Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Proposal to remove the minimum friction limit

Proposed by the Swedish TT Association

To rescind the ban of pimples without friction by deleting the first sentence of item 1.4.4 of Technical Leaflet T4 shown in bold.


Friction for pimples – out: (The minimum friction level is 25 μN.)


The decision to ban the pimples without friction has led to a lot of problems in table tennis without gaining any positive effect. The use of frictionless pimples created a new playing style where defence close to the table was made possible. To ban the frictionless pimples instead of learning how to play against them seems to be the easiest way to meet something new and it definitely stops development. The development of new technique/rubbers/blades from time to time gives life to table tennis and creates interest.

Here are some of the problems which the ban has created:

- The friction limit is not possible to control in an objective way. Arbitrariness rules.
- The ban has caused conflicts between players and between players and officials.
- The ban has led to widespread cheating against the new rules. Players bring down friction with different methods and the players who do not, have lost the joy in playing or even stopped entirely to play.
- The ban has led to big problems for players, sellers and producers when rubber sheets repeatedly have been banned with very short notice and without explanation. 

This has been proposed by the Swedish association, and will be voted on by the ITTF Board  of Directors (BoD). A simple majority is required to pass this. I'm a great supporter of this proposal, and I do hope it passes. If you also support this proposal, I would urge you to contact one of the members of the BoD and express your thoughts. You can find a detailed discussion, supporting arguments for the proposal and contact details for the BOD here: ITTF BoD contact details