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Should every pro match have equipment info?

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    Posted: 04/15/2024 at 12:24pm
Just had a look at the 'what equipment are the pros using' thread and it reminded me of how strange it is that a player's equipment (including rubber thickness) isn't simply something that is made public for every match. Since players need to use approved equipment and since equipment affects all shots played, surely it should be announced what is being used. 

'In the first semifinal of today, Timo Boll is playing with his signature Boll ALC and Max thickness Dignics 09c on both sides. He will be facing long time Donic ambassador Dimitri Ovtcharov, who is playing with a Butterfly InnerForce ALC with custom Donic handles and Tenergy 05 in max on both side!' 

(I know this example isn't contemporary in both meanings of the word but I couldn't think of an equally famous equipment cheater.)

Surely, if the umpire checks it and if players check it, we, the people buying the product (in both senses of the word again) ought to be informed of what's being used!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EquipmentWatch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2024 at 10:15pm
There would be tremendous pushback from manufacturers if tournaments implemented what you suggest. On the subject of sponsored players using different equipment than that of their sponsor, however:

Lily Zhang, longtime Joola-sponsored player with Tenergy logo visible on her backhand rubber, photo from Westchester Feeder, 2022:

Additionally, it looks like her blade is a handle-swapped one as well: https://rlondon.smugmug.com/Table-Tennis/Tournaments/World-Table-Tennis-Feeder-Westchester/i-w49D8bg

Reminiscent of Patrick Baum's, from years ago.

Then there's Diaw, playing with Korbel SK7 when he came to Westchester in 2023, though under contract with Andro at the time: https://rlondon.smugmug.com/Table-Tennis/Tournaments/Table-Tennis-Westchester-Open-October-2023/i-JMQr2n3/A
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mts388 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2024 at 12:43pm
Is there any sport where the type of equipment the players use is announced?  If I use the same equipment the pros use, will I be able to play like one?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon_plays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2024 at 11:42am
I still think this should be information that's available to those who would like to see it. 

And why would manufacturers not be in favour of this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon_plays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2024 at 11:44am
Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

Is there any sport where the type of equipment the players use is announced?  If I use the same equipment the pros use, will I be able to play like one?  

A1: In a sport where there is a list of authorised racket coverings which manufacturers have to pay for their products to go on I feel this makes sense. 

A2: Yes. It's just your skill holding you back. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EquipmentWatch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2024 at 4:21pm
I agree with you on this -- I would like this information too.

But I think manufacturers would push back for exactly the reason in your OP -- the embarrassment of having their contracted players being outed for using equipment other than theirs. Donic, Joola, Andro etc. would have their reputation suffer greatly for contracted players being officially announced as using Tenergy/Dignics/etc. Personally, I believe that the brands know that this is happening, but feign ignorance or turn a blind eye.


Edited by EquipmentWatch - 04/17/2024 at 4:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RDinTN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2024 at 5:16pm
So who is Mizuno sponsoring? It looks like very few players like their sponsors shoes! As far as rubber and blades go; could the player be testing other companies equipment at smaller events so the sponsor gets a better idea of what they need to do to improve? What a better way to test than under the crucible of competition. Stiga made a ton of money from selling Xu Xin's racket but he didn't use their rubber and I remember getting a BTY calendar with Kong Linghui  listing his blade and backhand rubber - not his H3N.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon_plays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2024 at 2:56am
The fact that every CNT player uses a DHS rubber on their forhand is well-known and I assume even for someone like FZD, with his range of Butterfly blades, not an issue and probably laid out in contracts. With shoes, a lot of players wear their sponsor's footwear and I would assume that those who wear Mizuno are either sponsored by them or do not have a shoe sponsor. 

As for testing of equipment, this happens in the practice hall, not at official events. What use would it be of player X showed Tibhar that he's better with Dignics at a small event? Would Tibhar then take that information and try to make their rubbers even more similar to Butterfly's?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EquipmentWatch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2024 at 4:34pm
Originally posted by RDinTN RDinTN wrote:

So who is Mizuno sponsoring? It looks like very few players like their sponsors shoes! As far as rubber and blades go; could the player be testing other companies equipment at smaller events so the sponsor gets a better idea of what they need to do to improve? What a better way to test than under the crucible of competition. Stiga made a ton of money from selling Xu Xin's racket but he didn't use their rubber and I remember getting a BTY calendar with Kong Linghui  listing his blade and backhand rubber - not his H3N.


Who is Mizuno Sponsoring? Hirano and Nagasaki, with shoe ambassadors Hayata and Ito: https://jpn.mizuno.com/players/tabletennis?pid=dicstt_top

Testing other companies' equipment at smaller events? Yeah, try again. Doesn't make any sense at all.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EquipmentWatch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2024 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by Simon_plays Simon_plays wrote:

The fact that every CNT player uses a DHS rubber on their forhand is well-known and I assume even for someone like FZD, with his range of Butterfly blades, not an issue and probably laid out in contracts. With shoes, a lot of players wear their sponsor's footwear and I would assume that those who wear Mizuno are either sponsored by them or do not have a shoe sponsor. 

As for testing of equipment, this happens in the practice hall, not at official events. What use would it be of player X showed Tibhar that he's better with Dignics at a small event? Would Tibhar then take that information and try to make their rubbers even more similar to Butterfly's?


Yeah I was thinking less of the CNT players' sponsors taking issue with equipment being announced and documented, and more Donic (when Ovtcharov used Tenergy, for example), Andro (see Diaw above), Joola (Lily Zhang, the Naresh brothers, Habesohn: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ittfworld/16575014361/), etc. Even Wang Liqin played with a Stiga Offensive CR for years with a DHS handle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2024 at 10:28pm
Equipment nerdism gone wild
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Rubber Fh and Bh DHS Hurricane 3, 39/38deg

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