From 1900 – 2000, the 38 mm table tennis balls were used made up of celluloid. From 2000 - 2014, the ball size increased to 40 mm. From 2014 onwards, the 40+ balls (40.4 mm to be precise) which were made of plastic were introduced. Want to have an article on reasons for the increment in sizes of balls and change of material too? Not to worry. It’s coming soon! 

So, Table Tennis balls are classified into 1 star, 2 star and 3 star balls. However, there are three factors i.e. hardness, roundness, usage and outer finish that distinguishes one from another and we shall know them in detail. This will help a TT passion well while choosing a table tennis ball.

Let’s see the factors one by one:


In table tennis, the harder the ball the better. Why? As it will lead to better and even bounces on the table. Harder ball also leads to improved durability. How to make out whether the ball is hard enough? Generally, when you press a table tennis ball with your thumb gently (not forcefully), it should not get pressed at all. If the ball gets pressed easily with your thumb, those balls are generally soft. 1 star balls are the softest and 3 stars being the hardest. 


Have you ever wondered why there is an uneven bounce at times while playing? While a beginner might not able to make out, once you become regular at the sport, you will see the difference. Ideally, a table tennis ball should be completely spherical. The deviation from that perfect round shape is what separates a good ball and a not so good one. 1 star balls generally have the maximum deviation from the ideal shape and 3 star balls are very close to the ideal shape. The cost of a ball goes higher the more it approaches the ideal round shape. 


If you are a recreational player and not so concerned badly about that ideal table tennis ball, then 1 star balls are just fine for you as they are very inexpensive. Even if you are a serious player, 1 star balls work well for multi-ball training. 

Check out our 1 star balls

If you are a SERIOUS player looking to play at a competitive level, looking to improve your game consistently, then a high-quality ball matters a lot! 3 star balls are exactly those that you must be used with a higher amount to invest though. Always go for an ITTF approved ball.

Check out our 3 star balls

Even if you are a beginner and want quality, 3 star balls are always a bonus. 

Hope this article helped you in choosing the right table tennis ball for your upcoming games. 

Cheers ☺

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