Changing sides at 5 points in deciding game

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 8 years ago

Walt Rayta

Walt Rayta Asked 8 years ago

I know that in a best of 5 match the serving team can choose to switch sides of the table when serving in the deciding game when 5 points are reached.  However, if the play continues beyond 5 points and sides are not changed can a team still decide to switch sides at any point after that?  Or does it have to happen at the 5 point mark?  Thanks, Walt.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Walt,

When the first team reaches 5 in the deciding game you must switch sides.  This is not an option of the serving team.

If you are playing doubles, you also have to change receivers.  If you were meant to be serving to me for the next point, you now serve to my partner.

I hope this clears up the rule for you. 


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Walt Rayta

Walt Rayta Posted 8 years ago

Hello Alois.  I am finally getting around to asking you a followup question to this.  Still not totally clear on the rule.  If we are in a doubles match game 5 and did not change ends and receivers when 5 points were reached (everyone forgot) are you still able and/or required to change at any point before the match ends when it is discovered?   Thanks, Walt.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

Hi Walt,

If the players forget to change ends and receivers, all the points still stand.  Once you realise you should play on with the order that it should be at that point onwards.

This is the wording in the ITTF rules:

2.14  OUT OF ORDER OF SERVING, RECEIVING OR ENDS 
2.14.01  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. 
2.14.02  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. 
2.14.03  In any circumstances, all points scored before the discovery of an error shall be reckoned. 


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