The pilot project, which started at the ITTF Challenge Croatia Open this week, aims to ensure that the rubbers from professional table tennis players, used by ITTF tournaments, are following the rules: < 4.00 mm.
The pilot project is also aiming to find out the best procedure to achieve the goal of ensuring players rackets are according to the ITTF rules:
- to measure the thickness accurately
- not to hold up player’s schedule unduly
- to be transparent and credible towards all players
This pilot project will run for 6 months at various ITTF events and initially has no consequences for players who fail testing and the results will stay confidential within the ITTF.
How does it work?
This procedure will apply to the players losing their match from the quarter-finals onwards and then both finalists, with players being able to also request random testing.
- Before the match, both players will be informed by the umpire in the Call Area that the racket of the loser and both players in the final will be tested again after the match;
- The respective racket will be collected by the umpire immediately after the end of the match. The racket will be secured in the racket testing room and the player shall appear within 20 minutes and dismantle the rubber. Otherwise, the racket control expert will dismantle the rubber;
- Once all measurements are completed, the rubber will be returned to the player.
The rubber will be measured with a device called the KÄFER JD 200 which checks the thickness of the rubber on 3 spots in the central hitting area together with a RAE test with 60 sec. measurement on the sponge side.
Once the 6-months pilot project is completed, the ITTF Equipment Department will present the results to the ITTF Executive Committee who will then decide the future of this testing.