Rules of Table Tennis Serving.
Should players be allowed to pick and choose which rules they follow when they play table tennis?
Foul serving causes more grumbles and moans behind the scenes
than any other topic in our league yet little is done about it and players continue to foul serve either knowingly or unwittingly.
For those who don't know what a legal serve is or should look like, here's a video by Brian Pace of Dynamic Table Tennis TV which demonstrates the rules of serving and how to serve with different types of spin - which is also handy to know if you have trouble returning serve as it will help you recognise what type of spin your opponent is putting on the ball when serving.
Or if you want more detail and the option to read something, there's a great explanation and discussion "Official Table Tennis Rules Explained - The Serve" published HERE on the website All About Table Tennis.com
Or you can ask a friend to check out your serve using our Service MOT.pdf checklist to see if you serve legally.
If you feel your opponent is foul serving you have a right to ask the umpire to enforce the service rules, and a right to expect your opponent to serve legally. If you feel your opponent is foul serving you also have the right to say nothing and let them carry on - this is often done by players who feel either their opponent isn't gaining an advantage by foul serving or who simply don't want to get in to an argument.
Remember, if someone points out that you are foul serving, it's not a personal attack, they're actually doing you a favour by helping you recognise you're doing something wrong so you can improve.
Nobody wants to get in to an argument so please respect the laws of table tennis and your opponent.
For more information about disputes, please refer to our own rules Rule 8 (o). The league cannot act if you don't formally bring it to the Committee's attention.