How to know if someone is using speed glue/ booster

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 9 years ago

Connor Johnstone

Connor Johnstone Asked 9 years ago

Hey Alois,

I have heard rumours recently of people using booster on their raquets in tournaments.

Is there any way to prevent people doing this as its cheating and unfair?

Also is there anyway to tell if someone is using booster (in open play or on racquets)?



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Connor,

Unfortunately this is a big problem.  The only official way is to have their bats tested. The machines that do this are very expensive and not readily available.

Some anecdotal ways that you can tell are that the ball hitting the bat will be louder and also from the smell coming from the rubber.

It is an unfortunate part of the sport at the moment.  Until someone can come up with a cheap way of testing for these chemicals, I don't think this will be fixed.

Of course players that are using these if they get to a high enough level will have to change their habits.  At major international tournaments there is racket testing that will catch them out.

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Thoughts on this question

Frendy Halim

Frendy Halim Posted 9 years ago

If you said that the ball hitting the bat will be louder, i always heard it in my club but not all of them, but i don't think so if they all use the speed glue and use it all the time as what i know is speed glue effect is very short about smell, i want to know what is the smell of speed glue as i don't have one and do every speed glue have each own smell or the same ?

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 9 years ago

I heard that Jun Mizutani boycotted ITTF events for a while in protest against the illegal use of boosters and still seems a problem even at the elite level.  I also recall reading a blog by Henzell for one of the international events he went to and how it was clear almost everyone was using boosters.  I don't know why the testing machines can't pick these out. 

Martin Elliget

Martin Elliget Posted 9 years ago

I think you may be right about the smell of speed glue only being evident for a short time after being applied. If the smell lasted a long time, then bat testers would just smell the bats. But, as Alois says, they need some pretty fancy equipment to detect if the illegal gas particles (VOCs),measured in parts per million, are present. This YouTube video shows ITTF testing at elite level (VOC testing is about 5 mins in).


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