15 Ping Pong Ball Facts For Every Ping Pong Enthusiasts

No one knows the real beginning of the Ping Pong, but it is believed that the sport began in England. It was simply started as an off-shoot for lawn tennis. At first, it was just an outdoor game; then it was made as an indoor game. Let’s find some interesting ping pong ball facts.

Who Invented the Ball?

This ball was invented in the 1920s. The company John Jaques and Son invented this ball, especially for table tennis. The name ping pong came from its sound of bouncing off the drum on the table.

Chemical Composition

The ping pong ball is composed of celluloid. Some balls are made using plastic. Compared to the ping pong balls in use today, the ones which were used in olden days were highly flammable. Modern ping pong balls are not that sensitive to fire. However, it can catch fire if we introduce a lighter to it.

The reason for this is not due to the presence of gases filled inside it. In fact, ping pong balls are filled with regular air. The reason for the ball to catch fire is because of the nitrocellulose used to make it. Nitrocellulose is a flammable substance, and it can catch fire on friction too.


Each ball varies depending upon their design, manufacturing company, texture, and many other parameters. All the Ping Pong balls should meet ITF regulations so as to be approved for important tournaments. The balls have to undergo a range of testing procedures strictly according to their specifications and properties.

The tests include parameters such as weight, size, composition, deformation, and rebound. There are ITF ranges for each parameter i.e

  • Mass (59.4-60 gms)
  • Bounce(54-58 inches)
  • Size (2.5-2.7inches)
  • Deformation (0.31-0.42 inches)

The ball must fall within these ranges, only then it would be considered for the tournament. Eventually, these parameters will determine whether it is suitable for the play or not.

Why do balls have different colors?

Even the ping pong balls have different colors – Orange and White. We might have come across many other colors of ping pong balls such as Grey, blue, green or sometimes even pink. But the most highly recommended balls are white and orange.

The orange ping pong balls are more often used for casual games that we play in our offices, restaurants and game zones. Orange balls are more visible than white ones. For this reason, they are used in casual play, so untrained players can see them more clearly. However, orange balls are used during practices. Few coaches make use of orange balls for their trainees in developing some skills such as spin, strokes and then proceed to use a white ball.

Coming to white balls, they are popularly used in tournaments. The purpose of using white balls in tournaments is because the settings of the tournaments are quite different. They have blue tables and red floors. In order, to keep track of the ball and to make it visible to the live audience and TV audience, white balls are mostly recommended. The white balls are visible onto dark surfaces, which help the players to track the ball and make the next move.

Interesting Facts About Ping Pong Balls

  • The nitrocellulose used to make ping pong balls are actually a low-grade explosive.
  • A ping pong ball, filled with liquid nitrogen rotates very fast. It can rotate more than ten times than the speed in which a normal Ping pong ball does.
  • In an interesting theory, it was found that 1.498 billion ping pong balls can lift the Titanic!
  • Balls of Fury is a 2007 sports movie based on the life of a ping pong champion.
  • More than 17 ping pong balls are required to equate the weight of a single golf ball.
  • The weight of 22 octillion ping pong balls would equate to that of the Earth!
  • It would take 390,625,000 ping pong balls to fit into an Olympic swimming pool, which is 130 times the number required to fill it in a jumbo jet.
  • At 1988 summer Olympics held in Seoul, the Ping pong game got an identity Official Olympic Sport
  • Earlier the ball was 38 millimeters.  Now the standard size of the ball is 40 millimeters
  • In 2003 the larger sized ball was introduced.
  • The best quality ball is rated as three stars. The 3 star balls are only used in the tournaments.
  • 22,870,000 ping pong balls would fit into a Boeing 747-400, though the weight of such a huge number of balls might actually prevent the Boeing from take-off.
  • You will be shocked to know that; turtles just love to play with the ping-pong balls
  • Cut a ping pong ball and tape it to both your eyes and then you will see diffuse white light. Then put the headphone listen to static. Yes, it is a vivid hallucination.
  • Do you know that ping pong ball travels at a speed of 105.6 miles/ hour off the paddle

4 Best Competition Ping Pong Balls of 2019

JOOLA prime 40+ It’s the 3-star competition ball, with improved durability and roundness. It shows less spin at first, but it does really kick off the table.

Nittaku Premium 40+ The ball is consistent and generates great spin when needed. Also a high-quality tennis ball.

Double Fish V40+ This ball was being used in London for the World Cup Championship 2018. This ball is quite heavier than Nittaku Premium, but again highly recommended and widely used tennis balls.

Xushaofa 40+ These balls are considered to be the best among the batch of the plastic ball. These are used for inter-state championships and some important world championships or tournaments.

How ping pong raised popularity in China?

Ping pong was invented in the United Kingdom in the late 19th century. A Shanghai stationery shop was the first to bring this game into its shop. Ever since its existence remained in China. The year following the Cultural Revolution, China’s table tennis team started growing rapidly. Ping pong made its debut in the year 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. China won two gold medals for ping pong at the 24th Summer Olympics. Out of the 28 Olympic ping pong tournament, China has snatched 24 gold medals starting from 1988 to 2012. Up to date, Chinese players are the most defending and strongest champions in all the Olympic table tennis tournaments or championships.

I hope you all enjoyed the information. Do tell us if you know any such facts about Ping pong Ball or Game in the comments section below. Cheers!!!

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