Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 7 years ago

Luke Styles

Luke Styles Asked 7 years ago

In tennis you hear grunting all the time but I never hear it in table tennis, when playing my offensive forehands I feel the need to make a quiet grunt.   Is this allowed in table tennis or would it count as distracting?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Luke,

Interesting… Because you are so close to the opponent it would be a bit intimidating.  You aren’t allowed to make a noise that would deliberately distract your opponent, so maybe it comes under that category.

In the Handbook for Match Officials it says:

An example of behaviour which might justify action by the umpire is shouting during play, in annoyance or elation, but in deciding how to react the umpire should take account of the environment in which it occurs. If the general noise level is so high that the player’s shouting is hardly noticeable, it is more sensible not to stop play but to wait until the end of the rally before speaking to the offending player. 


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Thoughts on this question

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

I wonder if the sounds that produced He Zhi Wen from time to time in this match (e.g. see rally at 0:30) can be classified as grunting :) I also noticed that I tend to vocalize when I make some physically demanding shots, like topspinning a hard to reach ball. Somehow it makes me more comfortable and confident but I wonder if it is annoying for my opponent to hear.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Hi Ilia,

I guess in some circumstances this could be thought of as grunting.  Do you think this would be annoying if you were playing against it.  I don’t think it would worry me.

Abdiel Maldonado

Abdiel Maldonado Posted 7 years ago

Interesting Question.

Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Posted 5 years ago

I came across this old ATC question and response along with others of similar vintage (asked 6yrs to 2yrs ago) while searching on "grunting in TT".  It is very interesting that since these questions were asked the incidence of foot stamping and grunting (ala tennis) has increased significantly.  I think it has come to the point where it is becoming as annoying in TT as it is in tennis.

Given there are no longer rules that specifically address this, is a player within their rights to request the umpire instruct their opponent cease the practice, if the ump. hasn't already done so?  

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

You can ask the umpire,  then it is their judgement call on whether it is affecting play.

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