Since opening a new office in Cologne, Germany, last month, ITTF Head of Equipment, Claudia Herweg, and her team have been busy working on advancements in the sport, not least in terms of rubbers.
There are now more than 1,600 different rubbers on the List of Authorized Racket Coverings – an all-time record!
The vast array of options will enable each player to find the perfect rubber to satisfy their own personal skillsets.
The following brands were removed from the list:
CTT – GUO AO – LKT – PEASE – PINGBO – VTEC – YULU SPORT
The following brands were introduced to the list:
BARNA ORIGINAL – GOFES – HEAD – SPINLAB – SUKE – TAGRO
Once just 1. Now 1,600! Background Story…
At the 1952 World Table Tennis Championships, held in Bombay, India, Hiroji Satoh did not only win the men’s singles title. He changed the whole face of the sport. The Japanese star used a racket covered with a sponge rubber.
Prior to his appearance, vellum-covered “battledores” had been the innovation at the start of the 20th century; then came cork coverings and in the 1930s the pimpled rubber covered racket. The only difference between the various pimpled rubber covered rackets was the name of the player who endorsed the product.
At the Bombay World Championships, it was rumoured that a new material had been developed and even that the sponge layer concealed some mechanical or electronic device that caused the ball to take an unexpected trajectory.
Discussion followed discussion, meetings followed meetings, sub committees followed sub committees; eventually on Wednesday 1st July 1959 at the ITTF Biennial General Meeting in Dortmund, the proposal by the Chinese Table Tennis Association – pimpled rubber only or sandwich rubber with pimples inward or outward and a maximum thickness – was accepted.
Now 60 years later, rubber varieties have reached an all-time record of a staggering 1,600!
Click here to find out more about the work of the ITTF Equipment Office.