Nittaku 3-Star Premium 40+ balls are a new non-celluloid, plastic ball. It is made in Japan. It is ITTF approved and legal for all ITTF sanctioned tournaments.
This ball is the highest quality poly ball, with outstanding durability, roundness, and consistency. It is made with special poly material available only to Nittaku. The label on the ball says “Nittaku Premium 40+” and “Made in Japan”. Packaged in boxes of 3 balls. Available in white only.
The Nittaku 3-Star Premium 40+ ball is the official ball of USA Table Tennis, used at the US Nationals and US Open, as well as major tournaments throughout North America. It is the official ball for the 2017 World Championships in Germany. It is used worldwide in major tournaments including the TMS 2014 European Table Tennis Championships in Lisbon, the Liebherr 2015 ITTF European Table Tennis Championships in Ekaterinburg, the 2015 ITTF World Team Cup in Dubai, the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Sendai, and the 2016 Tokyo Open.
Q & A about the new Poly Balls:
The introduction of the new plastic “Poly Ball” for table tennis has created a lot of excitement in the table tennis world. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions with answers:
1) What is the new ball rule?
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) passed a resolution that all ITTF events after July 1, 2014, must use non-celluloid plastic balls.
2) Are celluloid balls no longer legal?
Celluloid balls continue to be legal for the sport of table tennis. The ITTF continues to approve celluloid balls. All the of the 3-star balls available here are legal for tournament play.
3) Which tournaments are affected by the ITTF resolution?
ITTF Sanctioned tournaments only are included in the resolution. This includes the World Championships, the ITTF World Tour, ITTF Junior Circuit, and ITTF sanctioned continental events.
4) Are USA tournaments required to use the new ball?
No. Domestic tournaments can choose to use any approved ball, either celluloid or non-celluloid.
5) Why did ITTF make this resolution for a new plastic ball?
Celluloid is a plastic, but it is a flammable material that has restrictive international shipping and storing regulations. Celluloid was once a widely used industrial plastic, but it is no longer a common material. Table tennis balls were one of the last products on the market still made with celluloid.
6) Have table tennis balls always been made of celluloid?
No. Non-celluloid plastic balls were used in competition decades ago. And for many years, low quality recreational plastic balls have been available. But the new ITTF approved competition grade balls are a big improvement over the “toy” balls, and they also have been improved since the first prototypes were produced over a year ago.
Nittaku has a 2-star poly ball made in Japan, the Nittaku 2-Star Superior 40+ Ball. This is an excellent lower-cost alternative to the 3-star balls. It is an excellent quality ball made with the same materials and in the same factory as the Premium 40+.
7) What color is the new ball?
At this time, only white balls are available. Eventually, the new plastic balls will be available in both white and orange.