BASIC RULES OF TABLE TENNIS According to THE ITTF

The Table

The top surface of the table, known as the playing surface, shall be rectangular, 2.74m long and 1.525m broad, and shall lie in a horizontal plane 76cm above the floor. The playing surface shall not contain the vertical sides of the tabletop. The playing surface shall be uniformly dark coloured and matte, but with a white side line, 2cm wide, along each 2.74m edge and a white end line, 2cm wide, along each 1.525m edge.

The playing surface shall be divided into two equal courts by a vertical net running parallel with the end lines, and shall be continuous over the whole area of each court. For doubles, each court shall be divided into two equal half-courts with a white centre line, 3mm wide, running parallel with the side lines; the centre line shall be considered part of every right half-court.

The Web Assembly

The net assembly shall consist of the net, its suspension and the supporting posts, including the clamps attaching them to the table. The net shall be suspended by a cord attached at each end to an upright post 15.25cm high, the outside limits of this pole being 15.25cm outside the side line. The surface of the net, along its whole length, shall be 15.25cm above the playing surface. The bottom of the net, along its whole length, will be as near as possible to the playing surface and the ends of the net shall be attached to the supporting posts from top to bottom.

The Ball

The ball shall be spherical, with a diameter of 40mm. The ball will weigh 2.7g. The ball will be made of celluloid or similar plastics material and shall be white or orange, and matt.

– The racket may be almost any size, shape or weight but the blade shall be flat and rigid.

– At least 85 percent of the blade depth shall be of pure wood.

Definitions

– A rally is the period that the ball is in play.

– A let is a rally of which the result is not scored.

– A point is a rally of which the result is scored.

– The server is the player due to strike the ball first in the rally.

– The receiver is the player due to strike the ball second in a rally.

– The ball shall be regarded as passing over or around the net assembly if it passes anywhere other then between the internet and the net post or between the internet and the playing surface.

The Service

Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of your server’s stationary free hand. Since the ball is falling the server shall strike it so that it rolls their courtroom and then, after passing over or around the net assembly, touches directly the receiver’s court; in doubles, the ball shall touch successively the correct half court of server and receiver.

From the start of service until it’s struck, the ball shall be above the level of the playing surface and behind the server’s end line, and it will be hidden from the receiver from the server or their doubles partner or from whatever they wear or carry. As soon as the ball has been projected, the server’s free arm and hand will be removed from the distance between the ball and the net.

The distance between the ball and the net is characterized by the ball, the net and its indefinite upward extension. It’s the obligation of the player to function so the umpire or the assistant umpire can be fulfilled he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and possibly may decide that a service is incorrect.

If either the umpire or the assistant umpire is not sure about the legality of a service they might, on the first occasion in a game, disrupt play and warn the server; but any following service by participant or his or her doubles partner that’s not clearly legal shall be considered erroneous. Exceptionally, the umpire may relax the requirements to get a correct service at which he or she’s satisfied that compliance is prevented by physical disability.

The Return

The ball, having been served or returned will be struck so that it passes over or around the net assembly and touches the opponents court, either directly or after touching the internet assembly.

The Order of Play

In singles the waiter will earn a first service and the receiver shall make a return and then alternately shall each make a return.

In doubles, the server shall first make a support, the receiver will then make a return, the spouse of the server shall then make a return, the spouse of the receiver will then make a return and thereafter each player in turn in that sequence shall make a return.

A Point

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

If an opponent fails to make a right service;

If an opponent fails to make a correct return;

If, when he or she has left a service or a return, the ball touches anything aside from the net assembly before being struck by an opponent;

If the ball passes over her or his court or outside his or her end line without touching his or her court, after being struck by an opponent;

If an opponent obstructs the ball;

If an opponent intentionally strikes the ball twice in succession;

If an opponent strikes the ball with a side of the racket blade whose surface doesn’t comply with the requirements of 2.4.3, 2.4.4 and 2.4.5;

If an opponent, or anything that an opponent wears or carries, moves the playing surface;

When an opponent, or anything that an opponent wears or carries, touches the net assembly;

When an opponent’s free hand touches the playing surface?

If a doubles opponent strikes the ball from the arrangement established by the first server and first receiver;

as provided under the expedite system (2.15.4).

If both players or pairs are in a wheelchair due to a physical handicap and

His or her opponent doesn’t maintain a minimum contact with the chair or pillow (s), together with the rear of the thigh, when the ball has been struck;

Their competitor rolls the table with either hand before striking the ball;

His or her opponent’s footrest or foot touches the ground during play.

As provided under the order of drama (2.8.3).

A Game

A game will be won by a player or pair first scoring 11 points unless both players or pairs score 10 points, when the video game shall be won by the first player or pair subsequently gaining a lead of two points.

A Match

A game shall consist of the very best of any odd number of games.

The complete version of this’Laws of Table Tennis” is available under the”Governance” section of the TTA website or by clicking on the next

1. THE LAWS OF TABLE TENNIS

2. THE SERVICE • Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of the server’s stationary free hand.

• The server shall then project the ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises at least 16cm after leaving the palm of the free hand and then falls without touching anything before being struck.

• As the ball is falling the server shall strike it so that it touches first his or her court and then, after passing over or around the net assembly, touches directly the receiver’s court; in doubles, the ball shall touch successively the right half court of server and receiver.

• From the start of service until it is struck, the ball shall be above the level of the playing surface and behind the server’s end line, and it shall not be hidden from the receiver by the server or his or her doubles partner or by anything they wear or carry.

3. • As soon as the ball has been projected,

the server’s free arm and hand shall be removed from the space between the ball and the net.

The space between the ball and the net is defined by the ball, the net and its indefinite upward extension.

• It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and either may decide that a service is incorrect.

• If either the umpire or the assistant umpire is not sure about the legality of a service he or she may, on the first occasion in a match, interrupt play and warn the server; but any subsequent service by that player or his or her doubles partner which is not clearly legal shall be considered incorrect.

• Exceptionally, the umpire may relax the requirements for a correct service where he or she is satisfied that compliance is prevented by physical disability.

4. THE RETURN •

The ball, having been served or returned, shall be struck so that it passes over or around the net assembly and touches the opponent’s court, either directly or after touching the net assembly.

5. THE ORDER OF PLAY •

In singles, the server shall first make a service, the receiver shall then make a return and thereafter server and receiver alternately shall each make a return.

• In doubles, except as provided in 2.8.3, the server shall first make a service, the receiver shall then make a return, the partner of the server shall then make a return, the partner of the receiver shall then make a return and thereafter each player in turn in that sequence shall make a return.

• In doubles, when at least one player of a pair is in a wheelchair due to a physical disability, the server shall first make a service, the receiver shall then make a return but thereafter either player of the disabled pair may make returns.

However, no part of a player’s wheelchair nor a foot of a standing player of this pair shall protrude beyond the imaginary extension of the center line of the table. If it does, the umpire shall award the point to the opposing pair.

6. A LET The rally shall be a let:

• if in service the ball, in passing over or around the net assembly, touches it, provided the service is otherwise correct or the ball is obstructed by the receiver or his or her partner;

• if the service is delivered when the receiving player or pair is not ready, provided that neither the receiver nor his or her partner attempts to strike the ball;

• if failure to make a service or a return or otherwise to comply with the Laws is due to a disturbance outside the control of the player;

• if play is interrupted by the umpire or assistant umpire;

• if the receiver is in wheelchair owing to a physical disability and in service the ball, provided that the service is otherwise correct,

• after touching the receiver’s court returns in the direction of the net;

• comes to rest on the receiver’s court;

• in singles leaves the receiver’s court after touching it by either of its sidelines.

7. Play may be interrupted

• to correct an error in the order of serving, receiving or ends;

• to introduce the expedite system;

• to warn or penalize a player or adviser;

• because the conditions of play are disturbed in a way which could affect the outcome of the rally.

8. A POINT •

if an opponent fails to make a correct service; • if an opponent fails to make a correct return; • if, after he or she has made a service or a return, the ball touches anything other than the net assembly before being struck by an opponent; • if the ball passes over his or her court or beyond his or her end line without touching his or her court, after being struck by an opponent; • if an opponent obstructs the ball; • if an opponent deliberately strikes the ball twice in succession;

9. • if an opponent,

or anything an opponent wears or carries, moves the playing surface; • if an opponent, or anything an opponent wears or carries, touches the net assembly;

• if an opponent’s free hand touches the playing surface;

• if a doubles opponent strikes the ball out of the sequence established by the first server and first receiver;

• if both players or pairs are in a wheelchair due to a physical disability and his or her opponent does not maintain a minimum contact with the seat or cushion(s), with the back of the thigh, when the ball is struck;

• his or her opponent touches the table with either hand before striking the ball; • his or her opponent’s footrest or foot touches the floor during play.
10. A GAME

• A game shall be won by the player or pair first scoring 11 points unless both players or pairs score 10 points, when the game shall be won by the first player or pair subsequently gaining a lead of 2 points.
11. A MATCH

• A match shall consist of the best of any odd number of games.

12. THE ORDER OF SERVING, RECEIVING AND ENDS

• The right to choose the initial order of serving, receiving and ends shall be decided by lot and the winner may choose to serve or to receive first or to start at a particular end.

• When one player or pair has chosen to serve or to receive first or to start at a particular end, the other player or pair shall have the other choice.

• After each 2 points have been scored the receiving player or pair shall become the serving player or pair and so on until the end of the game, unless both players or pairs score 10 points or the expedite system is in operation, when the sequences of serving and receiving shall be the same but each player shall serve for only 1 point in turn.

• In each game of a doubles match, the pair having the right to serve first shall choose which of them will do so and in the first game of a match the receiving pair shall decide which of them will receive first; in subsequent games of the match, the first server having been chosen, the first receiver shall be the player who served to him or her in the preceding game.

13. • In doubles, at each change of service the previous receiver shall become the server and the partner of the previous server shall become the receiver.

• The player or pair serving first in a game shall receive first in the next game of the match and in the last possible game of a doubles match the pair due to receive next shall change their order of receiving when first one pair scores 5points.

• The player or pair starting at one end in a game shall start at the other end in the next game of the match and in the last possible game of a match the players or pairs shall change ends when first one player or pair scores 5 points.

14. OUT OF ORDER OF SERVING, RECEIVING OR ENDS • If a player serves or receives out of turn, play shall be interrupted by the umpire as soon as the error is discovered and shall resume with those players serving and receiving who should be server and receiver respectively at the score that has been reached, according to the sequence established at the beginning of the match and, in doubles, to the order of serving chosen by the pair having the right to serve first in the game during which the error is discovered. • If the players have not changed ends when they should have done so, play shall be interrupted by the umpire as soon as the error is discovered and shall resume with the players at the ends at which they should be at the score that has been reached, according to the sequence established at the beginning of the match. • In any circumstances, all points scored before the discovery of an error shall be reckoned.

15. THE EXPEDITE SYSTEM •

the expedite system shall come into operation after 10 minutes’ play in a game or at any time when requested by both players or pairs.

• The expedite system shall not be introduced in a game if at least 18 points have been scored.

• If the ball is in play when the time limit is reached and the expedite system is due to come into operation, play shall be interrupted by the umpire and shall resume with service by the player who served in the rally that was interrupted;

• if the ball is not in play when the expedite system comes into operation, play shall resume with service by the player who received in the immediately preceding rally.

16. • Thereafter, each player shall serve for 1 point in turn until the end of the game, and if the receiving player or pair makes 13 correct returns in a rally the receiver shall score a point.

• Introduction of the expedite system shall not alter the order of serving and receiving in the match.

• Once introduced, the expedite system shall remain in operation until the end of the match.

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