Extending rubber over the blade surface

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 7 years ago

Rene van der Kleij

Rene van der Kleij Asked 7 years ago

Alois, in former posts it was mentioned that up to 2mm extension of the rubber covering over the blade surface was allowed. My first try (less than 2 mm) led to an argument with an umpire who didn’t except and made me change the blade. I couldn’t back up my argument other than relating forum discussions. Is there any written ruling to be found mentioning the tolerance, so I can print it out?    

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Rene,

I had to go to our source of all things umpiring, Graeme Ireland.  This is his response:

For over-(and under-)hang the tolerance is mentioned in the Handbook for Match Officials as follows, which is really the only standard mentioned, and almost all referees and umpires abide by this:


7.1.1     A striking surface of the racket must be covered with one of the specified materials and, whether covered or not, one side must be red and the other black.  The covering should extend to the limits of, but not beyond, the blade, but some tolerance may be allowed.  The referee must decide what is acceptable and advise his or her umpires accordingly but, as a guide, ± 2mm would be an acceptable margin to most referees.

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Rene van der Kleij

Rene van der Kleij Posted 7 years ago

Thanks Alois, that was really helpful. Now just one more question; hypothetically speaking and considering over and under tolerance, while using up to 2 mm over-hang tolerance. If rubber edge damage occurred, showing damage of just less than 4 mm into the edge, considering the blade edge as the limit reference, the rubber may look badly damaged but is still considered legal because of the 2 mm under-hang tolerance. Is that correct??

Dilena Kulasinghe

Dilena Kulasinghe Posted 7 years ago

Hi Alois, thanks for that, I know Graeme Ireland very well, I play pennant with him

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

He is a very knowledgeable man about the rules.  He is also the best umpire in regards to making the rules understandable and practical for the players.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago


Here is a reply from Graeme.

Under-hang and damage are two completely different items. There is nothing in the HMO about amount/type of damage, but an extract from one of the slides in the ITTF Basic Referee course says:


In deciding whether a damaged racket can be used the referee must take account of the possible disadvantage to the opposing player or pair. Damage near the edge of the striking surface is of much less importance than damage near the centre.


It is really up to the umpire, and ultimately the referee, to decide what damage is acceptable, and my experience has been that some are very strict whilst others take a more liberal attitude, especially if the damage is at the edge.

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