Are longer breaks between points better for the game

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 6 years ago

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Asked 6 years ago

Hello Alois and Jeff,

I know there was a show with a PQOTH about this but i can not find it. How can i find this discussion? Actually it belongs to that discussion.

I have an Opinion to this, that i think, There is no need to make this game faster. I think opposite is the case. I think, people dont get much into it, cause it is too fast for them. Most people who watch sports on tv, want actually a show. The extreme case of is american football. For an european like me, a completely strange sport. But if you see it from another angle, like probably many americans do, just having a party with friends and looking at the game simultaneously. You need those lots of brakes to drink beer, eat barbecue and icecreme and have fun with friends.

Table tennis is at the moment extremely not that case, because of the fast and quite complicated features it has. A good comentator can barely keep up with what happens (Adam Bobrow does it great) but, as a spectactor, you have to stay concentrated/focused all the time. and its hard. especially if you dont play tabletennis.

So here is my solution. May be its somehow strange, but i think it would work great. I think,  time limits between the points would solve a lot. And i dont mean just a time limit how long you can wait, but also one how long you have to wait between the points. there would be a rule for broadcasted matches, lets say, of at least 10 sec. brake and at most 20 sek. Execution very simple, with kind of traffic lights. after each point the umpire presses a button, the light goes red for 10 sek. in this time its not allowed to play the next point. afterwards the light turns green for another 10 sek in this time the server has to make the serve.

So this precious time is great for in my opinion neccesery sowed down replays and a thorough commentary with some analysis. may be also some gadget things like computers wich show how fast the ball was, or at what rate it spun. Once people start to understand things they will follow a lot more.

So is also a kind of rythm set inbetween the points. Very often the players leeding want to make the game fast, and the loosing want to slow down a bit between points. Such a regulation would even such things out.

And the most importand spectactor will have always his 10 to 20 sek for a beer.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Marcin,

What a unique and really interesting idea.  At first you look at it and think that can't work... however, you might just have a great idea if not at least a discussion point.

Cricket, even the newer faster version has breaks of at least a minute in between balls.

Having had the chance to commentate some matches, it is difficult to even review the previous point when there is a decent break between points.  When they are rushing it is impossible.  As a spectator it would be difficult to analyse what is happening.

What do other PingSkillers think?

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Thoughts on this question

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

I think that as it will lead to longer matches, this change may become a real logistical and administrative challenge for the tournament organizers. The whole organization can also become more expensive, and as Table tennis doesn't have that lot of money...

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

I also think this rule is impossible to implement on amateur level. And who wants a situation when pros and amateurs play with the different rules.

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Posted 6 years ago

I think its Not really a table tennis rule change. 


Although it's easy to do it in the club level for example a rised umpire hand substitutes the red light. It doesn't nessecerely has to be used until quarterfinal of a broadcasted event. 

It's more of a help. Like in other sports you have already. In Real Football you have the goal camera. No regional club or league has it. In other sports you have tv prooving options. There are very often differences.

also the times I propose are negotiable, so that the game doesn't get too long. Could be 10sek and 5 sec or whatever works well. The most pros do they preparation anyway. But this will create a predictable time slot for anyone. It will get a rhythm wich result in a fluent game and good commentary.

Marcin Lonak

Marcin Lonak Posted 6 years ago

In a extreme version the player who waisted time would loose a point. That would be of course a rule change.

in a lite (for me preferable) the player would become just a go! Or a warning or something like that. If the player seves too early it's a let.  But it won't happen.

may be a very little rule fiting is nessecery but not a really a change.

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 6 years ago

Hi there,

I think the Super Bowl and a table tennis match are two very different things, so I'm not sure applying the recipes of the former to the latter would work. Table tennis is fast and short in time. Players don't need long breaks to recover physically. They would even be detrimental to their rhythm and concentration I think. Team events are better suited for that kind of "social events" you describe I think. When 2 teams of 3 players meet, that's 6 matches (when they don't stop at "whoever reaches 4 points first", which I think for the spectators they shouldn't) and about 2.5 hours. There you could force longer breaks between matches, and an extended break after the 3rd match for having a drink or making room for the next one. During these downtimes commentators could analyse matches deeper, with chosen replays. One could also consider giving longer breaks between sets. Like 3 minutes instead of just 1. Players could use it to better prepare their next set with their coach, without getting physically cold. Again, commentators could use this time for analysis and replays. I don't think implementing a minimum time of 10 sec between points would bring much. If you watch current matches, around 10-15 sec is what already naturally happens most of the time. When the previous point was a real rally, players will take this time to catch their breath and walk around to relax and refocus on the next point. Or they will need that time just to get the ball that landed at the end of the large court. Only when the previous point was really short, like a serve error or a return into the net, will the time between points be less than 10 seconds. As you mentioned, the current time between points is rarely enough to do a detailed analysis, process and display data about the shots, magnified super-slow-motion replays etc. For that kind of stuff, you'd need something like 30 sec at least, and that's way too much for the players. So I think I'd rather expend the time between sets and matches to allow for deeper analysis by the commentators. Also don't forget that the live spectators won't get any of this, so one should be careful also not to make things boring for them.

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 6 years ago

BTW Marcin, the show you're looking for is number 207 (I guess there were more answers on the FaceBook page):


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