If you have ever watched competitive table tennis matches, you have never seen athletes wearing white shirts. Why is that because tennis, another racket sport has an iconic color choice of white, and even in some tournaments, white is mandatory? What makes such a big difference where white isn’t ever used in one and exclusively used in the other.
In this article, I will explain why you never see table tennis players wearing white, what they use instead, and more about the subject.
But first, can table tennis players wear white?
According to the International Table Tennis Federation rules, the main color of playing clothing shall be clearly different from the ball. Given that all competitive matches are played with white tennis balls, you can’t wear white in table tennis.
This, of course, applies only to competitive games, so if you are a recreational player, you can wear whatever you want, from a formal suit to nothing but a bathrobe.
Now, let’s take a closer look at why you can’t wear white in table tennis so you can really comprehend the rules of ITTF. By the way, learn more about the ITTF Rules here.
Why you can’t wear white in table tennis?
As we learned, you can’t wear white in table tennis because the matches are played with a white ping pong ball. This makes it really hard to see the ball when you are looking at your opponent and trying to find a white ping pong ball in the sight of a white shirt.
Table tennis is one of the fastest sports in the world, each millisecond counts in time, and when you can’t see the ball properly, your time to react and receive the ball will be decreased, which will decrease the whole quality of the sport.
The modern table tennis Olympics, International contests, and other tournaments of note are often played with a blue or teal table with a red background and floor. For this reason, the contrast of the color white is best suited and designed for these competitions.
As a result, a white ball is used, and the contrast cant is messed up by a simple t-shirt as the table, floor, and even surroundings have been so carefully thought out and specifically designed.
Why only white balls are used in competitive matches?
The reason why only white balls are used in competitive matches isn’t just for the sake of it. In fact, the International Table Tennis Federation has done excessive research about the best color combinations, contrasts, and environments to optimize the ball’s visibility for the players and both live and tv audiences.
According to the research results, table tennis clubs and arenas were designed to follow the guidelines and colors the ITTF showed. This is why only white balls are used in table tennis because nearly all the places where the sport is played have colors designed for white ping pong balls.
Imagine how hard it would be to see a ping pong ball across a television if the contrasts would be poorly thought out. It would be horrible to watch table tennis where you can’t see the ball.
What clothes are worn in table tennis tournaments?
ITTF rules state that playing clothing shall consist of a short-sleeved or sleeveless shirt and shorts or skirt or one-part sports outfits, socks, and playing shoes. The main color of the clothing shall be clearly different from the ball’s color.
There are many other rules and regulations to the clothes one might wear in table tennis tournaments, but the most important ones are what clothes you can use and what color.
Difference between orange and white ping pong balls?
You can’t really wear white in table tennis if you are playing with a white ball. So, what are the differences between an orange and white ball?
Orange and white ping pong balls differ in color. White balls are the standard because they stand out the best in a competitive environment and against the ping pong table. Orange balls are often used as training balls where the environment can be lighter than in a competitive tournament.
If you want to understand what goes behind the rules and contrasts fully, check out my article about it, where I go over the subject in-depth.
Why are table tennis rackets red and black?
As you might have learned, there is a lot to know about colors in table tennis. Another big color aspect of table tennis is considering the rackets. Why are the two rubbers always red and black?
The rubbers on a table tennis racket are red and black because of game transparency. A racket can be equipped with two rubbers with different characteristics and quickly change during a match. Thus, for game fairness, the opponent needs to know which one you are using at all times.
My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my preferred table tennis equipment that I believe you could benefit too!
- Racket: My favorite racket choice is the beautiful Killerspin Jet800 because it fits my offensive and speed-focused playstyle. The two carbon layers, 2.1mm sponge, and 190g weight makes this racket powerful.
- Ping Pong Balls: New technology and design have made the JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Balls stand out from the other balls. These balls are seamless, meaning they are more durable than any ball with a seam! Even when these balls come at a higher price, they will pay themselves quickly. As a bonus, the design makes me excited!
- Table Tennis shoes: The famous Butterfly Lezoline Rifones is my choice as it is for many others because they are designed specifically for table tennis standards. I like the excellent support, comfortable cushioning, and lightweight sole with great traction, which gets you exploding fast to whatever direction you need to.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.