3 years ago
Jeff: Welcome to the PingPod, the Ping Pong podcast by PingSkills. I'm Jeff Plumb and with me is Alois Rosario.
Alois: How are you Jeff?
Jeff: I'm good thank you. Today Alois, we're going to talk about the service rule.
Alois: Ohh no, the service rule.
Jeff: Yes the service rule. It's very controversial, it's hard for the umpires to police, we need to do something about it don't we?
Alois: It's really difficult. You know it's hard for the umpires to police but you know where I reckon it's the hardest? It's at club level.
Alois: Because at club level your mates are umpiring for you, your team mate, or one of your opponents and it becomes really messy and difficult to call all of these rules with serving.
Jeff: Yeah so I think the main ones that are contentious are hiding the ball and then sometimes even throwing the ball up the sixteen centimetres.
Alois: Yeah it is. So that one is definitely one at the club level, you know players that haven't played much before and getting the feel of throwing the ball up to that level but then yeah the one about the hiding becomes really difficult probably when you get to that next level.
Jeff: Yes OK. Alright so we've had a few ideas that we've seen around the times do you want to tell us about some ideas?
Alois: Yes, so one idea from Phillip Boyle, one of the great table tennis players of our time, suggested the tennis serving rules so you're serving across court so that way you've only got half the court to cover and then forget about all the other rules and you can serve however you want basically.
Jeff: However you like?
Jeff: OK. I'm not sure, what about even throwing it into your bat and..
Alois: Oh yeah maybe not.
Jeff: OK but in terms of the hiding rule
Alois: Yeah the hiding rule
Jeff: Now, and then you serve one across one way, one across the other way like tennis?
Alois: Yeah I think one across one way and one across the other way although we left handers probably just like to serve across that way so maybe we just leave it at the right diagonal?
Jeff: No way
Jeff: No both.
Jeff: So if they can hide it now how is that going to improve this for table tennis?
Alois: So it just makes it easier to police for the umpires so they, I mean the umpire sitting over there trying to decide what's happening over there and whether the person there can see the ball and whether it's between these two net posts, it's just too difficult. Too difficult for those poor umpires they've got enough on their plate to keep track of the players and that sort of thing, that's just, you just can't call something from the middle of the table sitting over there.
Jeff: Not when you're meant to be calling it from the point of view of the player, of the returner.
Jeff: And I guess the point about serving to only one half of the table is that it reduces the effectiveness of the serve which is what that not hiding it was meant to do so this reduces the effectiveness of the serve without making it harder on the umpires so that's got to be a good thing.
Alois: Yep, so maybe from here on in we'll call it the Phillip Boyle rule.
Jeff: OK. Another suggestion I've heard and read about on Larry Hodges blog is that both umpires have to be able to see the ball from where their sitting so it's no longer about what the returner sees but what the umpires see.
Alois: Yep, so I think at that highest level that can probably work. Again the only problem there is then when you get to the club level you're flat out trying to find an umpire, you know you've got to go and beg sometimes at club level and at local tournament level so then to try and find two umpires and then for them to police that rule again maybe a little bit difficult but yeah at that top level that's not a bad one is it?
Jeff: And you know say don't have any umpires at all, then I guess the original rule about the server, the server could just call it?
Alois: Yes but..
Jeff: That would cause at the club level
Alois: At the club level
Jeff: But then that would cause
Alois: It's a mine field
Jeff: Cause a lot of arguments if you kept getting faulted by your opponent.
Alois: Yeah exactly.
Jeff: So again Phillip Boyle's rule then is quite easy to, I like it.
Alois: Yeah I like it.
Jeff: Do you reckon we should have a bit of a try and see what it's like?
Alois: Yep, let's do it.
Jeff: Alright, let's go. Let's have a try.
Alois: So with this I've only got half the table to cover. Oh geez.
Jeff: But that was fast.
Alois: That was fast. Alright I'm ready for you now Jeff.
Alois: So it does tend to even up the odds a little bit more into the receiver's favour. Alright let's go the other way now.
Alois: OK, so Jeff's going to serve on the right diagonal.
Jeff: Oh good shot.
Alois: It does even up the odds a little bit because I've only got half the table to cover and the fact that he's hiding the serve doesn't really affect me too much so even though I can't see the contact I've only got half the area to cover so it's not so bad.
Alois: Oh yeah I don't know about serving on that diagonal. Us left handers don't like that so much. So yeah I need to change the angles up a little bit but how is it there for you Jeff.
Jeff: Yeah it's a little bit strange.
Alois: Jeff's going the backhand over there. I'm going to go down the line. He's leaving a big gap for me.
Alois: Ohhh, so the hiding of the serve makes it harder but I've only got half the table to cover.
Alois: What are you doing now? Oi. I couldn't see the contact.
Jeff: Well that was a bit of fun Alois.
Alois: Yeah, so what do you think?
Jeff: I think you need to improve your serves!
Alois: Sure. So I think it does balance up the average a little bit by just cutting it down to one side and even though you were doing those slimy sneaky serves that I couldn't see.
Jeff: Yeah I think that it balances things up but it would definitely change the game quite a lot because I found that when I served from that forehand side my backhand side was wide open and it really would change up how played the game you'd have to think about your tactics from serving out wide and how you'd cover up that area. And even the same when I was kind of stepping around to serve from my backhand side, I was going to play a forehand most of the time but then that again, it just changes the perspective of the game.
Alois: It does, doesn't it. So when you're serving in doubles from out there you've got your partner to cover the next ball but this would change the dynamics a lot but as far as the actual thinking about the serve and the effectiveness of the serve, not a bad idea.
Jeff: Yeah it definitely makes returning serve easier and you know that from doubles if you only have half the court to return you know it's coming to that area it's a lot lot easier.
Alois: Yep, so Phillip Boyle you might be on to something
Jeff: Yeah. Alright. So everybody leave a comment. Let us know what your thoughts are on Phillip Boyle's idea and Larry Hodges idea about the two umpires as well and if you've got any other ideas that you think would solve this service rule problem that everybody keeps talking about. Thanks guys.
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