinely enjoyable about the rapidly back-and-forth smack of a ping pong ball during a heated match. Ping pong, or table tennis, is a passion shared by folks of all ages, and by both beginners and seasoned pros. But what’s often overlooked in the enthusiasm of the game is the humble ping pong ball itself. Believe it or not, not all ping pong balls are made equal. Today, we’re going to delve a bit into the world of ping pong balls. You’ll discover what distinguishes the good from the mediocre, and how vital a good ping pong ball is for your game.

Understanding the Ping Pong Ball

Before we dive further, it’s important to understand that the ping pong ball shapes the game’s very essence. From its bounce, spin, to its speed, a lot depends on the quality of the ping pong ball.

Size and Weight

In accordance with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the standard size of a ping pong ball should be 40mm in diameter. This size balances perfectly with the weight, which is about 2.7g, allowing for an optimal bounce and velocity.

Material and Colour

Ping pong balls are typically made from celluloid or ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) material. ABS balls are more durable and provide a consistent bounce, making them the preferred choice for serious players. The color of choice is usually white or orange, depending on the color of the table tennis table for better visibility.

Star Rating

This is the classification of quality and suitability for professional play. A three-star ball is of the highest quality used in tournaments, whereas one-star and two-star balls are more typical in recreational and practice settings.

Recommended Ping Pong Balls

There are countless brands on the market, but there are a few that standout because of their superior quality and reliability. Doing a bit of research before making a purchase is always encouraged.

Butterfly Three-Star Ball

Approved by the ITTF, this ball strikes a balance between quality and cost. With its superior roundness, consistent bounce, and great durability, it’s used in various professional leagues and is an excellent choice for training or casual play.

JOOLA Three-Star Ball

These balls are known for their toughness and reliable performance. They’re favored among many professional players. JOOLA balls promise a uniform bounce, rotation, and balance proving their worth in high-stakes matches.

STIGA Three-Star Balls

Here is another reliable option, especially for players who prefer ABS balls. These balls boast great roundness, consistent bounce, and durability, making them a favorite among both professionals and recreational players.

Choosing the Right Ping Pong Ball

Remember, the best ping pong ball for you largely depends on your playing style and competency level. While professionals vouch for three-star balls, beginners may find one-star or two-star balls more suitable as they are less responsive and easier to control.

Consider your Skill Level

If you’re a beginner, starting off with a less expensive, lower-star ball might be the ideal choice. As your skills advance, you can shift to three-star balls.

Think about Game Type

If it’s a professional game, always go with three-star balls as they meet the exact standards. For casual or practice sessions, lesser star balls will suffice.

Test Different Brands

Each brand has slight variations in their balls. As you play more, you’ll develop preferences for certain brands over others. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the one that suits your style the best.


Choosing the right ping pong ball might seem like a trivial detail in contrast to perfecting your spin or smash. However, understanding the nuances of ping pong balls can elevate your game to a new level. Every aspect, from the size, weight, material, color, and star rating, plays a role in affecting the ball’s behavior during the game. Experiment with different brands, take the game into consideration, and most importantly, your skill level. Through trial and error, you will eventually find the ball that resonates with your gameplay. So, keep serving and smashing!

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
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