What Do The Stars on Ping Pong Balls Mean (Explained)

What Do The Stars on Ping Pong Balls Mean

Being a beginner or a professional, you should know all about the stars on ping pong balls for a must. As you know, ping pong balls come in different qualities and varieties, as most have stars on them to define the recommendation and quality. 

So, what does the start on ping pong balls mean? The stars can guide what ball you should use for yourself or your kids. ITTF rules of table tennis balls are helpful in the majority of ping pong balls in the ranking of balls.

Let’s explore what the stars on ping pong balls mean, keep reading this helpful and informative post.

ITTF Rules About Ping Pong Ball

The official ping pong rules set by ITTF are:

  1. The shake of the ping pong should be spherical.
  2. The width of the ping pong ball should be at least 40 mm wide. That means that the diameter of the ball should be 40mm long. If it exceeds, then its length should be more than 0.5 mm.
  3. Celluloid or plastic should be used to make the ball.
  4. The ping pong ball should come with a weight of 2.7 gm.
  5. White or orange ping pong balls should be used.
  6. It is also recommended that international tournaments and events should be played with balls that meet the criteria mentioned above. 
  7. Other practice events and matches can be played with an ordinary ball not tested for the rules and standards.

Star Ratings on Ping Pong Balls

The star ratings on the ping pong balls define the quality of the ball and show how much ping pong ball fits the standard governed by ITTF. Yet, all ping pong balls are good quality and can be used for different purposes.

What Do The Stars on Ping Pong Balls Mean?

The ping pong balls having stars on them are rated. They ate denoted by a specific number of stars depending on how much they met the requirements for the ping pong game. Most of the balls meet the ITTF standards.

1 Star Ping Pong Ball

1 Star Ping Pong Ball

These table tennis balls are related to a 1-star classification group as these are the choice of school players and youth clubs. The used balls are made with soft material and cannot have hard hits for longer. They come in packs and are readily available on the market.

For a ball to be included in this category has to meet the standards of ping pong rules.

2 Stars Ping Pong Ball

A 2-star ball that does not meet ITTF standards falls into this category. They are orange or white, have a diameter of 40mm, and weigh about 2.7 grams.

You may also like to read the 2 stars VS 1-star balls.

3 Stars Ping Pong Ball

As compared to 2 stars balls, the 3 stars are verified and tested before release in international tournaments and events. The balls with 3 stars can hold harsh hits and stand for long periods. However the 3-star balls are approved for Olympics sports, therefore you can also use these balls for the Olympics.

The Three Ping Pong Ball Stars

Moreover, ITTF has listed companies capable of producing these 3 stars balls. The non-listed companies are not even included in ITTF but are good while checking these balls. Their 3-star-rated balls are used in many competitions.

Qualities of 3-Star Rated Balls

The best quality ping pong balls should meet the rules and regulations set by ITTF, as each year, the existing and new models are very carefully analyzed for this objective. Currently, 96 different models of different brands are permitted to have 3 stars.

The qualities of the 3-star-rated balls are:

Size: the ideal ball should come with a diameter of 40 mm, and 3-star balls should have a 0.5 mm deviation. This means that each ball should have a thickness between 39.5mm and 40.5 mm.

Material: the innovations in the ping pong balls should not be made of celluloid but plastic.

Weight: The best ping pong ball should come with a weight between 2.67 and 2.77 grams. However, the ideal weight for a table tennis ball is 2.7 grams.

Roundness: The table tennis ball should be round to more extent, for this purpose, the difference in minimum and maximum diameter should be calculated. The roundness should not be more than 0.25 millimeters and is made of plastic material and are new.

Another particular test measures the shape of the ping pong ball so that the ball can be rolled straight while coming down from a slope and should not be tilted in one direction.

Bounce: The bounce of the 3-star rated ball is very at the best level. If they are dropped from 30.5 cm, they should be bounced at least 24 cm and a maximum of 26cm.

Hardness: The computer-controlled devices are used to determine the hardness of ping pong balls.

Color: Most table tennis balls come in orange and white colors. Therefore, you can choose the official color of table tennis according to your game needs.

Labels: The new entries in table tennis balls are marked with 40, and the solder balls have 40mm.   

The factor that makes these balls different

Different Factors that Make These Balls Unique

3-star rated balls differ from other balls: durability and quality are the two main factors that make the difference in many ping pong balls.

Stars are awarded to balls of good quality and fit with the standards set by ITTF. It would help if you opted for those balls that should be an accurate fit for your game level

If you want to play only for fun, the low-quality balls can go for it, as long-level-quality balls would be as good as cheap ones.

Highly-rated balls are a good option if you want to take your game to a professional level. So getting used to the high-rated ping pong balls with 3 stars is essential.

Types of Ping Pong Balls

There are three main categories of table tennis balls in table tennis games:

  • 1) Practice ping pong balls: These are made of low-quality material, do not last for longer, and do not have a bounce.
  • 2) Standard ping pong balls: Standard ping pong balls comes with better quality and have 1 star on them, and are more durable
  • 3) Tournament ping pong balls: The highest-rated with quality material precisely measured and very durable for excellent bounce

Non-Starred Balls

Fun Balls

The fun balls are also referred to as novelty balls. These balls are a good option for children and can be used by many people in most recreational games However, these balls come with innovative features that make them attractive and appealing for simple games and good options for those who want different entertaining levels in their game plays.

We have seen while searching, that Ping pong balls are available in different colors and shapes. The textures of these balls are different and come in packages. Fun balls can be used in tournaments and events in many cases if they meet the standards and rules set by ping pong associations.

Practice or Training Balls

the practice balls are ideal for young players and beginner players, as these are specially made for those players who are not very good at playing table tennis. The balls cannot hold the hard hits and can be easily damaged.  

They can be used in competitions and comes in packs. They can be used in authorized games if they meet the standards of official table tennis rules set by ITTF.


Are there 4 stars ping pong balls?

4-star balls are 40 poly balls that are available best in the market and are tested for their higher durability, quality, and performance standards.

Are there 5 stars ping pong balls?

The 5-star balls do not exist, as the maximum quality comes with 3 stars.

What are the different stars for ping pong balls?

There are three types of stars on ping pong balls. One-star balls are soft, easy to break, and cheaper than 3-star balls. These balls are the most durable ones, and 2-stars come in the middle range.

What do stars mean in table tennis?

The higher the star rating level in table tennis, the faster and more advanced it will be. It offers less control and is more demanding for the player. If the bat comes with more stars, it will have more control and playing experience it needs.


So it was all about the definition of stars on ping pong balls. It concludes what the stars on ping pong balls mean and which are more durable. Now I hope if you read the above guide, you have got cleared the 1-star, 2-star, and 3-star rating means!

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