We would like to draw your attention to the decision made in Guangzhou, valid from 1. September 2008 (The Law 2.4.7.):
The covering material should be used as it has been authorised by the ITTF without any physical, chemical or other treatment, changing or modifying playing properties, friction, outlook, colour, structure, surface, etc.
This means an absolute ban for the use of boosters (tuners, enhancers, improvers, etc.). The purpose of a booster is to change something – if not, what would be the intention. You may find such products claiming to be harmless, to be allowed by ITTF, or to be without VC (volatile compounds), etc. There is little reason to believe this is true. Please be very sceptical since these are generally bad for your health, even containing poison in some cases.
According to our tests there is no way that a sponge can be treated separate from the covering; refer the usual way a booster is applied, i.e. on the sponge.
Boosters represent a messy, time consuming, costly, unhealthy, and now illegal way of achieving spin and speed, and you may be detected in a tournament. Other and better ways exist for the same purpose.
You as a player are responsible for using a clean racket, i.e. without VC and with the correct thickness. Air your new rubber outside the plastic bag for at least 72 hours before gluing it. Use only water based glue or PSAs . Always carry a spare racket if you can.
Testing for VCs will be made at tournaments using a device called enez. This is able to detect very small amounts of solvents thereby showing a red light when too much. Also newer versions are available being more sensitive than the present version to detect boosters. Some places there will be a backup device called RAE which is even more sensitive.
Testing for maximum thickness (= 4.00 mm) will be more strict than before since more accurate measuring equipment are available. Our Technical Leaflet T4 states regarding the thickness limit: ‘On no part of the playing surface on a racket covering should this be extended’.
We are all working for a Clean Sport, and we wish you to enjoy our game even better now.
Chairman ITTF Equipment Committee