Rule on distraction during serve

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 11 years ago

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Asked 11 years ago

Hi Alois

I might be the division coordinator next season for my pennant and therefore will be called upon to make rulings on disputes.  So I might be asking a lot of table tennis rule questions here!

From my understanding, it is legal for a server to stamp when contacting the ball.  Is this correct?  Is there anything the server is NOT allowed to do while serving that might distract the receiver (like grunting????).

Also, one of the things I like to do when returning serve in doubles is to quickly change my position during the toss to change a FH return to a BH return or vice versa.  This is in order to get the right side spin (curving in or out) for the right side, and also to add a seed of doubt in the server's mind (don't let them serve to a stationary target).  Someone once complained that this distracted their serve.  Is this legal?



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 11 years ago

Hi Ji-Soo,

Sorry for the delay.  I have been trying to get the definitive answer for this but it isn't forthcoming as yet.

My understanding is that when serving you can stamp your foot as long as you are not seen to be doing it to purposely distract the opponent and as long as it is not so loud that it would definitely distract your opponent.  I can't find the wording in the rules at this stage.

I think it is OK to move when you are receiving.  I have seen it done often and never been picked up as being illegal.

If I hear more I will add it.  Others may also have an answer to this.

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Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 11 years ago

Hi Graeme

Re:         The questions from Alois Rosario 1.    It is not illegal to stamp during a service.2.    There is no law regarding “grunting”.3.    If the server deliberately attempts to distract the receiver by unfair means the Umpire should call a let and tell the server to desist from such tactics as this may unfairly affect his opponent offend spectators or bring the game into disrepute.4.    Regarding the second sentence, it is legal. 

Angelo Tabone  

Hi Angelo, You are correct. Whilst there used to be a rule covering foot stamping, the only thing now in the rules covering this is under Misbehaviour, and the umpire just has to be sure that anything a player does will not unfairly affect his opponent. 



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 11 years ago

The comments above are from Graeme Ireland and Angelo Tabone two of the most respected umpire in Australia if not the world.

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