Alex Table Tennis - MyTableTennis.NET Homepage
  Help Desk Help Desk  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Hidden serve rule
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login
tabletennis11.com

Hidden serve rule

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Tisch View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 07/21/2020
Location: Quebec City
Status: Offline
Points: 46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tisch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hidden serve rule
    Posted: 09/30/2021 at 12:12pm
To start with, is this rule really needed ?  Because when players say that the hidden ball contact puts them at a distinct disadvantage, is there lots of validity to it ?

Now assuming, hidden serves are indeed not good for the sport, I think the way the rule is written is very confusing and most players agree. 

That said what is the best way to rewrite this rule ?

My suggestion is as follows :-

1.    From the start to end of a serve, the ball must be clearly visible to BOTH umpire & assistant umpire, especially during server's ball / bat contact. When there is neither umpire nor assistant is present, the ball must be clearly visible to any real or imaginary person sitting at BOTH umpire AND assistant umpire chairs. (I heard some suggestions that it should be enough if the ball/ball contact is visible to the net posts but I am not sure this is sufficient , may be it is I do not know...needs some testing maybe)

2.    From the start to end of a serve,  the ball must be at least 12 inches away from the server's body at all times especially during ball / bat contact (this would  then still allow the server to serve from the side of his / her body or in front of the body) .

Or something like that

 




Edited by Tisch - 09/30/2021 at 1:57pm
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
tuco View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 06/11/2007
Location: ValleyOfTheSun
Status: Offline
Points: 1427
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tuco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/03/2021 at 7:31pm
Originally posted by Tisch Tisch wrote:

1.    From the start to end of a serve, the ball must be clearly visible to BOTH umpire & assistant umpire, especially during server's ball / bat contact. When there is neither umpire nor assistant is present, the ball must be clearly visible to any real or imaginary person sitting at BOTH umpire AND assistant umpire chairs. (I heard some suggestions that it should be enough if the ball/ball contact is visible to the net posts but I am not sure this is sufficient , may be it is I do not know...needs some testing maybe)


I believe the rule states that the ball needs to be visible to the player receiving the serve.  What is visible to the umpire is not necessarily visible to the player.
 

Originally posted by Tisch Tisch wrote:


2.    From the start to end of a serve,  the ball must be at least 12 inches away from the server's body at all times especially during ball / bat contact (this would  then still allow the server to serve from the side of his / her body or in front of the body) .


TWELVE inches is a lot. 
The Dark Side is:
"Quicker, easier, more seductive" - Yoda


Back to Top
Tisch View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 07/21/2020
Location: Quebec City
Status: Offline
Points: 46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tisch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/03/2021 at 9:11pm
Originally posted by tuco tuco wrote:

Originally posted by Tisch Tisch wrote:

1.    From the start to end of a serve, the ball must be clearly visible to BOTH umpire & assistant umpire, especially during server's ball / bat contact. When there is neither umpire nor assistant is present, the ball must be clearly visible to any real or imaginary person sitting at BOTH umpire AND assistant umpire chairs. (I heard some suggestions that it should be enough if the ball/ball contact is visible to the net posts but I am not sure this is sufficient , may be it is I do not know...needs some testing maybe)


I believe the rule states that the ball needs to be visible to the player receiving the serve.  What is visible to the umpire is not necessarily visible to the player.

I do not know how true this statement is but regardless that is why I said BOTH the umpire AND assistant umpire 


Originally posted by tuco tuco wrote:



Originally posted by Tisch Tisch wrote:


2.    From the start to end of a serve,  the ball must be at least 12 inches away from the server's body at all times especially during ball / bat contact (this would  then still allow the server to serve from the side of his / her body or in front of the body) .


TWELVE inches is a lot. 

