“Is my rubber allowed in the official table tennis competition?” or “This long pips rubber is banned or not?” These are the common questions that many players asked. So I decided to make an online tool that helps you to check the rubber authorization.
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At the low level, many players still use banned rubbers (especial “abnormal rubbers like some long pips, frictionless long pips special, anti-spin rubbers). It’s tricky and illegal at the club-level tournament. Many young players get angry, and no more fun at all to play versus banned rubber player.
Last week, I coach a young player who plays versus a veteran player who uses Dr. Neubauer Scalpel. It seems that the rubber is banned by ITTF. It’s illegal to use this rubber. But no one verifies the rubber authorization. We all know that ITTF has published and updated the LARC (Lists of ITTF Approved and Authorized Equipment). But it’s not practical to check the rubber in that PDF list.
I know some players just modify the pimple spacing and hardness to gain the advantage. A player has put his long pips rubber in the microwave to harden the pimple. Another player cut some of the pimple. This is not legal! I think this act is not honest! Don’t do this.
The pimple spacing must be smaller than 3.5 mm. A spacing of 3.5 mm or more indicates a pimple density below the minimum limit, which is not allowed.
I’ve asked the player to change the rubber because Dr. Neubauer Scalpel is no longer allowed in real competition. However, he refused to change. So we need to call the league umpire to deal with that. That’s my motivation to make this “Online Checking Tool”. To make table tennis “Cleaner, and More Fun” at the club, and departments competition.
How to use this tool
In general, a table tennis rubber is allowed to use in competition must satisfy these 3 conditions:
- The brand (for example Butterfly) and model names (for example Tenergy 05) should be clearly visible on the rubber.
- The ITTF logo, Brand ID, and Rubber ID should be clearly visible on the rubber
- The rubber is present in the list of LARC
Every 6 months, ITTF will update this list. That’s why you need to check the latest list to check if your rubber is still allowed or not.
To use this tool, just type the “Brand ID”, and the “Rubber ID” in the form.
If you want to get the certification that cites the allowance of your rubber, you can enter your name, and email to receive that. With the certification, you can show the umpire or the local tournament that your long pimple, anti-spin, inverted rubbers are allowed. This helps a lot and simplifies. Next time, just print that certification and show it to the opponent or the umpire.
Check Rubber Authorization Tool
Step 1 – Check if the rubber has the ITTF Logo. If yes, it is called “ITTF Approved” rubber. If not, the rubber is not authorized.
Step 2 – Enter the “Brand ID” (for example “14”) or type the “Brand Name” (for example “Butterfly”)
Step 3 – Enter the “Rubber ID” (for example “001”) or type the Rubber Name (like “Tenergy 05”). If your rubber ID is not on the list, choose “Others”.
Step 4 – Enter your Name, and Email to get the “Authorization Certification” if you want. The result “Your rubber is banned or not” is shown below.
Here is the Form:
How many rubbers existing in table tennis?
How many rubbers is there in table tennis? Do we have too much? Yes, I think we have too many table tennis rubbers right now. Based on my analysis of the LARC list, up for today, there are:
There are 1622 rubbers from 122 manufacturers
Wow. 1622 rubbers just for a backhand rubber, and a forehand rubber? Which one should you choose? It’s a very difficult question for new players. So don’t make any mistake to choose the right rubber that suits your style.
In 1622 rubbers available in the table tennis market right now, there are about:
- 1150 inverted rubbers
- 221 short pips, and medium pips
- 170 long pips rubbers
- 48 anti-top rubber
- and more than 33 banned rubbers (check the tool below)
So the majority of table tennis rubbers are normal inverted rubbers (72%). That means, nearly 3 of 4 rubbers in table tennis is a normal inverted rubber. And 27% are short pimples, medium pimples, long pimple rubbers. So more than 1 of 4 rubbers in table tennis is a pimple-out rubber.
Note: More than 2% of rubbers are banned. Be careful! You can’t use banned rubber in the official table tennis competition.
How many types of rubbers in table tennis?
As I explained about, there are many rubbers existing in the market right now. All of these rubbers are one of the 4 types of rubbers in table tennis below. Based on the convention of ITTF for equipment, we classify rubbers as “Inverted”, “Long”, “Shorts/Medium” and “Anti Spin”.
