Service time rules

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 1 year ago

Ken Matsuno

Ken Matsuno Asked 1 year ago

Hi Alois,

Happy new year!

i have a question about services in the singles play.

One of my friends serves a serve immediately right after he loses a point or win. I don’t have much time to compose myself. Dose the server always control the timing for services? Am I allowed to ask him to slow down like giving me five seconds or so to be ready to receive his serves?

BTW, do you have a TT rule book on your website?

Thanks in advance

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 year ago

Hi Ken,

The rule says that play should be continuous which doesn't specify any time.  However, if you are being rushed and still being reasonable with the time between points then the server should wait till you are ready.

We have the basic rules on our site in the Table Tennis Rules section.  Take a look through there.


Here is the relevant rule in the ITTF Handbook:

3.4.4 Intervals Play shall be continuous throughout an individual match except that any player is entitled to:

  1.  an interval of up to 1 minute between successive games of an individual match;

  2.  brief intervals for towelling after every 6 points from the start of each game and at the change of ends in the last possible game of an individual match.

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