Recently I was wondering how does a table tennis ball differ based on the weight and size of balls from other racket sports. This is interesting because the size and shape of ball affect the physics of any game and how that particular sports racket is created. Table tennis racket is made of rubber(sometimes composite) but most other rackets mostly use different type of strings or paddles. Let’s take a look at size comparison of other racket sports such as tennis, ping pong, squash, pickleball, cricket etc.
The size and weight affects the physics of racket sports!
Table tennis balls have undergone many changes from size to material. After 2000 Olympics the balls were 38 mm which used to contribute more to spinny game and then the size got increased to 40mm. Recently the table tennis balls material was changed from celluloid to plastic which has changed table tennis to a more physical game which lesser spin. Even other racket sports balls have changed over the years but let’s compare and have a look at the current size and weights of racket sport balls.
Let’s take a look at different racket sports balls and their differences.
|Sport||Ball Size (mm)||Ball Weight (gms)||Comparison with Table Tennis Ball|
|Cricket||71.3 to 72.9||155.9 to 163.0||Heaviest and bigger|
|Golf||42.67||45.93||Heavier and bigger|
|Tennis||65.41 to 68.58||56.0 to 59.4||Heavier and bigger|
|Pickleball||73-75.5||22.1 to 26.5||Heavier and bigger|
|Polo||76 to 89||99 to 130||Heavier and bigger|
|Pool||57 +/- 0.127 mm||160-170||Heavier and bigger|
|Racketball||57||40||Heavier and bigger|
|Squash||39.5 to 40.5||23 to 25||Heavier but smaller|
Just for comparison, Badminton shuttle is not a ball but it is also quite light with weight of 4.75 to 5.50 g (0.168 to 0.194 oz). It has 16 feathers with each feather 62 to 70 mm (2.4 to 2.8 in) in length, and the diameter of the cork is 25 to 28 mm (0.98 to 1.10 in).
Just from the ball size and weight, the sport changes drastically! Isn’t this a wonder of nature :)