Catching the ball that is served?

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 8 years ago

Pedro Aquino

Pedro Aquino Asked 8 years ago

Hi coach,

Is it allowed to catch a ball that is served to me due to distraction or due to not being fully ready?

Pete Aquino


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Pete,

Once the ball is in play you need to continue the rally.  The best thing is that if you are not ready you should turn your back to the table to make sure the umpire knows you are not ready.

The rule also says that play should be continuous so you should try to get ready straight away. 


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Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 8 years ago

When you see the professionals play, the receiver holds a finger up as they get themselves set to let the server know they are not yet ready.  I do the same and catch the ball if they serve without looking up.  Some players actually serve early as a ploy, often serving as soon as you toss them the ball and are still walking back to your side of the table.  I find these tactics particularly annoying.



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