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View Full Version : Illegal serves, are you guilty of any



Tinykin
03-19-2015, 10:22 PM
Here are a few examples. Which one do you do ...sometimes:-)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un3MYS2PU0w&feature=youtu.be

aznalanx32
03-20-2015, 01:37 AM
Sometimes most...

mcaibyz2
03-20-2015, 04:50 AM
Most of these illegal services are not that serious and could be considered acceptable in amature matches.

Old School
03-20-2015, 07:21 AM
Most of these illegal services are not that serious and could be considered acceptable in amature matches.

This kind of thinking is just a slippery slope to no one playing by the rules. "If you do that I can do this" and why bother to play if you can't follow a few simple rules?

If someone break the service rules why should I not be able to speed glue and if he's speedgluing I should be able to play with banned pips. Follow the rules or don't play.

JHB
03-20-2015, 07:30 PM
Very good video ! I'm currently teaching myself the modern method of forehand service and I know I'm sometimes guilty of not tossing the ball high enough. I suspect I'm also off the vertical sometimes ! As for the arm/shoulder/head part, I'd need someone else to tell me if I were guilty of any of those - I've no idea. On backhand service meanwhile it is much easier to be totally legal, you just need to watch that you don't toss the ball slightly forward so that you serve from over the table.

I agree with Old School, I want to be completely legal. Most of the social players at my club however are really not fussed, in fact I think one or two of them never learned (nor were ever shown) how to serve legally in the first place ! I also know a couple of lower league players who have perfectly legal service actions but are all fingers and thumbs and struggle to exercise any control over the ball at all. I'm afraid table tennis is one of those sports where many people don't play competitively and so widespread ignorance of the rules is quite common.

mcaibyz2
03-20-2015, 09:11 PM
This kind of thinking is just a slippery slope to no one playing by the rules. "If you do that I can do this" and why bother to play if you can't follow a few simple rules?

If someone break the service rules why should I not be able to speed glue and if he's speedgluing I should be able to play with banned pips. Follow the rules or don't play.

Don't get me wrong. My service is totally leagal. But in the low level league I am currently playing, around 50% services are not. It is just a bit harsh to tell a 60 years old grandpa that he just lost one point because he didn't toss the ball. In fact, most of the older generation players don't toss the ball. Lots of them are using illigal long pimple rubbers too. What can you do if you are the umpire? Ban them from playing?

mcaibyz2
03-20-2015, 09:28 PM
There is another grey area about service. A few weeks ago I played a match against a very good player. His service is legal, but he intentionally make a huge noise using his feet. Actually he is usng such power that the floor is shaking and even the table is slightly moved. Is this legal? I am not sure but would like to know your opinion.

TareqPhoto
03-20-2015, 11:11 PM
There is another grey area about service. A few weeks ago I played a match against a very good player. His service is legal, but he intentionally make a huge noise using his feet. Actually he is usng such power that the floor is shaking and even the table is slightly moved. Is this legal? I am not sure but would like to know your opinion.

If that is the case then that should be banned too, in fact this can distract or be worse that illegal serve itself, so what is the point to do a legal serve but you do another thing that is not good or not helping? it is like cheating with 2nd option when he didn't use 1st option.

Tinykin
03-20-2015, 11:54 PM
Until I saw a video of myself, I thought that I was doing this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2wXPJZCYUE

But in reality, I was throwing up my hand really high but, many times, the released ball was not being thrown =>16cm

JHB
03-21-2015, 12:47 AM
Don't get me wrong. My service is totally leagal. But in the low level league I am currently playing, around 50% services are not. It is just a bit harsh to tell a 60 years old grandpa that he just lost one point because he didn't toss the ball. In fact, most of the older generation players don't toss the ball. Lots of them are using illigal long pimple rubbers too. What can you do if you are the umpire? Ban them from playing?

Oi ! Less of the 60-year-old grandpa, if you don't mind ! 😆😉

Old School
03-21-2015, 08:13 AM
Don't get me wrong. My service is totally leagal. But in the low level league I am currently playing, around 50% services are not. It is just a bit harsh to tell a 60 years old grandpa that he just lost one point because he didn't toss the ball. In fact, most of the older generation players don't toss the ball. Lots of them are using illigal long pimple rubbers too. What can you do if you are the umpire? Ban them from playing?