Ok maybe at least 9 inches but if it any closer to the server's body, that is what causes lots of problems with rule interpretation about ball / bat contact getting hidden


Back to Top
TT newbie View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/25/2011
Location: Far Far Away
Status: Offline
Points: 1249
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TT newbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/04/2021 at 9:56am
The toss should be ruled in height and in vertical launch. By vertical I mean the ball should land exactly in the point it was tossed.
There are a lot of sideways tosses, for example, many players launch the ball in the middle of table and the contact point in in the corner. That should not be allowed.
Back to Top
Tisch View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 07/21/2020
Location: Quebec City
Status: Offline
Points: 46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tisch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/04/2021 at 4:21pm
Originally posted by TT newbie TT newbie wrote:

The toss should be ruled in height and in vertical launch. By vertical I mean the ball should land exactly in the point it was tossed.
There are a lot of sideways tosses, for example, many players launch the ball in the middle of table and the contact point in in the corner. That should not be allowed.

I agree that players not tossing the ball near vertical is an important issue but is a separate issue. I know the serve should be about 10 degrees of vertical.  

This thread was launched to discuss about  the ball / bat contact getting hidden by server's body during contact. 

Ball / bat contact hide can occur regardless of you toss the ball near vertical (or not). If you toss the ball near vertical but hide the bat contact with your body , that is the issue that being discussed here. So if you remove a non-vertical contact by throwing the ball at your body (as many players do) , yes ball hide can also happen. All I am saying is that a near vertical toss still does not guarantee in any way that a ball-bat contact hide will not happen.

There are also many other ways to serve illegally such as cupping & hiding the ball or holding the ball in your fingers instead of required flat palm or starting the serve with arm starting from below table level or from inside the end lines etc etc. But all those issues are separate but those rules are somewhat quite clear and easy to apply. Only the wording of the hidden serve rule is so screwed up & ambiguous   


Edited by Tisch - 10/04/2021 at 4:27pm
Back to Top
Baal View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: 01/21/2010
Location: unknown
Status: Offline
Points: 14245
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/04/2021 at 7:23pm
I think we should ditch these rules and go back to  circa 2000. Especially with 40+ balls that don't  spin as much as they did when the hidden serve rule was implemented.  Won't happen though, as the new ITTF leadership will do whatever they can to turn TT into Pickleball.  These days good players are able to attack a really high number of serves.

I know a lot of these rules were designed to make the sport more visually appealing on TV and video but if you watch a good match from 2000 and a good match from today I would say they have failed.  It's not that TT sucks now, but it isn't markedly better to watch, the rallies aren't more spectacular.  Strategies have changed quite a lot, of necessity, but I don't think it has made the sport more compelling and we have these constant conversations about serve rules, hiding serves etc.

I'm sure mine is a minority opinion.


Edited by Baal - 10/04/2021 at 7:29pm
Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/04/2021 at 9:33pm
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
stiltt View Drop Down
Assistant Admin
Assistant Admin
Avatar

Joined: 07/15/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 934
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/04/2021 at 11:46pm
Above a certain level of competition, could a device tossing balls be adopted? a tt robot that toss a no spin ball vertically 10 inches behind the end line is not the end of the world, we already have the tech available. The player would have 3 sliders to move: left/right, low/high and close/far. 
The device is fixed under the table and the pipe slides left and right, retracts under the table instantly after the toss, it's long gone when the ball starts falling.
The tech involved is utterly available and the cost to produce is not much; for all the problems it would solve, it's worth looking into it, maybe there is some literature already about it?
It would be the typical device making it quickly from the top to the local club because it will not be more expensive than a Newgy when scale economies start kicking in.
Back to Top
Lightspin View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 07/11/2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 332
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 6:34am
To give you an idea about how much hidden serves can impact the game, our club had 2 women from China who trained together.  One was in her 30s and around 2400.  One was in her early 20s and around 2600.  When they played under the current service rules the 2600 woman would crush the 2400 player.  However, the 2400 player grew up playing with the old service rules and had a phenomenal hidden serve.  When they played with the old service rules the 2400 lady won.  This is in part because the 2600 lady really never developed hidden serves and wasn't used to what she had to deal with. 

