Limiting Illegal Serves

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 6 years ago

Mike Deubig

Mike Deubig Asked 6 years ago

Hi Coach,

I was watching the finals of the 2016 Butterfly Arnold Table Tennis Challenge. It was interesting to see an offensive player going against a more traditional chopper. However, and I come across this from time to time. I see players like the one in this tournament hide the ball with their body when they serve and the umpire never calls it! 

Perhaps the umpire doesn't see it from his point of view, but from a spectator's angle and definitely from a players angle, it is obvious. If the umpires are not calling it, why don't these players who have trouble seeing the ball because the server's body is in the way, complain to the umpire? After all, this could affect if they win or loose a match!  

I have a suggestion, one could add two more umpires on each side (behind the players) however, this would be too labor intensive. My suggestion is this...Set up two cameras on each side which has a direct angle at the server, players should be encouraged to bring it to the attention of the umpire, if there is a dispute between the players about the serve, then use the camera's replay to resolve it. What do you think or do you have a suggestion that might work as well? 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Mike,

This is such a problem in our game. The umpire is not in the best position to make the call and players often just forget about enforcing the rule because it is too difficult to prove.

I don't have a solution.  We have had a few discussions on this matter on the site including in this show. PingPod #42 - Change the Service Rule.

The camera idea is a good one but not practical at most levels of the game.

All suggestions are always welcome.


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