Illegal serve for lefty receiving

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 1 year ago

Phil Hackett

Phil Hackett Asked 1 year ago

Hi there.

I play in the top division of our local league. A few weeks ago I faced an opponent who was hiding the contact point of the serve regularly. When I challenged him after the game his response was 'No one else has ever mentioned it'.

I think the problem is that as a left hander I stand towards the right hand side of the table to receive, thereby opening most of the table up to my stronger forehand stroke. I suspect right handers playing against him do not have the service hidden from them as they are nearer the left hand side of the table to receive.

So the question is - 'Given I could stand further left than I do (though this would not be optimal) and possibly view the contact point - am I wrong for standing to the right of the table, or is it his responsibility to make the contact point visible to me standing towards the right of the table.

Thanks in anticipation!


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 year ago

Hi Phil,

The rule covers that the ball needs to be visible to your opponent or as a guide it should be visible between both net posts.

Therefore the serve is technically illegal and you have the right to challenge it.

It is always difficult in the situation at a club where there isn't an official umpire but it is worth asking the question.

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Thoughts on this question

Nigel C

Nigel C Posted 1 year ago

Interesting! As a right handed player I've never really given thought to the visibility of my serves against a left handed player. Thanks Phil, I will consider that when I play matches, although most of the lefties I play against already seem to have an advantage. I have never had a problem seeing their serves they are just good players.

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