On the local and national level there are specific players who will go to hidden serves when it is 10-9 or 9-9.  Usually a ref isn't present but if one is present, there is a good chance they won't call it.  There is an old sports phrase which goes: if you aren't cheating a little bit, you aren't trying hard enough.  I guess these players embrace that philosophy.   

I wish the serve rules would be changed.  Either go back to the old rules or do something like Larry proposed.  There is too much gray area where a player can now claim "well if you were fast enough, you could see contact" nonsense going on. 
Back to Top
haggisv View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Avatar
Dark Knight

Joined: 06/28/2005
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 4969
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote haggisv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 6:49am
The silly thing about the rules is that it's the player's responsibility to ensure that the Umpire can see and judge that the serve is legal.

We had a situation is our competition, which was umpired by an international umpire, where the player served a perfectly legal serve, but was standing sideways with his back towards the umpire. The umpire called the serve, because he could not see if it was legal or not.

The player responded that the umpire should stand on the other side of the table so that he could see.

The umpire responded, quoting the rules, stating that is was the player's responsibility to ensure that the Umpire can judge that the serve is legal. So he refused to move to the other side. The player's only option was the do a different serve, which is what he did.

I think this is clearly wrong, but the umpire would not budge on the call, forcing the player to play a different serve.

I think that this rule was made with the assumption that there would be an umpire on both sides of the table (which probably only happens in major events), in which case there would not be a problem. Since this game and the venue were clearly not to international standards, such a rules should not apply... but the umpire disagrees.
I actually know this umpire very well, and I have a great deal of respect for him, but on this issue we could not agree. In his defense, he's only doing his job, interpreting the rules as they stand. This is clearly something that needs to be re-worded IMO.



Edited by haggisv - 10/05/2021 at 6:55am
Smart; VS>401, Dtecs OX
Tenergy Alternatives | My TT Articles
Back to Top
Tisch View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 07/21/2020
Location: Quebec City
Status: Offline
Points: 46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tisch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 11:42am
Originally posted by haggisv haggisv wrote:

The silly thing about the rules is that it's the player's responsibility to ensure that the Umpire can see and judge that the serve is legal.

We had a situation is our competition, which was umpired by an international umpire, where the player served a perfectly legal serve, but was standing sideways with his back towards the umpire. The umpire called the serve, because he could not see if it was legal or not.

The player responded that the umpire should stand on the other side of the table so that he could see.

The umpire responded, quoting the rules, stating that is was the player's responsibility to ensure that the Umpire can judge that the serve is legal. So he refused to move to the other side. The player's only option was the do a different serve, which is what he did.

I think this is clearly wrong, but the umpire would not budge on the call, forcing the player to play a different serve.

I think that this rule was made with the assumption that there would be an umpire on both sides of the table (which probably only happens in major events), in which case there would not be a problem. Since this game and the venue were clearly not to international standards, such a rules should not apply... but the umpire disagrees.
I actually know this umpire very well, and I have a great deal of respect for him, but on this issue we could not agree. In his defense, he's only doing his job, interpreting the rules as they stand. This is clearly something that needs to be re-worded IMO.


I agree with the umpire as he correctly interpreted the rule as it exists now (player is responsible)

Also what do you want the umpire to do ? Run from side to side every two points (if this player / team demands this, the opponent / team can demand it too)  ?  Or stand on the side of table where each of the four players "order" him to stand for each one of their different serves ? That is incredibly absurd. 

I think the player was being kind of disrespectful. The umpire also did come off as confrontational though it was not his intent.
   
This is why I said the rule should be modified :-
1. to include visibility to BOTH the umpire & assistant umpire (real or imaginary from their sitting positions on the side if no umpire) 
2. Ball always at least like 9 to 12 inches away from the body. 

