Hiding Service

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 2 days ago

Jack Tan

Jack Tan Asked 3 months ago

I've watched many ITTF tournaments and couldn't help but notice that quite a few players hide the contact point of their serves. It's impossible to notice from the standard viewing angle, however the slow motion recap shows it all. So far, I've seen 2 variations of this. The first one is moving the non-dominant arm aside during the ball's downward trajectory. It's made to look as if the ball can be seen throughout the entire service motion, however in reality the non-dominant arm hides the ball just as it touches the racket. Another variation is hiding the ball behind the chin. After tossing the ball upwards, the player makes a very subtle forward movement which allows them to hide the ball behind their head/chin during its downward trajectory. I feel so frustrated whenever a player who hides their service wins an outright service point. What are your thoughts about this?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 months ago

Hi Jack,

This is a big problem in the game.  I am not sure of an answer apart from throwing out the rule and allowing players to do whatever they want in this regard.  This would mean a more level playing surface as those who try to do the right thing won't be disadvantaged.

Would be interested to hear other reader's thoughts.


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Thoughts on this question

bert jansen

bert jansen Posted 3 months ago

Having the ability to hide the serve along with having a marked ball (lines/stripes) where you can see the spin would be the ultimate solution in my opinion. However ball transitions are the horror of every table tennis player as we're still dealing with crappy balls due to the plastic transition. 


R Baggy

R Baggy Posted 2 days ago

Isn't it hiding the ball during the serve is cheating? Yes, it is an advantage hiding the ball but you are not playing fair. Winning by cheating is a moral issue if you have self-respect.



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