Double service on the line

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 7 years ago

Tim B

Tim B Asked 8 years ago

Hi Pingskills,

In matches where the central umpire is absent and the game is adjudicated by the players themselves, what's the rule or protocol for resolving point disputes between the opposing players? We had a dispute last week when our doubles opponents claimed that my partner's service missed the serving court. We disputed the claim as we adamantly believed that the ball, at worst, touched the centre line after crossing the net. The opposing team then claimed that line balls are deemed "out", which we also disputed. After failing to find an official to clarify the rules, the point was eventually replayed. At the end of the match our opponents offered us a rather cold handshake and asked us to check the rules.

A google on table tennis rules seemed to indicate that line balls are considered "in"?

Rule 2.01.06:

"For doubles, each court shall be divided into 2 equal half-courts by a white centre line, 3mm wide, running parallel with the side lines; the centre line shall be regarded as part of each right half-court". 

Tom 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Tom,

Yes the ball is in if it lands on the line so you were correct on that.

Unfortunately there are no set rules when there is no umpire but the normal etiquette is that if both parties think differently then you replay the point.


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Thoughts on this question

Tim Stephens

Tim Stephens Posted 7 years ago

I agree, this situation can be contentious. Is it at all like Tennis, where the ball in "in" if it touches any part of the line? I have seen replays in "tennis" that puts the contact of the ball ALMOST out of the servers box with the exception of, for example, 10mm of the ball grazing the white line which makes the ball "in". In Table Tennis, must the ball be half way over the line 100% in the box or just a little in the box to be deemed a good service. I wish I could see you placing a ball on a table to answer this question. :^)


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Hi Tim,

If any part of the ball touches the line it is in. Here is the relevant rule:

"For doubles, each court shall be divided into 2 equal half-courts by a white centre line, 3mm wide, running parallel with the side lines; the centre line shall be regarded as part of each right half-court". 


Tim Stephens

Tim Stephens Posted 7 years ago

 Thanks Jeff for the quick answer. Just as a follow-up question, when you say if the ball touches any part of the line, are you referring to the circumference of the ball shadowing the line, or just the small amount of the ball that actually contacts the playing surface. I expect the first is true, the later would be almost impossible to see. I am not trying to win an argument with a player, but to teach others the best way to call serves in a doubles match to avoid unnecessary conflict and to keep it as fun as possible.

   BTW, thanks so much for other video responses to questions that have been very helpful to us newby's. :^)


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Hi Tim,

I think you are right.  If the ball covers the line in ay way I think it is usually called in.  I am not sure that is the intention of the rule but I would say that is how it usually plays out.  There is no 'Hawkeye' like in Tennis otherwise we may be able to get more accurate.



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