Visibility from the net post alone is not only not sufficient but will also cause more confusion / contentions like above



Edited by Tisch - 10/05/2021 at 12:04pm
Back to Top
Tisch View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 07/21/2020
Location: Quebec City
Status: Offline
Points: 46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tisch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 12:09pm
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Net Visibility Rule Proposal

Proposed in 2015 
Rejected by USATT Rules Committee as not worthy of submission to ITTF AGM 2016  ???
Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 12:14pm
Originally posted by Tisch Tisch wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Net Visibility Rule Proposal

Proposed in 2015 
Rejected by USATT Rules Committee as not worthy of submission to ITTF AGM 2016  ???
The chair of the Rules Committee at the time seemed to have had a different proposal he preferred, and the Net Visibility Rule Proposal never went to the rest of the committee or to the ITTF. The proposal that the ball be visible at all times during the serve to both umpires or where they would sit did go to the ITTF, but it was rejected as too extreme and too subjective regarding where umpires might sit. the Net Visibility Rule was a compromise as less extreme and a specific area the ball had to be visible to. As shown in the proposal, it would be impossible to hide contact from the entire net without this being obvious to any umpire. 
-Larry Hodges
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
Basquests View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 08/29/2016
Location: New Zealand
Status: Offline
Points: 448
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:

To give you an idea about how much hidden serves can impact the game, our club had 2 women from China who trained together.  One was in her 30s and around 2400.  One was in her early 20s and around 2600.  When they played under the current service rules the 2600 woman would crush the 2400 player.  However, the 2400 player grew up playing with the old service rules and had a phenomenal hidden serve.  When they played with the old service rules the 2400 lady won.  This is in part because the 2600 lady really never developed hidden serves and wasn't used to what she had to deal with. 

On the local and national level there are specific players who will go to hidden serves when it is 10-9 or 9-9.  Usually a ref isn't present but if one is present, there is a good chance they won't call it.  There is an old sports phrase which goes: if you aren't cheating a little bit, you aren't trying hard enough.  I guess these players embrace that philosophy.   

I wish the serve rules would be changed.  Either go back to the old rules or do something like Larry proposed.  There is too much gray area where a player can now claim "well if you were fast enough, you could see contact" nonsense going on. 

I really hate the cheating = trying to win (more than non cheaters) correlation, even though i know you aren't signing off on it.

The vast majority of top tier players i know, are beyond reproach when it comes to the rules. 

A true competitor does their best to maximize their performance, and also tailor it to best deal with their opponent.

A person willing to cheat isn't simply going out of the constraints of the game, they are bypassing competing and doing something that would normally forfeit a point, because they know they can't or won't get called.

They aren't trying to win, they are trying to cheat. Winners winner, cheaters cheat.

If you never call edges against yourself, you aren't keeping score, you're keeping fiction.




Back to Top
Tisch View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 07/21/2020
Location: Quebec City
Status: Offline
Points: 46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tisch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 12:44pm

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

The chair of the Rules Committee at the time seemed to have had a different proposal he preferred, and the Net Visibility Rule Proposal never went to the rest of the committee or to the ITTF. 
-Larry Hodges

Can you post his / her version ?

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

The proposal that the ball be visible at all times during the serve to both umpires or where they would sit did go to the ITTF, but it was rejected as too extreme and too subjective regarding where umpires might sit.
Please provide the Proposition number, which year AGM  & actual full proposal & URL 
Can you provide the vote count ?

BTW, I did not realize the umpires can sit anywhere they like. I thought they both sit right at the net line (exact middle left & right of the court).  Maybe in some countries they sit in the corners & chit chat with the coach. Maybe in some countries they use volleyball & tennis chairs for umpires (Actually I have seen a high chair at Westchester but still in the middle)     


Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2021 at 2:48pm
Originally posted by Tisch Tisch wrote:


Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

The chair of the Rules Committee at the time seemed to have had a different proposal he preferred, and the Net Visibility Rule Proposal never went to the rest of the committee or to the ITTF. 
-Larry Hodges

Can you post his / her version ?

