Service - False Start

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 8 years ago

Brian Coakley

Brian Coakley Asked 8 years ago

My opponent lifts his arm with the ball in it, in a motion similar to a toss, but does not actually toss the ball, the ball remains resting in his hand. He does this in an attempt to entice the receiver to move prior to an actually serve, and be off-balance for the actual serve. He'll sometimes repeat the motion 2 or 3 times before serving the ball.

It's not clear to me whether this is a legal tactic, annoying as it may be. The distraction rule comes to mind, since it's clear he's looking to catch the receiver off guard but he doesn't seem to be breaking any service rules. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Brian,

This would be a fault.  In the rues the servce starts before the ball is tossed up.

Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of the server's stationary free hand.  

Therefore the serve would have started.  He would be called a fault in competition. 


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