Swinging at the Ball

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 5 years ago

Mike Deubig

Mike Deubig Asked 5 years ago

Hi Coach,

I'm curious...during a rally when your opponent lobs the ball and it lands on your side of the table with a very high bounce, what if you totally missed that ball by accident, recover and then hit the ball back. Is that legal? I have done that in the past (on purpose) for entertainment purposes and it happened when I took my eye off the ball but I have never did that during a match. I know if you do that on a serve, it's the other guy's or gal's point! 

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Mike,

It is allowed to swing at the ball twice.  I have seen it done recently even on a return of serve and it was very effective... but very difficult to do.

Even on a serve if you miss it the first time and can somehow revere and hit it on the second swing it would be allowed...

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Arjan van Luttikhuizen

Arjan van Luttikhuizen Posted 5 years ago

I accidentally did this as well with a really high ball in a league match. Making a big smashing swing on the upward trajectory of the ball but missing it entirely and then when the ball was on the way down I was ready to drop it behind the net. My opponent was quite bamboozled and was trying to dispute the point but agreed later that since I did not touch the ball on the first swing it was allowed.

That's the important part here - you can only touch the ball once. As long as it is still in play you could spin a pirouette or do push-ups as long as you hit the ball back in time with a single contact.

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