Baggaley hits out at new table tennis balls

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Olympian Andrew Baggaley thinks plans to change table tennis balls are ‘bizarre’.

The International Table Tennis Federation is planning to introduce ‘poly balls’ from July 2014. The current balls are made of celluloid, but will soon be replaced by a plastic material.

During tests, the governing body discovered that players generally found the new ball to be far slower with a higher bounce, which could increase rally length.

“It’s really bizarre. I don’t know any other sport that has had as many changes,” said Baggaley, who competed for Team GB at London 2012.

“I don’t really understand the reasons for the change. I believe the pecking order in world table tennis will remain the same. I don’t think it will change anything dramatically, like the Chinese dominance in the sport.”

Table tennis has become quite accustomed to change, with adjustments made to the scoring system, size of the ball, service action and type of glue used on the rubber of bats in the past 10 years.

“Players who have played with it tell me it’s less spin and it’s a little slower with a truer bounce. They also say the ball sounds like it’s broken,” said Baggaley, with five medals at Commonwealth Games to his name.

“I hope they don’t change before the Commonwealths in Glasgow in 2014.”