They should be asked to follow the rules considering it's not hard and if they can't they should be banned until they comply, old age is not an excuse. It's because people let it slide that the state of the sport at the amateur level is in such a bad state.

I play golf and golf have gone through it's fair share of changes to balls, clubs and materials over the years and yet I have never meat anyone playing with banned equipment or ignoring the the rules like people ignore the rules and play with banned rubbers/gluing like in TT.

mahomedy13
03-21-2015, 06:43 PM
There is another grey area about service. A few weeks ago I played a match against a very good player. His service is legal, but he intentionally make a huge noise using his feet. Actually he is usng such power that the floor is shaking and even the table is slightly moved. Is this legal? I am not sure but would like to know your opinion.

Mving the table is a point for tthe opponent.

mcaibyz2
03-22-2015, 01:47 AM
the table was not moving, but it was shaking! I know it is funny. We have the wooden floor which was shaking when this guy put on his heavy body weight on his right foot...

confused_zeus
03-22-2015, 11:48 PM
Let him punish his feet. Later, he would suffer pain from his joint. ;). Excessive foot stomping is disallowed.

NextLevel
03-25-2015, 12:40 PM
Low toss is sometimes an issue with me.

Rory
07-13-2015, 08:18 PM
We travel 3 hours to a club for tournaments every month or so.
I have discussed with our players some of their serves that were illegal so we were prepared for the tourney.
then when we get there we see that the club tshirt is a white shirt. Several kids were competing wearing this shirt.
Then several of the club players ( which I found out later are taking lessons from the club owner who is a national level player from another country ) were doing very blatant illegal serves.
one example would be a guy that dropped the ball 8"-12" below the table.
several others hid the ball with their hand or arm.

I don't think it affected our game against them, but it was surprising.

Reaper
07-13-2015, 09:21 PM
From the video, the Not vertical serve is done by many Pros, (e.g: par gerell notably ) at that level that doesn't seem to matter, or is it?

Suga D
07-13-2015, 10:23 PM
There is another grey area about service. A few weeks ago I played a match against a very good player. His service is legal, but he intentionally make a huge noise using his feet. Actually he is usng such power that the floor is shaking and even the table is slightly moved. Is this legal? I am not sure but would like to know your opinion.

One question:
Was your opponent kinda old?

I might sound like a grandfather now, but back in the eighties there was no two-colored racket rule.
So many choppers played with two black rubbers, one inverted spinny, like a tackiness c and on the backhand nittaku's best anti and they were pretty good in twiddling the racket. So when they were serving you could hardly read the spin on the ball. If the serve was fast, you had a real hard time reacting on that serve.

One thing that would help in that times, was listen to the sound coming from the rubbers when the opponent was serving. The Anti made a totally different sound, than the inverted. But what 'smart' choppers tried, was to cover the sound with stomping on the floor while serving or shouting sounds like 'uh' or something. So after a while the ITTF didn't allow that anymore... Doing this nowadays is only making little sense to me.
maybe he's been playing already back then.

htfu
07-13-2015, 10:48 PM
disguising the sound would give an astute opponent enough information to read the serve better ... hence the foot stomp. although that does require a low level of background noise that is sometimes not even possible at bigger/more populous venues (or just super good hearing) ...

i used to hate it when people stomped loudly, now it doesn't bother me much anymore ...

Tinykin
07-13-2015, 10:54 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EncNHr8bNA8

htfu
07-13-2015, 11:08 PM
had a discussion about services at a summer league match last week, i pointed out some illegal serves and the "it's a fun league, why pull people up on serves" got brought up along with a few others (ignorance, never been shown how to serve properly, it's not a big deal, etc).

i tend to have the same discussion a lot, with varying degrees of success ...

JHB
07-13-2015, 11:18 PM
It's difficult to think of another sport where ignorance of the rules is a badge of honour - football, possibly ?

htfu
07-13-2015, 11:22 PM
i don't think it is the sport that is the issue, it's just people. that which someone can get away with they carry on doing .. until it becomes "accepted behaviour" at least in their eyes.

vvk1
07-14-2015, 05:58 PM
had a discussion about services at a summer league match last week, i pointed out some illegal serves and the "it's a fun league, why pull people up on serves" got brought up along with a few others (ignorance, never been shown how to serve properly, it's not a big deal, etc).

i tend to have the same discussion a lot, with varying degrees of success ...

