About the USCTTA


he United States Classic Table Tennis Association is a new organization formed for the purpose of encouraging the growth of Classic Table Tennis, as it was played throughout the world until the 1950's. The most significant differentiator of Classic Table Tennis from the modern game is the type of paddle used. A typical modern sponge-rubber paddle consists of a wood or carbon-fiber paddle covered on either side by a thin layer of soft sponge and then a sticky rubber hitting surface. The sponge-rubber surface in combination with the sticky rubber hitting surface permits a skilled player to generate large amounts of spin and speed when hitting the ball.

A Classic Table Tennis paddle (often referred to as a "hardbat") does not have a soft layer of sponge between the wood of the paddle and the rubber hitting surface. Further, the rubber hitting surface is pimpled and is not nearly as sticky. Players who use a hardbat can only generate a small amount of spin when hitting the ball. For most players, the speed at which the ball is hit is reduced slightly when compared to a sponge-rubber paddle.

This seemingly small difference in equipment has enormous consequences on the game itself. When played with hardbats, the game of table tennis is significantly different than when played with the modern sponge-rubber paddles. Since a hardbat can only generate a small amount on spin on the ball, much of the deception of the modern sponge-rubber game is removed, and the opponent's control of the return shot is enhanced. The advantage to the server is diminished considerably without the high amounts of spin. The classic hardbat game therefore tends to have longer rallies, is much more interesting to watch to the average spectator, and is also easier to begin learning since novice players cannot as easily be deceived by tricky spin serves and strange ball bounces off of the table (also due to excessive spin).

Supporters of Classic Hardbat Table Tennis generally think that the hardbat game is more fun! There are several places on the internet that have information on hardbat. You can visit these web sites for more information: