Time to serve

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 3 years ago

Emil Palm

Emil Palm Asked 3 years ago

So I've been sitting now and reading the rules for 20 min but can't find it. 
From that you grab the ball and stand by the table how LONG do you have to serve? Like I've seen in some VM/OS matches that the player get a yellow card for "Delaying the serve" and I know there accualy is a timelimit but I can't find it. 
So how long do you accualy have to serve from the moment that you grab the ball and stand by the table. 
(We have some people in our series that stand there for allmost 1 min to serve) That's the reason I ask


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 years ago

Hi Emil,

There is no actual time limit placed on it but play needs to be continuous.

It is a bit discretionary on the umpire but it is something that the umpires usually get pretty right.  You can tell if a player is just delaying and that is when the umpire needs to step in.

In the Handbook it says that the Umpire is responsible for: maintaining the continuity of play;


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Thoughts on this question

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 3 years ago

Happened to Ma Long in his final against Fang Ze Dong at the Qatar open.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

Yes looked like they were strict on it for that tournament.  This is a problem.  That is what Ma Long had been doing for a long time and suddenly they become strict on it and he had to change his routine. I noticed he did the same thing later in the match and the umpire didn't say anything.


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 3 years ago

I guess they didn't dare to give him a red card, which is what should happen if you repeat a behaviour that already cost you a yellow card. At some point after the yellow flag it almost seemed like he pushed it intentionally, like in a game of chicken with the umpire.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

I think you are right.



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