Playing Table Tennis by the Rules

At the North Shore Table Tennis Club players are encouraged to play by the official rules of Table Tennis as set by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). These are known as the “Laws of Table Tennis”, and found between page 34 and 41 of the ITTF Handbook: www.ittf.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020ITTFHandbook_v1.pdf Since this handbook is over 200 pages, and covers topics like Regulations for International Competitions, and Directives for Match Officials at World Title Competitions, you may prefer to download the basic rules and regulations of Table Tennis posted on the clubs website http://nsttc.ca/the-laws-of-table-tennis/ .

For Club competitions (tournaments & Leagues) rules are mandatory. A reference copy of these rules is available at the club, and club coaches, and certified table tennis umpires welcome rule questions.

When playing a friendly match, and a coach or umpire is not immediately available to provide a ruling, players are encouraged to declare a disputed point a let and replay it.

This happened recently when a player could not reach a ball in play with racket in hand, so let go of their racket which then struck and successfully returned the ball. Their opponent failed to return the ball, but disputed the point. A let was declared and they replayed the point, and later an umpire was asked what the rule was. Being an uncommon question, the umpire looked up the answer in the rule book and determined the point to be lost as the racket was not held in hand when it struck the ball. Rule 2.5.7 “A player strikes the ball if he or she touches it in play with his or her racket, held in the hand, or with his or her racket hand below the wrist.”

Have a question about a rule, ask it in the comment section below, and if we post the answer to your question in our next Post, you will win a sleeve of Nittaku 40+ 3* Balls.

Paul Edwards – Certified Club Umpire & Scorekeeper – MEC 2017 Employee Tournament

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.