Dealing with a sweat ball serve

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 8 years ago

gavin bedford

gavin bedford Asked 8 years ago

Hi Alois and Jeff,

Living in the tropics and playing in 30+ degrees and 80 percent humidity a sweat ball is going to be a fact of life. My 13 year old son is a good player and improving, but keeps coming up against a couple of people that continually serve a sweat ball (up to 4 a game), and amazingly seem to do it when they are losing. They hit a flat serve so it goes on the table. They say it is by 'accident' but refuse to replay the serve with a dry ball. I feel this a mind game to upset my sons play, and while I am not sure it is illegal, in my mind it isnt really in the spirit of the game. What would be your thinking on this, and how would you suggest I advise my son?



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Gavin,

This is a difficult situation especially living in the tropics.

Usually at the top level, if this happens the player will show the opponent their bat with the wet patch on it and they will agree to replay the point.  However, in your son's situation, it is probably tough to do this.  Perhaps he needs to insist that the opposition dries the ball well before each serve.  I would show the wet patch to the umpire as well to make sure they are aware of it.

Maybe others have had to deal with this and can give you some help as well.

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