Serve toss

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 6 years ago

Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Asked 6 years ago

Hi Alois/Jeff.  In your various instructions on the rules of serving you talk about the vertical toss.  However in the videos I notice neither of you actually complete a vertical toss.  The ball always moves in an arc toward your torso, by about half the distance between where you were holding it before starting the toss and your body.  

I assume this amount of movement is legal or you wouldn't be doing it, buy WHY do you do the toss that way?  What advantage are you creating above just tossing it straight up from either where you hold it or closer to your body where you want to strike it?


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 6 years ago

Hi Rufuss,

Good to see you watching closely! I don't think there's a huge advantage by the ball moving in towards us as we serve. If you throw the ball directly into your bat you can get some more spin due to the speed of the ball but that certainly isn't allowed. Technically some of our serves could be called faults under strict interpretation of the rules. However if you watch all of the top level players they do a similar ball toss. The main reason is that it's more natural to throw the ball in this type of arc for the pendulum serve which is the most popular.

I feel like the service rules need to be either adhered to in a stricter manner or changed. I probably lean towards changing the rules and simplifying them.

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Thoughts on this question

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 6 years ago

According to the umpire's guiding book, there is a tolerance of about 22.5° from vertical. There has to be one, because noone can repeatedly throw a ball at a perfect vertical angle. Some exagerate it a lot though, really throwing the ball low and towards them, which helps creating significantly more spin.

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 6 years ago

Good points Jean.

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