Haha. My teammates complained to me about you after the match :-)

Speaking seriously, I get where you're coming from. You, me and everyone on this forum are super-passionate about TT, and care deeply about the game. However, a lot of amateur players (like many playing in the summer league) are not that passionate. Some don't even play every week. And what's 100% certain - they're not trying to obtain any advantage by serving "illegally" - it is simply the only way they know how too serve.

And therefore, trying to score cheap points by calling out their serves as illegal seems just wrong, at least to me.

However, next time you and I play each other at BTTC - please don't hesitate to tell me if my serve is not 100% legal :-)

Tinykin
07-14-2015, 08:53 PM
Is serving off the side a problem for the receiver?
I don't think it is any worse than any other serve. If it was, then we'd see it much more often.

bobpuls
07-15-2015, 12:09 PM
Hmmmmm according this rules are playing practically all young players at the European youth champs illegal serves . ;-)
Have a look
http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?10846-European-Youth-Championships-2015

JHB
07-15-2015, 06:05 PM
Speaking seriously, I get where you're coming from. You, me and everyone on this forum are super-passionate about TT, and care deeply about the game. However, a lot of amateur players (like many playing in the summer league) are not that passionate. Some don't even play every week. And what's 100% certain - they're not trying to obtain any advantage by serving "illegally" - it is simply the only way they know how too serve.

And therefore, trying to score cheap points by calling out their serves as illegal seems just wrong, at least to me.
:-)

This is the same argument as "Old Harry/Fred/Jim has been serving that way for 50 years, you can't make him change now." If players aren't prepared to make some basic effort to know the rules of the game and to conform at least to the spirit of those rules if not the letter, why are they playing in a league ?

NextLevel
07-15-2015, 06:10 PM
Because the league is fun and you don't have to play by every single top level professional rule to have fun.

JHB
07-15-2015, 06:31 PM
Because the league is fun and you don't have to play by every single top level professional rule to have fun.

Lol we could have a separate and equally interesting discussion about how an evening spent in the average UK table tennis venue constitutes fun, but that would probably be getting a bit far off-topic so I shan't go there.

Let's approach this from a different angle; if we accept that a summer league IS as much about the fun element as it is about competition, and that we should consequently be a little more relaxed in our interpretation of the rules - which parts of the (admittedly complex) service rules are we prepared to overlook and which parts would most of us insist should be followed ?

NextLevel
07-15-2015, 06:46 PM
Lol we could have a separate and equally interesting discussion about how an evening spent in the average UK table tennis venue constitutes fun, but that would probably be getting a bit far off-topic so I shan't go there.

Let's approach this from a different angle; if we accept that a summer league IS as much about the fun element as it is about competition, and that we should consequently be a little more relaxed in our interpretation of the rules - which parts of the (admittedly complex) service rules are we prepared to overlook and which parts would most of us insist should be followed ?

Many servers, if an issue with their serve is pointed out, will try to serve as legally as possible. So this is negotiable in most circumstances. I personally don't formally complain about illegal serves unless I am at an umpired tournament. But if they bother you, bring it to the attention of the server and go from there. For me, most old timers do not toss the ball and others hide their serves. So I use that as practice for reading spin off the ball. I guess it helps that most of the players who do this are usually good enough to beat me regardless, but this is not always the case.

vvk1
07-15-2015, 08:49 PM
This is the same argument as "Old Harry/Fred/Jim has been serving that way for 50 years, you can't make him change now." If players aren't prepared to make some basic effort to know the rules of the game and to conform at least to the spirit of those rules if not the letter, why are they playing in a league ?

Ok. Typical scenario. "Old Harry/Fred/Jim" serves and does not toss the ball high (or vertically) enough. Or maybe they even, gosh, start the ball toss just below the table surface. There is no attempt at pre/post-serve disguise motions, no foot stomping, nada. The resulting serve is usually long, not that fast, bounces well over net height, not spinny at all or the spin is clearly seen, and is basically loop-killable at will. Are you seriously suggesting that the receiver stops play and complains about legality of the serve? Come on.

JamDoughnuts
02-28-2016, 01:24 PM
I think pro's sometimes throw the ball into their body and use their torso to hide the ball briefly before roating out the way, umpires usually can't see this from where they sit. (trick for people to cheat points)