Breaking the Ball on the edge of the Bat during a Rally

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 2 years ago

Stefan Zampier

Stefan Zampier Asked 3 years ago

Hi my name is Stefan. I'm 24 years old from the US and play around a 2200 level. I just had an interesting situation that I encountered the other day while playing and was looking to get other peoples thoughts about it.

What happens if you're in the middle of a rally and your opponent goes for a forehand loop. While attempting his loop, he hits the ball on the edge of the bat, the ball breaks and goes flying away from the table. Would that mean playing the point over because the ball broke during the rally? Or...should it be your point because the ball had broke during your opponent's swing and didn't mess up the rally in any way up until that point. It's a little hard to explain what I mean, but I think you get the idea. 

What we did after that happened in my match, is just played the point over. But, I believe, that since the ball had broke during my opponent's attempt, I should be the one who wins the point since it didn't have any effect on the rally before he attempted his swing. Interested to see what people have to say. Thanks a lot


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 years ago

Hi Stefan,

I agree with you, the point should be awarded against the person who hit the ball because the ball breaking didn't effect the rally.  His hitting the ball with the edge of the racket was the cause of the breaking.


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Thoughts on this question

Stefan Zampier

Stefan Zampier Posted 3 years ago

If this was to happen in a tournament, how would, or should it be ruled? Thanks again for your response. Keep up the great work, you guys are doing great.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

It would be a point against the person that hit the ball.


Marius Darian

Marius Darian Posted 3 years ago

Something like this happened during the Ovtcharov vs Fan Zhendong match in the Grand Finals.


Stefan Zampier

Stefan Zampier Posted 3 years ago

Yeah I saw that same Dima match you're referring to. That's exactly what I mean. I recently found out that a new rule was implemented about a year ago regarding the new plastic ball. It says something like, if the ball was to break at any time during a rally it would be considered a let and the point must be done over. 


Marius Darian

Marius Darian Posted 3 years ago

The official ITTF rule is very ambiguous:

"2.9.2 Play may be interrupted

2.9.2.1 to correct an error in the order of serving, receiving or ends;

2.9.2.2 to introduce the expedite system;

2.9.2.3 to warn or penalise a player or adviser; 

2.9.2.4 because the conditions of play are disturbed in a way which could affect the outcome of the rally."

What exactly does 2.9.2.4 mean? How is "affect the outcome" applied? If the ball breaks slightly on an otherwise clear winner, is it a let or not?

There is a lot of talk on the subject, but I couldn't find anything really conclusive:

http://www.tabletenniscoaching.com/node/2052

http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=70263&title=rules-question-ball-breaking-during-play

http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=70926&title=rule-about-broken-balls


Temitope Ogunsanya

Temitope Ogunsanya Posted 3 years ago

I suggest on a fair play rule the serve should be re-serve by the player who serve the ball before it breaks in the middle of rally.


Marius Darian

Marius Darian Posted 3 years ago

You're saying it should always be a let. I would agree since it would be very subjective to say "the rally would have been over anyway".


Temitope Ogunsanya

Temitope Ogunsanya Posted 3 years ago

Fair Play is the best solution. This same issue happens today 20/01/2017 at ITTF World Tour Hungarian open 2017 between POTA Georgina (HUN) vs LI Fen ( SWE) the serve was re-serve you can watch it on this link --  https://tv.ittf.com/livestream/ittf-world-tour-hungarian-open-day-2-table-3/718548


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

I have had contact from the great Graeme Ireland, Super Ref:  These are his comments:

"I was just having a look at the rules questions (which I do periodically) and noticed that there is quite a bit of discussion on a recent thread regarding the ball breaking during a rally. The correct answer is that it should always be a let."


Michael Hodges

Michael Hodges Posted 2 years ago

Whether the ball is hit by the surface with rubber or on the side (wood) ,or indeed by the handle and the ball breaks the point should not be awarded and a let played. All parts of the bat are regally able to be used when hitting the ball. The following could be deemed useful. But also remember if the tables were turned, would you want a let called. Of course it also depends whether players are playing within the rules and those of fair play. Was there an referee scoring this match, of course it would also be their decision. 

 

Disturbance – 2.9.1.3 – if failure to make a service or a return or otherwise to comply with the Laws is due to a disturbance outside the control of the player

 

Interruption of play - 2.9.2.4 because the conditions of play are disturbed in a way which could affect the outcome of the rally.



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