Is this a let

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 3 years ago

Joshua Andrews

Joshua Andrews Asked 3 years ago

So I have an odd question about a special case for a serve. I understand that for a serve to be a let, the serve hits the net but must otherwise be a legal serve. Normally this is when you serve, the ball hits your table, the net, then the opponent's table. However, what if the order is changed? I got a really lucky (or unlucky) serve where the ball hit the net, my table, then the opponent's table. In short, a normal let serve has the order table-net-table, but what if the order is net-table-table? Thanks!


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 years ago

Hi Joshua,

I haven't ever seen this happen and don't know the answer definitively however by looking at the rule I think it would have to be a Let.  The rule states:

2.9 A LET

2.9.1 The rally shall be a let:

2.9.1.1 if in service the ball touches the net assembly, provided the service is otherwise correct or the ball is obstructed by the receiver or his or her partner;

I will have to try to replicate it as well...


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Thoughts on this question

Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 3 years ago

Alois, wouldn't the term "provided the service is otherwise correct", mean 'hit your side first then the net'?

Hitting the ball over the net before hitting your side first is a foul so why wouldn't hitting the net first also be a foul?


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 3 years ago

I'm with Beaudord on this one. The ITTF Handbook for Match Officials says "Provided the service is good up to the point at which the ball touches the net, the rally is a let if the ball then touches correctly the receiver’s court."


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

I have asked Graeme Ireland our rules guru.  I will let you know when I hear back.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 3 years ago

OK so the guru has proved me wrong... again...  This is Graeme's response...

Sorry, I think your interpretation is wrong and it is a point to the receiver. You have quoted the Let rule but not the Service rule which says that the ball has to first touch the server’s court, and in this case it has touched the net before touching the server’s court. The HMO reference which Jean Balthazar mentioned is also relevant as the service isn’t good up to the point it has touched the net.


Beauford P

Beauford P Posted 3 years ago

Thanks Alois & Graeme.


Joshua Andrews

Joshua Andrews Posted 3 years ago

Thanks, guys.



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