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2014 US National Championship to Introduce Nittaku Premium 40+ Poly Ball – Final Decision

By Michael Babuin, PhD, P.G. | Sept. 06, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

Mike Babuin

CHAIRMAN'S BLOG    September 2014

2014 US National Championship to Introduce Nittaku Premium 40+ Poly Ball – Final Decision

After further discussions and consideration of suggestions from our general membership, our High Performance Committee, our High Performance Director, our Tournament Advisory Committee, our Officials, several Elite Athletes, our Para Director, and several Board members, USATT has decided to utilize the Nittaku Premium 40+ poly balls for all events to be held at 2014 Nationals. While this is a departure from information shared a month ago, we have had ample input and assurances that the new Nittaku Premium 40+ poly ball is the best option for our upcoming National Championship.

The input leading to this decision included direct input from both the Nittaku company, the official ball sponsor for USATT, and Paddle Palace, the distributor for Nittaku products in the US. They have assured us that the Nittaku Premium 40+ ball will be available in October of this year. In order to assist members making the transition, USATT and Paddle Palace are working together on providing a promotional offer for USATT members entering the 2014 Nationals.   

USATT thanks all of the members who have taken the time to provide input into this watershed decision. You have played a critical role in helping USATT refine and resolve competing considerations, and helping determine the best choice available for seamless execution of our National Championship.  When exploring uncharted waters, it is wise to seek varying opinions and perspectives before a final decision is rendered. USATT has listened.

Specifically, the following individuals have taken much time and effort in sharing their experience and thoughts related to this important topic, and I want to personally thank them for their contributions, perspectives, and support for the new poly ball. Special thanks go to Doru Gheorghe, USATT High Performance Director; Carl Danner, Chair of the USATT High Performance Committee; Sean O’Neill, USATT Director of Communications; Jim Butler, US Men’s National Team member; Wendell Dillon, International Umpire; and Jasna Rather, USATT Para Program Director. (Note:If anyone was left out, please forgive the unintentional oversight.) In addition, Sean O’Neill has offered to sit down with any member at the Nationals and discuss the transition to playing with the new poly balls. I urge all members to take advantage of this opportunity (as long as Sean is not in the middle of broadcasting matches!).

Hoping to see all of you in Las Vegas in December!  


Mike Babuin, Chairman

USA Table Tennis