Hitting the ball above the opponent's table side

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 4 years ago

Martin Kolb

Martin Kolb Asked 8 years ago

Alois, 

I watched your new video response about walking around the table or even standing on the table.

Like all of your videos it was both very interesting and funny.

However one aspect seems to be handled differently here in my home country Germany (homeland of Timo Boll :-)  :

You said that it is OK to hit the ball even it has passed the net and it is already above the opponent’s table side. The guys I play table tennis with consider this an error - so I had a look at the international ITTF table tennis rules:

http://www.ittf.com/ittf_hand_book/2_handbook.pdf

There in chapter 2.7.1 is stated that you have to hit the ball "so that it passes over or around the net  assembly and touches the  opponent's court".

If you hit the ball above the opponent’s side of the table neither of the two required aspects are fulfilled. The ball is not hit so that it’s passed "over the net" neither "around the net". The ball directly "touches the  opponent's court". As a consequence such a shot is not valid and therefore the opponent scores a point (see chapter 2.10.1.2).

 

Of course I missed something here, because as an Olympic coach you know the rules better than I. Could you point out what my misinterpretation is?

 

Thanks and best wishes from Germany

Martin

 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Martin,

I have consulted the expert, Graeme Ireland, because your question befuddled me as well.

Here is his response:

You need to also look at:

 
2.5.14  The ball shall be regarded as passing over or around the net assembly if it passes anywhere other than between the net and the net post or between the net and the playing surface.
 
From this is is obvious that the ball doesn't actually have to go over (or around) the net. For example you can hit the ball under the net assembly, and if it goes onto the table then it is still in play.

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Martin Kolb

Martin Kolb Posted 8 years ago

Hi Alois,

thanks for the quick reply. I will share this insight with my table tennis buddies.

Regards, Martin

 

 


Peter Kuskie

Peter Kuskie Posted 8 years ago

Hi Alios,

So am I right to think that what is being said here is that if a ball comes off an opponents bat and bounes on your side of the table then spins back to their side of the table you are allowed to go onto their side of the table and hit it in any direction as long as it touches their side of the table and has not already bouned on their side of the table?

We had this happen recently in a match so it made me want to find the rule but I have not seen it written clearly.  The above response is not something I could expalin easily.

Ta,

Peter


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

Hi Peter,

Yes that is exactly right. You are allowed to go onto your opponents side and hit the ball in any direction you like as long as it touches their side of the table! It's interesting that it happened to you recently, it is not very common at all.


Purvez Bilimoria

Purvez Bilimoria Posted 4 years ago

Hi Jeff.

I respectfully disagree with your advice.

Rule 2.7.1 states:

"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.

So the important bit is that the ball must be "struck so that it passes over or around the net assembly". These words clearly show that the striking of the ball must be done before it passes over or around the net assembly. So if the ball spins back into the server's side and the opponent makes contact with the ball on the server's side, he has not "struck the ball so that it passes over or around the net assembly". The striking must be done before the ball passes over the net.

Rule 2.5.14 cited by you is not relevant. It merely explains when a ball is regarded to have passed over or around a net assembly. It has nothing to do with when and where the ball should be struck by a player. Passing of a ball and striking of a ball are two entirely different things.

Best regards,

Purvez


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Interesting Purvez,

As you can see in the original answer we were confused by this one too so that's why we went to the International Referee who pointed us to 2.5.14. It does seem this is relevant because when I strike the ball it is deemed to pass over or around the net even if it doesn't. :)

It's an interesting debate nonetheless.

 


Purvez Bilimoria

Purvez Bilimoria Posted 4 years ago

My apologies. I went onto the ITTF website and realise that the Rules have been recently amended. Rules 2.7.1 and 2.5.14 quoted in the above e-mail exchanges of 2012 are no longer valid.

New rule 2.7.1 now says " The ball, having been served or returned, shall be struck so that it touches the opponent's court, either directly or after touching the net assembly".

Therefore, the rule now no longer requires the ball to be struck before it passes over or around the net assembly. The striking could be either on striker's court or opponent's court.

Yesterday we were playing a comp in Sydney and my team mate's return spun back onto his side and the opponent went across and smashed the ball from my team mate's side. The referee awarded the point in favour of the opponent. I strongly objected and the point was replayed. If the referee was aware of the new rule obviously my objection would have been turned down.

 


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Thanks for clearing that up Purvez, and for letting us know about your experiences.



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