Table Tennis England has postponed the introduction of the new plastic ball because of a lack of widespread availability.

Consequently, the celluloid ball will be used at the first two Grand Prix events of the season – at Liverpool on August 16-17 and at Medway on September 6-7.

The ITTF had previously decided that the new plastic ball would be introduced in ITTF competitions from July 1, 2014, and Table Tennis England confirmed that it would be used at the three National Championships and all Grand Prix events next season.

However, with stocks running low, it has now been agreed by the Table Tennis England Board to postpone its introduction.

Table Tennis England CEO Sara Sutcliffe said: “We always recognised this would be a transitional year and that there may be practical difficulties to address, particularly concerning supplies of the new ball.

“We feel it is important to take a common-sense approach and also to make an early decision to avoid any confusion as the events draw closer.”

It is still intended to introduce the plastic ball at the National Championships and later Grand Prix events, though Table Tennis England will continue to adopt a watching brief concerning supplies of the new ball and may issue further guidance in due course.

Apart from the above events, those responsible for all other aspects of Competitive Table Tennis (as defined in the Regulations) will be able to choose either celluloid or plastic balls until July 1, 2015 when use of the plastic ball will become mandatory for all Competitive Table Tennis in England.

July 8th, 2014

Editor’s note: It is a decision for leagues which ball will be used. Clubs then abide by that decision.