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

The proposal that the ball be visible at all times during the serve to both umpires or where they would sit did go to the ITTF, but it was rejected as too extreme and too subjective regarding where umpires might sit.
Please provide the Proposition number, which year AGM  & actual full proposal & URL 
Can you provide the vote count ?

BTW, I did not realize the umpires can sit anywhere they like. I thought they both sit right at the net line (exact middle left & right of the court).  Maybe in some countries they sit in the corners & chit chat with the coach. Maybe in some countries they use volleyball & tennis chairs for umpires (Actually I have seen a high chair at Westchester but still in the middle)     
Nope, don't have the proposal he favored (I believe it was the one where the ball had to visible to both umpires, but it's been a while), nor the "Proposition number, which year AGM  & actual full proposal & URL," nor the actual vote count for the proposal to make the ball visible to both umpires. I remember it came up and was voted down, with the player reps against it. That's why I put together the Net Visibility Proposal, as a compromise. As to umpires, yes, they sit adjacent to the net, but the distance from the table varies, and that affects the angle between them and the player quite a bit. The farther they are away from the table, the wider the angle, and the more you have to open your serving stance. 
-Larry Hodges
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
doraemon View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member


Joined: 05/14/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1708
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 1:08am
To make things simpler, the rule must only state the following:

"Everybody must serve like Vladimir Samsonov does."

I think it is really a rule-abiding serve.

LOL
Blade : Just wood
FH : black rubber
BH : red rubber
Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 1:35am
Originally posted by doraemon doraemon wrote:

To make things simpler, the rule must only state the following:

"Everybody must serve like Vladimir Samsonov does."
Watch Samsonov's first serve here, from 2015, against Xu Xin. Note both his arm and head hiding the ball. If you need to, freeze the video as the ball is just above his head, then go frame by frame, using the period key to go ahead one frame, the comma to go back one. (Link should take you to 51 sec.) 

Here's another, from the same video, against Ma Long. (Link should take you to 72 sec.) 

Of course, Ma Long hides his serve even more blatantly - watch how he hides the ball behind his thrusting head when he serves to Samsonov, also from the same video:

Since umpires rarely call these illegal serves, hiding serves is more widespread than most realize. Here are the relevant rules:

2.6.4: "From the start of service until it is struck, the ball ... shall not be hidden from the receiver by the server or his or her doubles partner or by anything they wear or carry."

2.6.5: "As soon as the ball has been projected, the server’s free arm and hand shall be removed from the space between the ball and the net."

2.6.6: "It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and either may decide that a service is incorrect."

2.6.6.1: "If either the umpire or the assistant umpire is not sure about the legality of a service he or she may, on the first occasion in a match, interrupt play and warn the server; but any subsequent service by that player or his or her doubles partner which is not clearly legal shall be considered incorrect."

-Larry Hodges


Edited by larrytt - 10/06/2021 at 1:47am
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
doraemon View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member


Joined: 05/14/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1708
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 1:46am
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by doraemon doraemon wrote:

To make things simpler, the rule must only state the following:

"Everybody must serve like Vladimir Samsonov does."
Watch Samsonov's first serve here, from 2015, against Xu Xin. Note both his arm and head hiding the ball. If you need to, freeze the video as the ball is just above his head, then go frame by frame, using the period key to go ahead one frame, the comma to go back one. (Link should take you to 51 sec.) 


Since umpires rarely call these illegal serves, hiding serves is more widespread than most realize. 
-Larry Hodges


Thank you for the tips above.   I followed your instruction and analyzed frame by frame.   In the first video, I see that his head blocked the view of the ball, but when the ball contacted the paddle, it looked quite visible to the opponent.  I re-watched it and checked again the position of his free hand, but somehow I could not really see his free hand (blocked by his body).