- Normal Inverted Rubber
- Short Pips rubber
- Long Pips rubber
- Anti Spin rubber
Type 1 – Normal Inverted Rubber
As I explained above, 72% of table tennis rubbers are normal inverted rubber (also called as “smooth rubber”). This type of rubber used the sandwich style: a sponge – pimple – topsheet. That’s why, in the history, it’s called “sandwich rubber”.
Inverted rubber gives the highest spin, and speed in table tennis. Almost every style in table tennis (attacker, looper, hitter, all-round, defender, etc.) use inverted rubbers. When you have spin, you also have control. With inverted rubber, you have speed, spin, and control – the 3 main parameters for a rubber nowadays.
Type 2 – Pimple Out with Short and Medium Pips
Short pips are one of the most popular “pimpled rubbers”. Short pips are mainly used to attack, and counter-attack close to the table. It fits very well to the new trends of table tennis. Some famous short pips players like (Liu Guoliang, Mattias Fack, Mima Ito) use short pips on their forehand side or backhand side to attack.
This type of rubber has the pimple facing outward. The length of the pimple is short, compared to long pips. The pips surface is used to contact the ball. Due to its small contact area with the ball, short pips is less affected by the opponent’s spin. That’s why short pips are used to blocker close-to-the table, hitter, and fast counter-attacking style.
Here are some of the best short pips in table tennis if you love aggressive playing style on your forehand side. Short pips is also good to receive the spinny serve.
- Advantages of Medium Pimple: they allow to development a very complete game. Medium pimples are more offensive than long pimples but less than Short Pimples. A good compromise for versatile players.
- Advantages/disadvantages of Short Pimple: the adhesion is weak, which allows them to be a little sensitive to the incoming ball effects.
- Our opinion: Short pips is ideal for blocking style and counter-attack, but allows only a little spin in topspin attack.
Type 3 – Pimple Out with Long Pips
Long Pips rubber can be used with and without sponge. If it is used without a sponge, the rubber is called as “OX Rubber”.
Long pips rubber is similar to short pips rubber, but the length of the pips is longer. The long pips facing out and “soften” the contact like a “grass”. (Long pips rubbers are also called as “grass rubber”).
Long pips will slow down the speed, therefore this type of rubber is suitable for defensive players. Not only, long pips are not sensitive to the incoming ball, but it can also “reverse” the spin of the ball. The topspin ball is returned as heavy underspin ball.
If long pimple rubber is used with a sponge (very thin thickness), the speed is higher than without sponge. But when you use without a sponge, the “deceptive reverse effect” is higher.
Advantage of “OX rubber” (long pimple without sponge): lighter racket with less elasticity, slower, higher effect, slowing down the rally and remove the speed and the spin (reversed) of your opponent’s shots.
The disadvantage of Long pimple: Harder to player offensively compared to a short pimple rubber, very hard to control the spin, very weak when playing far from the table.
When you want to combine these 2 advantages, you could consider using the “Medium Pimples” rubbers.
Type 4 – Anti Spin Rubber
Anti Spin is also called “Anti Top”, or “Anti Topspin” rubber.
Anti-spin rubber is an inverted rubber with a topsheet. However, the topsheet is not “tacky” or “grippy”. The topsheet is a smooth surface, which doesn’t generate any spin. So anti-top rubber behaves similar to long pimple rubbers. It can reverse the spin of the opponent.
But anti-spin rubber is slow, and less “deceptive” than the long pimple rubber. Normally, anti-spin rubber is used by a blocker who stays close-to-the table. Anti-spin is not offensive rubber, so it can’t be used on the forehand side to attack (like short pips). It’s often used on the backhand side.
The players who mixed normal inverted rubbers with an anti-spin, or pips-out rubber is called as “combi players” (combination setup).
So anti-spin rubber will neutralize the opponent’s spin, slow down the rally speed, and inverse some spin. Be careful, some frictionless anti-spin rubbers are banned by ITTF. Please check my tool above to verify.
- Pro/Cons: the effect of the opponent is reversed.
- Our advice: to use only in combination and in the majority of the cases, for a defensive game.
- Control: excellent,
- Adherence: very low,
- Speed: Slow
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