table tennis rule explanations

Table Tennis Rules – Use cases with decisions

You may think that Table tennis is a simple game, rules are quite strightforward. But there are always some rule problems or doubts, in the following a few cases of doubt are listed.

First the situation is described under “Example” and then under “Decision” the solution of the case is given.

Case studies for specific rule decisions

The server grabs the ball with two or more fingers to throw it up.

Decision: Point against the server.

Error: The ball is grabbed for throwing.

The server plays the ball before it has passed the highest point of its trajectory – it throws it against the racket.

Decision: Point against the server.

Error: The ball is thrown against the racket.

The server throws the ball up to the serve according to the rules, but then misses it when trying to hit it. 

Decision: Point against  the server.

The ball touches the net, but otherwise the serve is executed according to the rules. 

Decision: Replay.

The ball is served without touching half of the serve. 

Decision: Point against the server.

Examples for the rally

A player touches (e.g. for balance reasons) the tabletop very briefly with its free hand.

Decision: Point against him.

But when players touch the table before serve thats not a problem.

A player bumps against the tabletop during rally, so that the table moves.

Decision: Point against him.

A player briefly touches the net with his racket when trying to hit a stop.

Decision: Point against him.

A player notices that the ball is defective and interrupts the game. 

Decision: Replay.

A player accidentally hits the ball with his racket holding hand during a backhand stroke, but otherwise correctly over the net. 

Decision: shot is valid.

A player hits the ball past the side of the net so that it touches the top edge of the table.

Decision: Shot is valid.

A player shots the opponent’s return before the ball has bounced in his half of the field (as a flying ball).

Decision: Point against him.