In the second video, when Samsonov is facing the camera, his free hand seemed to block the view of the ball a bit.  I think you are correct.

I always consider Samsonov to have clean serves.  But I guess your are right, it is more widespread than most realize.


Edited by doraemon - 10/06/2021 at 1:54am
Blade : Just wood
FH : black rubber
BH : red rubber
Back to Top
doraemon View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member


Joined: 05/14/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1708
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 2:01am
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:


2.6.6: "It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and either may decide that a service is incorrect."

-Larry Hodges

@Larry, I have a question about this rule.

The opponent is facing the player who serves, but both umpire and the assistant are sitting on either sides.   Their point of views are different.   I am afraid what they see as legal serve might not be truly a legal serve from the point of view of receiving player.

As a matter of fact, I remember watching a video in youtube (I think it was a TT match in China), where the receiving player protested to the umpire many times that he could not see the ball.   However, the umpire kept insisting that those serves were legal from what he saw.
Blade : Just wood
FH : black rubber
BH : red rubber
Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 2:02am
Originally posted by doraemon doraemon wrote:


Thank you for the tips above.   I followed your instruction and analyze frame by frame.   In the above video, I see that his head block the view of the ball, but when the ball contacted the paddle, it looked quite visible to the opponent.  I will re-watch and check again the position of his free hand.

I always consider Samsonov to have clean serves.  But I guess your are right, it is more widespread than most realize.
The rule is the ball cannot be hidden at any time during the serve, from the time it is tossed until contact. (Essentially all of Ma Long's serves are blatantly illegal, since he throws them behind his head. The same is true of a majority of world-class players - they have little choice if they want to compete on an equal basis.) If the ball is hidden until the split second before contact, it's much more difficult to read the spin. If you rewatch Samsonov's second serve above, however, I think you'll see he's hiding contact with his free arm, just as Ma Long (and many others) sometimes hides the actual contact with his head or body. Regarding Samsonov, he normally serves legal, but late in his career, when others were illegally hiding their serves and umpires didn't call it, he began to often hide his serve as well (as the videos show), and had a career resurgance, jumping back into the top ten in the world. I pointed this out in some of my blogs. (I've added the pertinent service rules to my posting above.) 
-Larry Hodges
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 2:10am
Originally posted by doraemon doraemon wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:


2.6.6: "It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and either may decide that a service is incorrect."

-Larry Hodges

@Larry, I have a question about this rule.

The opponent is facing the player who serves, but both umpire and the assistant are sitting on either sides.   Their point of views are different.   I am afraid what they see as legal serve might not be truly a legal serve from the point of view of receiving player.

As a matter of fact, I remember watching a video in youtube (I think it was a TT match in China), where the receiving player protested to the umpire many times that he could not see the ball.   However, the umpire kept insisting that those serves were legal from what he saw.
There is no way an umpire can watch a player hide their serve and say that they are "satisfied" or "sure" that the serve was not hidden, only that, from their vantage point, they can't really tell, which is often true. And that's the problem - the minute they aren't satisfied or sure, they should be calling the serve as illegal, as the rules require. Since they don't, players continue hide their serves, i.e. cheat. (Though you could argue it's not cheating, since if the rules aren't being enforced, then you are not playing under those rules.) Below are the pertinent rules on this. The problem is that since other umpires aren't calling it, the umpire in question is under intense pressure to go with the norm and not call them - using the argument that it's unfair to enforce a rule that others aren't enforcing. 

2.6.6: "It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and either may decide that a service is incorrect."

2.6.6.1: "If either the umpire or the assistant umpire is not sure about the legality of a service he or she may, on the first occasion in a match, interrupt play and warn the server; but any subsequent service by that player or his or her doubles partner which is not clearly legal shall be considered incorrect."

