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The intent of the new service rule is to make the rule itself clear and easy to interpret. The new rule is designed to make the Service in table tennis an “OPEN” technique which is fully visible to the receiver at all times.

A detailed instructional and explanatory package will distributed by the ITTF’s Umpires & Referees Committee to all International Umpires in order to guarantee consistent application of the rule and respect of the spirit of the rule.

In the meantime, the ITTF is distributing an explanatory package to the National Associations in which the new service rule is demonstrated in written and visual form.

In order for the server to ensure that he/she complies with the new service rule, here are a few pointers to help achieve this objective:

  1. As soon as the free hand (the hand holding the ball in service) and arm has projected the ball upwards, the free hand/arm must be immediately removed to the side. In other words, the free arm must not remain in any area between the ball and the receiver- it has to be out of the line of sight of the receiver and the ball as demonstrated in the attached Power-point presentation, video streams and photos.

  2. If the server could imagine a triangular space created by the ball and both net posts, then extends this space upwards to head level, the server must then ensure that no part of his body or clothing enters this space (or remains in this space) after he projects the ball upwards in service. This will ensure that the space between the ball and the receiver remains clear of any obstructions. This is a simple way to ensure that the service meets the legal requirements.

  3. A slight modification from current services is required. Players must learn, in forehand services, to swing their free arm out of the way as fast as possible to create a legal, open and visible service.

Source : ITTF


Last Update : 06 November, 2002

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