Rubber colour

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 7 years ago

Saketh R

Saketh R Asked 11 years ago

Is there a rule that we should use only red and black rubber, If it is there why only red and black why not different colours.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 11 years ago

Hi Saketh,

Yes, you do have to use one side red and one side black.  This is so the opposition player can tell clearly which rubber you are hitting the ball with.  This was brought in when Anti-spin was very popular so that opponents can tell whether you are hitting it with rubber or anti-spin.  They initially brought in a rule that said they had to be two distinctive colours but players were bending the rules by using black and blue rubbers which at times can be difficult to tell apart.  That is why now they have to be Red and Black.  You also have to make sure that the red is a bright red.  Players can still be pulled up if their rubber is a dark red.

Notify me of updates
Add to Favourites
Back to Questions

Thoughts on this question


D K Posted 7 years ago

I think he also wanted to know why it is not for example a blue-yellow combo

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 7 years ago

I used to think that all you needed to comply with was having two rubbers of two different colours, whatever those colours would be. Like, why not, yellow and blue. Until I looked at this "ITTF Handbook for Match Officials" that Alois referred to on another occasion. There it clearly states, in 7.1.1 "A striking surface of the racket must be covered with one of the specified materials and, whether covered or not, one side must be red and the other black."

So it's no coincidence that the ITTF approved rubbers are all either red or black.


D K Posted 7 years ago

I now about it,Jean.

I just wanted to know the reson why ITTF has chosen these colours.

And I think that Saketh wanted it too.

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 7 years ago

Now that's a question for a table tennis historian... Apparently, step 1 has been "two different colours", and only later step 2 "red and black". Obviously, they were looking for two colours with the maximum difference, hence not red and orange for example. But why red and black... I started playing after this regulation was implemented, but I remember my father had a bat with two red rubbers. So maybe red was the mainstream colour initially, and black was the easiest and most efficient change to make for the rubber manufacturers?

Interesting idea from the last commenter here: rubbers of the same colour as the table would make it harder to instantly be aware of which side of the racket is used. Therefore no green and no blue. Not too many options left out then.

Become a free member to post a comment about this question.