Table tennis racket design

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  • #3
rcgldr
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For offense oriented table tennis rackets, the rubber and sponge combine to result in a very sticky and very bouncy surface for table tennis balls to bounce off of. Strings would reduce the spin, and would have to be very weak to work with table tennis balls, and the longer duration of the "impact" with weak strings would be an issue when dealing with a lot of spin.
 
  • #4
[Moderator's note: This post was originally in a separate thread, but has been moved here since it is basically the same topic as this thread.]

What would be the impact to the Lawn tennis and Badminton games if the raquets are changed similar to Table tennis racket i.e rubber and sponge instead of strings?

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar
 
  • #5
rcgldr
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The main issue is that the rubber and sponge used on table tennis rackets is dense, and would make both badminton and tennis rackets too heavy, and also there would be a lot of aerodynamic drag versus strings that can pass through the air with little drag. Also tennis balls would be too heavy for a relatively thin layer of rubber and sponge. It would be possible to use table tennis rackets for badminton, but the small size would make it more difficult, and racket speed would be slower since the handle is not long.
 
  • #6
DrClaude
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What would be the impact to the Lawn tennis and Badminton games if the raquets are changed similar to Table tennis racket i.e rubber and sponge instead of strings?
You would get something similar to platform or paddle tennis.
 
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  • #7
There are many subjects, including engineering, architecture, agriculture, medicine, cooking, and music, that were the result of thousands of years of trial and error, figuring out what worked best, and then just carried on through tradition and cultural practices, passed on by word of mouth, or the older people showing the younger people how to do it, without knowing how or why their practices, methods, or tools worked the best. Then, at some point, people start thinking of it differently, employing a bottom up approach, with increased scientific understanding of the underlying mechanism, with new scientific understanding of physics, chemistry, or biology, calculate from first principles, what would be the best way to do it, based on your understanding of how and why it works. This is always a major turning point because it is at that point that humans can actually take control of the subject, and design it to get a predicted preferred outcome, because for the first time, they actually understand what they are doing.

The history of sports followed the same pattern. All sports evolved over the course of hundreds of years of trial and error. People would modify existing sports by varying the parameters, such the number of players, the size of the playing area, the duration of play, the size and weight of the ball, modifying the rules, and they would find that the modification would either make the game less enjoyable, in which case, it would be discarded, or more enjoyable, in which case, it would be retained. The details of the rackets in the various racket games you listed is the result of centuries of tedious trial and error. You ask "What would happen if we used the wrong racket for a sport?" Answer: "It would not be as good. That is why we don't do it".

We are lucky that sports equipment design has finally made the transition to engineering design calculated from first principles, based on the underlying physics. APS News had an article discussing the physics calculations that went into the recent redesign of the official soccer ball, called the "Telstar 18" used in the World Cup. They did a lot of physics calculations, computer simulations, and experimental testing before they settled on the final design. You can read it here.

Bend it Like Bernoulli

https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201807/bernoulli.cfm
 
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  • #9
rcgldr
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People would modify existing sports by varying the parameters, such the number of players, the size of the playing area, the duration of play, the size and weight of the ball, modifying the rules, and they would find that the modification would either make the game less enjoyable, in which case, it would be discarded, or more enjoyable, in which case, it would be retained.
In the case of table tennis and probably some other sports, some changes were made in an attempt to make the game more enjoyable for spectators, not the players, such as going to a slightly larger ball (from 38 mm to 40 mm to slow the game down a bit), and playing to 11 points and best of 7 games (instead of playing to 21 points and best of 5 games). Some of the rules in table tennis are hold overs, such as the rule that requires the rubber on the paddles to have pips, but allows the pips to be on the inside, so that the outside surface is smooth (for more grip). There's also an arbitrary limit to how think the rubber + sponge can be, 4.0 mm.
 

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