High Toss Allows more Spin

Table Tennis Serving

Last updated 3 years ago

Nick Singer

Nick Singer Asked 3 years ago

I've often heard that using a higher toss allows the server to apply more spin, but I can't figure out why.  Can you please explain?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 years ago

Hi Nick,

You can get more spin because the ball is falling at a faster speed when it hits your bat and so the the ball and bat contact speed becomes greater.


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Nick Singer

Nick Singer Posted 3 years ago

Thanks, Alois.  I see how the contact speed is increased, but I don't see how that affects the spin. The ball velocity is strictly downward, which is perpendicular to the way the bat is swinging on, say, the backspin pendulum serve. (It's perpendicular almost any way you slice it, pun intended.)  So that downward velocity wouldn't seem to contribute anything to the spin. Or does it?

I dunno, maybe the ball with greater downward velocity falls deeper into the rubber/sponge and thus has greater dwell time, allowing greater spin.

Thanks again for your guidance!


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 3 years ago

"maybe the ball with greater downward velocity falls deeper into the rubber/sponge and thus has greater dwell time, allowing greater spin." That's exactly it, for a backspin serve.

For a topspin serve, the faster ball coming down + the bat coming up will result in a faster contact, compared to the same serve with a ball falling slower. With a high toss, you can achieve quite a lot of topspin just by letting the ball drop and stumble on your bat, if you have a grippy rubber.



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