Ir sensor issues

Hi all,
I've been working on a single player beer pong game and am having technical issues with the sensors...
Admittedly I've not got a coding background, but have pieced together useable code...using scratch
So as pingpong ball passes sensor going g thru 2 in pvc pipe, the led on sensor blinks, but the arduino only picks up around 1 in 20.. I'm chalking it up to the ball passing to there a way to make the board more sensitive to the output of sensor..
As I said the code seems to work 100 when I stick fingers in pipe, and poorly with pingpong ball...I have found that white balls dont work at all, and black ones will work if rolled but not falling with gravity...

Why do you ask all these questions, but never tell us what you are using? We can't see any of the data sheets/technical details of what you are using.

Can you guess that the white balls don't work because they are transparent to IR? Use regular light, like a white LED and a sensor for visible light, like a LDR or a photo diode.