Racket and free hand rules

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 2 years ago

nischay tibrewal

nischay tibrewal Asked 2 years ago

Hello sir, I want to ask what happens if the ball touches the playing hand or forearm, game continues or we lose point immediately ? Second, what if the playing hand touches the table while game play ? It will be a great help if you can mention the ITTF rulebook rule number for these issues. 

Thank you 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 2 years ago

Hi Nischay,

If the ball touches the playing hand and goes back on it is a good shot.  Up to the wrist is considered part of the bat.  Therefore if it hits the forearm it is a point against you.

2.5.7 A player strikes the ball if he or she touches it in play with his or her racket, held in the hand, or with his or her racket hand below the wrist.

The only thing that isn't allowed to touch the table is your non playing hand.  Therefore if the playing hand touches the table that is OK.

2.10.1 Unless the rally is a let, a player shall score a point

2.10.1.11 if an opponent's free hand touches the playing surface

 

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Thoughts on this question

Gabriel Orozco

Gabriel Orozco Posted 2 years ago

Would it be okay to hold the racket by its rubber? I once slammed the ball to my opponents backhand side, he switched hands and held the racket by its rubber and hit it back. He missed the shot, but I was wondering if he did would be legal?


Arjan van Luttikhuizen

Arjan van Luttikhuizen Posted 2 years ago

It's legal to switch the racket between hands during a rally, at least there are no rules indicating otherwise that I know of. At that point your racket hand and free hand simply switch roles. There also isn't any rule stipulating where a racket should be held. As long as the material is competition legal one is allowed to hold it in any way they see fit.


nischay tibrewal

nischay tibrewal Posted 2 years ago

Thank you Alois sir


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 years ago

No problems Nischay.


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 2 years ago

Hi Alois,

How old/new is rule 2.10.1.11?

I was playing roughly a year ago against an opponent (who is a registered umpire with TT Victoria). I hit the ball short so it just fell over the net. He was forced to stretch across the table to get to it, but because he's of short stature, he rested his opposite hand so not to fall and get to the ball. He ended up smashing the ball which I couldn't get back. BUT if he didn't rest his opposite hand, he would not have gotten to the ball.

I asked if him touching the table was illegal, but another registered umpire that happened to be watching our game, and my opponent, both said that the rule is you CAN rest your hand on the table, you can even stand on the table!!  As long as the table doesn't 'move'. Therefore him resting his opposite hand and NOT moving the table was ok so he won the point.

I'm not sure how long my opponent has been a registered umpire with TT Vic, but the other umpire watching is a respected umpire, so I just took his word for it, but rule 2.10.1.11 says the complete opposite??

Your thoughts?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 years ago

The rule is definitely that you can't touch the table with your free hand.  You can touch it with your racket hand.  I am not sure what happened in your situation but it clearly says that in the rules.


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 2 years ago

It was 100% clear to everyone watching he touched the table with his other hand to lean in without losing his balance, which is why they both said "you can even stand on the table", this was to emphasise it was ok to 'touch' the table. Just not 'move' it.

Hmmm will definitely be showing them this article next time I see them.

Thanks Alois


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 years ago

Did he touch the table playing surface or the side of the table? 


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 2 years ago

Left hand, top of the table, close to centre. Smashed with right playing hand.

If he didn't 'support' himself with his opposite hand, he would have fallen over and onto the table with his body. But he didn't 'move' the table laughing


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 years ago

That is really strange Beauford.  But definitely not legal.


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 2 years ago

Thanks for confirming.


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 2 years ago

Hi again Alois.

Sorry if this is hijacking the thread but it's in line with the initial question and hopefully it could be helpful for others??

I've discussed this with the player and seeing it was from around a year ago, I messed up one little detail.

My opponent, used his opposite hand AFTER the smash (and me not being able to get to the ball) to stop himself from falling onto the table. Therefore (in his logic) the point was over...

My logic is if you're unbalanced after playing a shot, the point is still not over and if the only way to make the shot is to be unbalanced, then that can't be my fault. That's putting me at a disadvantage now. And it defeats the purpose of me making that shot in the first place. You using your hand after the shot now puts me at a disadvantage because now I can't get to the shot that you got without needing assistance from your opposite hand.

So this now also raises the question of 'when is the point considered over'? This is starting to feel a bit pedantic now yell

Alois, your thoughts?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 years ago

The point is considered to be over when the ball bounces twice basically.  So that  is why it would have been allowed.

It is difficult to make another rule I think about remaining balanced till a further point in time.


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 2 years ago

That makes sense. Thanks for your time.


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 2 years ago

Hi again Alois,

This (opposite hand touching the table) happened again last night during a final against my team mate :-)

I was watching from the side lines and everyone looked at me when it happened. I said nothing as I wasn't umpiring.

After the game, the discussion started again and this time I argued that it was ok as I made your point of the point was already over. Everyone found the conversation/arguments interesting.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 years ago

Glad it helped in some way.



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