Best time to bring a player up on their illegal service

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 5 years ago

Beauford P

Beauford P Asked 5 years ago

I was playing comp recently and my team mate was playing a singles match against our opponent. The opponent was back playing from a nearly 3-4 year hiatus and was serving out of his hand. I could see my team mate getting frustrated with it (but was too shy to say anything) and the umpire (the opponents team mate) didn't know you can't serve out of your hand so was saying nothing either.

I waited for the game to end, then mentioned it to the opponent while they were changing sides. He was a bit flabbergasted and apologised, but then said, but everyone does it, to which I replied "then I'll tell them also when I play them". It was a close match but my team mate ended up winning in 3 straight games.

At the end, the opponent came up to me and apologised again, but said "sorry for doing it, but maybe next time would it be better if you told me after the match as it sort of put me off my game?" To which I apologised, and told him that wasn't my intention, but I waited until the end of the game as you were doing something illegal and it was putting my team mate off HER  game and the umpire wasn't aware or he should have told you DURING the point!

Everything was all good in the end, but my question is when is the right time to bring someone up on their illegal service if the umpire is not taking care of it? In between points, games, or after the match or at the end of the entire match?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Beaufort,

I think in the circumstances what you did was OK.  In theory though, it is up to the umpire to make those calls during a match so you should have waited till the end of the match.

It is always a difficult situation with the rules in that situation where you are not relying on experienced umpires.  Your manner and his attitude probably was what got you through the situation. With more fiery characters this could have had a whole different outcome.

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Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 5 years ago

Thanks Alois.

The frustrating thing is though, in club level competition, the umpiring is shared between each player and most players at my level don't know 1/5th of the convoluted TT rules :-). As I have OCD when it comes to sports and rules, I often bring players up when a rule is broken that gives someone an advantage over another. This is usually during serving, but 2 points on that. 1) Most players I 'politely' call up on illegal serves roll their eyes at me then keep on doing it, or don't do it against me but go back to doing it when I'm not around. 2) Being the umpire at my level of comp has no authority during a game, so anything said gets the same reaction as point 1.

BUT in the end, it's on me to work on not letting it affect ME :-)

Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 5 years ago

Typo: 1/50th

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

The rules are difficult with serving, especially at club level.

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