What Do The Stars On Table Tennis Balls Mean? All About Ping Pong Ball Rating

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What Do The Stars On Table Tennis Balls Mean

It’s pretty common to see stars on ping pong balls.

In fact, our eyes will be drawn to them immediately when we see a table tennis ball.

But what do the stars on table tennis balls mean?

Do they make a difference to the way the ball performs? Let’s see!

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What Do The Stars On Table Tennis Balls Mean?

What Do The Stars On Table Tennis Balls Mean?

The stars on balls are a sign for evaluating the balls’ quality according to the ITTF regulations – International Table Tennis Federation.

The difference in ping pong balls is star rate.

The popular ping pong ball rating is one star, two stars, and three stars.

On the other hand, there’re a few non-ranking balls.

1-star ping pong ball

A one-star ball is the worst of the three grades. So, what’s the distinction between 3 star ping pong balls vs 1 star?

Ping-pong players may only use a one-star ball for practice, not in official ping pong balls, as a 3-star can.

Polystyrene and celluloid are the two most common materials.

As a result, this product is exceedingly delicate & fragile.

So a one-star ball is ideal for ping-pong beginners or youngsters who just play for enjoyment.

2-star ping pong ball

A two-star tennis ball comes next in the rankings.

This ball is much firmer and more durable than the one-star.

It’s a common choice for players that are more experienced. 

Even the best professional players choose these from time to time because they are easier on arms when training at home.

In practice, a two-star tennis ball is the most popular choice for both semi-pro and professional players due to having a decent bounce.

As one of the most common varieties on the market, it’s approved for use in select league games.

3-star ping pong ball

Top of the list is professional ping pong balls, a 3-star ball suitable for a high-quality game.

In particular, it is the most flawless and certified ball in all of table tennis.

Moreover, a three-star will undoubtedly emerge in competition ping pong balls since they fit all the ITTF specifications.

This type is bouncy, rigid, and excels at traveling long distances (up to 170 km/h).

They allow players to work on virtuoso moves like loop drives, and they last a long time – even when used frequently.

Read more:

What Makes A 3-Star Ball Stand Out From The Crowd?

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What Makes A 3-Star Ball Stand Out From The Crowd?

The best table tennis balls in the world need to meet the ITTF’s quality standards.

Therefore, only these are permitted in tournament ping pong balls.

There are currently 96 different products from different ping pong ball brands that have been authorized with three stars by the ITTF.

These are the qualities they must possess:

  • Size: The thickness of each ball ranges from 39,5 mm to 40,5 mm.
  • Material: The product is composed of plastic rather than celluloid.
  • Mass: It should weigh between 2,67 & 2,77 grams.
  • Roundness: Ping pong balls should naturally be as round as possible. 

According to the standards, the product must be round in shape and have a diameter difference of only 0.09 inches.

Balls are also analyzed when dropped from an 11-foot height. 

The interpretation of this analysis entails that they should bounce between 2 and 4 inches when being dropped in this manner three times, after which they’re deemed to be regulation size.

  • Bounce: If you drop your 3-star ball from 30,5 cm height, it will bounce between 24 & 26 cm high and have appropriate bounce characteristics.
  • Labels: Plastic balls bearing the “40+” label are new; older balls may still have the “40” or “40 mm” labels.
  • Color: Balls are only available in matte orange and matte white.

Ping Pong Balls – FAQs

1. What about balls devoid of stars?

These are entirely unregulated products of any grade.
As a result, they are diversified and can be obtained everywhere at meager rates, whether you are shopping for them online or at the store.
Because they are only available for recreational use, you cannot use them in competition or standard practice.
Thus party games often make use of balls devoid of stars.

2. What color ping pong balls should I purchase?

Choose ping pong palls that contrasts with your surroundings.
For example, if you’re playing in a space with white flooring or walls, orange-colored balls are best because they stand out.
On the other hand, white tennis balls are best for playing in low-light situations like at night or during indoor parties.

3. How to choose the best ping pong balls?

Types of ping pong balls used can influence how much fun a game is.
When shopping for a ping pong ball, consider the following factors: ping pong ball quality, type, size, and intended use.

4. How much do ping pong balls cost?

Ping pong balls are usually sold in boxes of 100.
These boxes are generally priced between $10 – $30, depending on the quality.
A more expensive box is usually made of soft plastic, and the ball is slightly better in quality.


What do the stars on table tennis balls mean?

Well, the star design on table tennis balls indicates the level of table tennis ball quality.

You now know all about this product.

Let’s try them all, and you’ll have found a new favorite in no time.

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