If you are a beginner player, I’m going to help you understand what table tennis serve rules are and answer some common questions.
This post will deal with some of the common questions people will have on service rules in table tennis. Read the post table tennis rules for beginners for other game-related rules.
Before moving to the common questions, first, let’s understand the basic table tennis serve rule
Basic Table Tennis Service Rule
What is a legal service in table tennis?
- The server (one who serves) must stand behind the table.
- The ball must rest on his/her open hand palm.
- You must toss (throw) the ball up at least 6 inches in the air.
- It should fall without touching anything before being hit by the racket.
- While the ball is approaching down, it must be struck with the racket so that the ball first bounces on the server’s side and then the opponent’s side.
- You can’t bounce the ball before you hit it, you must have it in your hand and hit it before it touches anything else. It then hits your side once and then your opponent’s side, clearing the net.
- A singles game of 11 points, each player gets to serve two consecutive serves. For 21 points, each player gets 5 consecutive serves.
In doubles, you have your partner standing beside you.
All the above-said guidelines will apply to the Doubles game except you have to remember to serve diagonally.Ex: Player 1 will serve to Player 3
Okay, moving ahead…Read this complete guide on Doubles rules
This is how a typical doubles game will flow:
Player 1 and Player 2 playing against Player 3 and Player 4 (opponents)
- Player 1 will serve diagonally to Player 3 according to the rules.
- Player 3 will return the serve.
- Now, Player 2 must hit the ball ( if player 1 hits or player 2 fails to return, it’s a fault and points will go to opponent).
- After successful completion of 5 serves, server exchanges his place with his partner ( in this case player 1 exchanges place with player 2)
- The one who was the receiver, while player 1 served, i.e: Player 3, will now become the new server.
- And, Player 2 will become the new receiver.
- The game continues with Player 3 serving to Player 2 Diagonally.
So, that’s it for the rules…
Coming to the common questions, the first one is…
What’s a let in table tennis? ( Also called netball)
If, while serving, the ball hits the net after bouncing on the server’s side but goes over to bounce on receiver’s side(colloquially referred to as a netball), it is called LET and the server is allowed another try.
If the ball hits the net and doesn’t go over to bounce on the receiver side, a net is called and the receiver gets the point.
How many let serves are allowed in table tennis
According to the tournament and Official playing rules
You cannot get faulted for serving a let. There is no limit.
But, if you play casually,
After server serves two consecutive let serves, the point is awarded to the receiver
Do you have to serve diagonally in table tennis?
In doubles, the serve must be played diagonally, i.e. within the right half courts only, whereas in singles you can serve from and to, any part of the table.
Please keep in mind that the play must happen alternatively. Players must hit the ball in alternate turns. Ex: Player 1 to Player3 to Player 2 to Player 4 to Player 1 and so on..
How many serves do you get in table tennis?
For Singles and doubles
- For 11 point game, Each player gets 2 consecutive serves
- For 21 point game, Each player gets 5 Consecutive services
Can a serve bounce twice in ping pong?
The serve can bounce more than one time on your opponent’s side of the table. If it bounces more than once, this is a point for the server, since the receiver must hit the ball after the ball has bounced only once on his side of the table.
But, if it bounces twice on your side of the table, Your opponent will get the point.
Can you touch the table in ping pong?
If you touch the top of the table with your hand which is not holding your racket while the ball is still in play, you lose the point. … However, as long as you do not move the table, you can touch the table with your racket or any other part of your body.
Can you lose on a serve in table tennis?
The answer is : Yes,
You can lose a game while serving.
That is if server to fail to put the ball into play legally.
What are the rules for table tennis?
Read this post for the rules of table tennis for beginners.
Also, you can visit the official ITTF site for rules.
Can you hit the ping pong ball before it bounces?
According to the rules, you must wait for the ball to hit your side of the table first.
If you hit the ball before it bounces on the playing surface, your opponent scores a point. You need to let the ball bounce on the table before you hit it.
If you play good table tennis you won’t have time to wait for the ball. Your reflexes grow much faster and your hand anticipates to seek the ball to hit it.
Can the bat hit the table in table tennis?
According to allabouttabletennis blog,
“It’s OK if your bat hits the table when you are playing your shot – whether it is during a rally or when serving. The only time it would be a problem is if you moved the table at the same time. If you move the table, you lose the point.”
What happens if the ball hits you in table tennis?
You can win the point:-
is if the ball hits you after it already passed the end line of the table. In this case, you would get a point, since your opponent failed to make the ball hit your side of the table first.
You can lose the point:-
if the ball hits you while it’s on its way to bouncing on the table. If you do this, and you obstruct the path of the ball (whether it’s with your paddle or any part of your body), your opponent will be awarded a point.
Either way, don’t obstruct the path of the ball before it bounces off the table.
What if the ping pong ball hits the side of the table?
The sides are NOT a part of the playing surface. Therefore, if the ball hits a white line or a top edge of the playing surface it is “in” (good). But if the ball hits a vertical side it is “out” (not good).
Is it legal to hit a ping pong ball with your hand?
Up to your wrist,it is considered part of your hand.
So to answer your ques,
Yes, it is.
It is also allowed to touch your finger and then your bat as long as this is part of a single swing.
But remember, anything hit below the wrists is not allowed and is considered a fault.
Illegal ping pong serves
- You must toss the ball upward at least 16cm. (Rule 2.06.02).
- Your toss must be “near vertically upward” (Rule 2.06.02).
- You cannot hide the ball with your body or arm during the serve. (Rule 2.06.04 and 2.06.05).
- The service must start behind the end line and above the table surface. (Rule 2.06.04).
- You must strike the ball as it is on its way down. (Rule 2.06.02).
That’s it with the common questions and their not so common answers.
If you think I missed any question, Please comment below.