-Larry Hodges



Edited by larrytt - 10/06/2021 at 2:10am
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 2:23am
Originally posted by doraemon doraemon wrote:


@Larry, I have a question about this rule.

The opponent is facing the player who serves, but both umpire and the assistant are sitting on either sides.   Their point of views are different.   I am afraid what they see as legal serve might not be truly a legal serve from the point of view of receiving player.

[/QUOTE]
Here's a simple way of looking at it. Watch the Ma Long serve again at 99 sec:
Now imagine it from either umpire's point of view. Either they have enough depth perception to see that the ball went behind Ma's thrusting head, and so the serve is illegal; or they don't have enough depth perception to see this, and so aren't sure if the ball went behind the head - and since they aren't sure, it's also illegal. But it's now the norm not to call hidden serves unless they are incredibly blatant, even more so than in these videos. 
-Larry Hodges
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
ThePongProfessor View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/17/2014
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1352
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThePongProfessor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 5:37pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

I think we should ditch these rules and go back to  circa 2000. Especially with 40+ balls that don't  spin as much as they did when the hidden serve rule was implemented.  Won't happen though, as the new ITTF leadership will do whatever they can to turn TT into Pickleball.  These days good players are able to attack a really high number of serves.

I know a lot of these rules were designed to make the sport more visually appealing on TV and video but if you watch a good match from 2000 and a good match from today I would say they have failed.  It's not that TT sucks now, but it isn't markedly better to watch, the rallies aren't more spectacular.  Strategies have changed quite a lot, of necessity, but I don't think it has made the sport more compelling and we have these constant conversations about serve rules, hiding serves etc.

I'm sure mine is a minority opinion.

I concur 100% and this has always been my position. And as you point out, there is so little spin on the ball that it wouldn't make as much difference as some believe....but it would be easy to enforce. Similarly, with boosting, which is an unenforceable rule - make it legal --> level playing field 
Website: www.thepongprofessor.com

YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ThePongProfessor

Feedback
Back to Top
larrytt View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 937
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2021 at 6:05pm
Originally posted by ThePongProfessor ThePongProfessor wrote:

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

I think we should ditch these rules and go back to  circa 2000. Especially with 40+ balls that don't  spin as much as they did when the hidden serve rule was implemented.  Won't happen though, as the new ITTF leadership will do whatever they can to turn TT into Pickleball.  These days good players are able to attack a really high number of serves.

I know a lot of these rules were designed to make the sport more visually appealing on TV and video but if you watch a good match from 2000 and a good match from today I would say they have failed.  It's not that TT sucks now, but it isn't markedly better to watch, the rallies aren't more spectacular.  Strategies have changed quite a lot, of necessity, but I don't think it has made the sport more compelling and we have these constant conversations about serve rules, hiding serves etc.

I'm sure mine is a minority opinion.

I concur 100% and this has always been my position. And as you point out, there is so little spin on the ball that it wouldn't make as much difference as some believe....but it would be easy to enforce. Similarly, with boosting, which is an unenforceable rule - make it legal --> level playing field 
It's not the amount of spin, it's reading it. A light spin that's slightly misread is all that's needed. (And you can still get plenty of spin on a 40mm ball, probably 85-90% of what you got with a 38mm.) 
-Larry Hodges
Professional Table Tennis Coach & Writer
Member, USATT Hall of Fame
USATT National & ITTF Certified Coach
Former Chair, USATT Coaching Committee
www.TableTennisCoaching.com
www.MDTTC.com
Back to Top
Baal View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: 01/21/2010
Location: unknown
Status: Offline
Points: 14245
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/07/2021 at 9:18pm
I still think we should go back, but it will never happen.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.156 seconds.

Become a Fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Web Wiz News
Forum Home | Go to the Forums | Forum Help | Disclaimer

MyTableTennis.NET is the trading name of Alex Table Tennis Ltd.

Copyright ©2003-2020 Alex Table Tennis Ltd. All rights reserved.