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How much bigger can the rubber be than the blade?

Watching some of the professional table tennis players, I noticed that the rubber attached to their blades, is slightly bigger than the blade itself.

I'm assuming this gives them a slight advantage in terms of extra distance at which their paddle can reach. or is it something else?

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Rule 2.04.01 of the ITTF rules and regulations states

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

But Rule 2.4.4 states that the rubber covering

may extend up to but not beyond the limits of the blade

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Although there is no restriction on racket size, shape or weight there are restrictions for rubber covering the racket.

From ITTF rules and regulations handbook 2017,

Rule 2.4 The Racket

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.

So, rubber can be 2.0mm or 4.0mm thick depending on type of rubber.

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.

Rubber attached to professional table tennis players blades, is slightly bigger than the blade itself is not true because rule clearly mention rubber cannot extend beyond the limits of the blade.

Other source: allabouttabletennis.com

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