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What happens if the server is distracted during serving

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 5 years ago

Gerard McCarthy

Gerard McCarthy Asked 5 years ago

What should an umpire call in the following situation? A player starts the serve, moving the hand upwards with the ball in contact with the palm of the hand. There is a distraction of some sort, such as a loud noise on the adjacent court or a team mate or opposition team member watching from 2 metres to the side of the table moved quite a lot. The server holds the ball (the ball did not leave the hand at any time) and apologises with reference to the distraction. The umpire did not call a let himself and wasn’t intending to do so. Should the umpire call a let himself or should he call a fault and encourage the player to continue the play unless a let is called? As a player at club level I have done this a few times, and would like to know whether I should expect to lose the point if I do it again.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Gerard,

Technically it is a fault, however the umpire can warn the player.  The player should keep playing until a let is called by the umpire.

In practical terms, his should probably be a let in most cases.  It is not intentional by the server to put off the other player.

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