Questions have recently been asked about whether table tennis bats and rubbers used by some players in the LDTTL are “legal”.  The ITTF and Table Tennis England laws regarding this subject are very clear;

Size, shape and weight – 2.4.1 – The racket may be of any size, shape or weight but the blade shall be flat and rigid.

Material – 2.4.2 – At least 85% of the blade by thickness shall be of natural wood; an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller.

Pimples – 2.4.3 A side of the blade used for striking the ball shall be covered with either ordinary pimpled rubber, with pimples outwards having a total thickness including adhesive of not more than 2.0mm, or sandwich rubber, with pimples inwards or outwards, having a total thickness including adhesive of not more than 4.0mm.

Rubber pimples – – Ordinary pimpled rubber is a single layer of non-cellular rubber, natural or synthetic, with pimples evenly distributed over its surface at a density of not less than 10/cm2 and not more than 30/cm2 .

Sandwich rubber – Sandwich rubber is a single layer of cellular rubber covered with a single outer layer of ordinary pimpled rubber, the thickness of the pimpled rubber not being more than 2mm.

Covering material – 2.4.4 – The covering material shall extend up to but not beyond the limits of the blade, except that the part nearest the handle and gripped by the fingers may be left uncovered or covered with any material.

The blade – 2.4.5 – The blade, any layer within the blade and any layer of covering material or adhesive on a side used for striking the ball shall be continuous and of even thickness.

The surface and colour – 2.4.6 – The surface of the covering material on a side of the blade, or of a side of the blade if it is left uncovered, shall be matt, bright red on one side and black on the other.

Treatment – 2.4.7 -The racket covering shall be used without any chemical, physical or other treatment.

Accidental damage – – Slight deviations from continuity of surface or uniformity of colour due to accidental damage or wear may be allowed provided that they do not significantly change the characteristics of the surface.

Inspection – 2.4.8 – At the start of a match and whenever he changes his racket during a match a player shall show his opponent and the umpire the racket he is about to use and shall allow them to examine it.

Brand – 2.4.9 – The racket covering shall be of a brand and type currently authorised by the ITTF.

Change of racket – 2.4.10 – A racket shall not be changed during an individual match unless it is accidentally damaged so badly that it cannot be used.


In summary, all rubbers used on table tennis bats used in the LDTTL and all other local table tennis leagues must comply with Section 2.4.9 of the ITTF and TTE laws which states “The racket covering shall be of a brand and type currently authorised by the ITTF.”

If a player wishes to make a complaint about the rubber used by another player then a note must be made of the supplier, Brand and condition of the rubber.  All rubbers must also clearly display the ITTF logo on the rubber.

Two times a year the ITTF publishes a List of Authorised Rubber Coverings (LARC) which shows the list of table tennis rubbers which are currently authorised by the ITTF.  If a table tennis rubber is being used on a blade and it is not listed on the current LARC list then it is illegal.

A copy of the current LARC is shown in the Download tab on the top of the TTE365 Home Page.


Tom Purcell

LDTTL Organising Secretary



Author: via Liverpool Table Tennis League
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