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  1. Baal is offline
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    #1

    What are the unwritten rules of table tennis?

    Some sports that have been around for a long time have accumulated a large number of "unwritten rules" that if broken can lead to fights and considerable social criticism by fellow athletes, even complete shunning. Two sports where there are vast numbers of these are baseball and road cycling. In baseball, if you break one of those rules, the opposing pitcher will hit you with a fastball (even if he has to wait to some future game in order to mete out the justice). Indeed, it is an unwritten rule that the pitcher has to do that to an opposing player who breaks certain unwritten rules, and if he doesn't take the appropriate revenge for the team's honor he is breaking an unwritten rule and will be shunned by his teammates.

    In cycling, at the Tour de France, if the General Classification leader wearing the yellow jersey (the maillot jaune) has a mechanical problem in the middle of a stage, his rivals should not take advantage of it. Also, at the Tour de France it is an unwritten rule that the general classification riders do not contest the last stage, which is for the sprinters only. Cycling has many unwritten rules, and since I am somewhat new to it, I don't know them all.

    So what are the Unwritten Rules of table tennis?

    One is, you don't beat your opponent 11-0. But when you miss on purpose while leading 10-0, you can't make it too obvious.

    What are the other unwritten rules in our sport?

    Do we have any others?

    (I recognize that I am breaking an unwritten rule by asking people to write down things that should not be written).

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    Last edited by Baal; 11-16-2017 at 09:27 PM.

  2. rainneverever is offline
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    #2
    "Apologize" to your opponent when you got a lucky point by edge and net ball.
    However, nowadays not all players do so.

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  3. vvk1 is offline
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    #3
    Always shake hands with the opponent and umpire(s) regardless of final match score.

    Don't laugh in the face of the opponent you've just beaten (nor do the Adam Bobrow dance :-))

    Don't hurl your bat at the opponent when they get a lucky net/edge ball (street table tennis in Soviet union in the 90s was not for the faint of heart :-))

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  4. songdavid98 is offline
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    #4
    Pick up balls for other people.

    Don't try to end the rally in the warm up.

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    Always go forward

  5. Ilia Minkin is offline
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rainneverever
    "Apologize" to your opponent when you got a lucky point by edge and net ball.
    However, nowadays not all players do so.
    At least don't openly celebrate on those balls, also on serve faults. I know at least a few people, who do.

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    #6
    There is also practice etiquette, which can probably be summarized as "do what you are supposed to do".

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  7. Tinykin is offline
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    #7
    I hate that 11:0 'rule'. Yes in the old 21game it would be nigh impossible to make a comeback from 0:20 down. But 0:10 is much more possible if you are roughly the similar standard.

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  8. yoass is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by songdavid98
    Pick up balls for other people.

    Don't try to end the rally in the warm up.
    Yes, and take care returning the balls to them properly.

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  9. Baal is offline
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    #9
    Don't try to win the warm-up and dont spray the ball all over the place. Thanks for pointing that one out.

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    Last edited by Baal; 11-17-2017 at 01:37 AM.

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    #10
    offer to block their topspins first before they block yours in a warm up.

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  11. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinykin
    I hate that 11:0 'rule'. Yes in the old 21game it would be nigh impossible to make a comeback from 0:20 down. But 0:10 is much more possible if you are roughly the similar standard.
    When at 10-0 and player a (with 10) gives a point away, then player b would give the next point away to make it 11-1

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    BYE BYE

  12. Tinykin is offline
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    When at 10-0 and player a (with 10) gives a point away, then player b would give the next point away to make it 11-1
    That's the issue. The player leading is saying, the game is over at 10-0 when clearly it is not. He is actually denying his opponent the chance to make a comeback which I find very humiliating.
    That's why I don't follow this rule. If I am 10:0 up, I am going for the final point just as I expect my opponent to do the same if the situation was reversed.

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  13. Tinykin is offline
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Baal
    Don't try to win the warm-up and dont spray the ball all over the place. Thanks for pointing that one out.
    The first time my opponent smashes the ball during the warm-up, I say, "ready, let's start".

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  14. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinykin
    That's the issue. The player leading is saying, the game is over at 10-0 when clearly it is not. He is actually denying his opponent the chance to make a comeback which I find very humiliating.
    That's why I don't follow this rule. If I am 10:0 up, I am going for the final point just as I expect my opponent to do the same if the situation was reversed.
    All good, nothing wrong with that.
    on another hand, maybe the level gap is too high and stronger player is leading 3-0 or 2-0 already, and then 10-0, there is no point to fight, I think most of the time this is the case

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    BYE BYE

  15. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinykin
    The first time my opponent smashes the ball during the warm-up, I say, "ready, let's start".
    haha +1

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  16. yoass is offline
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    #16
    Before the game, shake hands with your opponent.

    When commencing, wish the opponent a good game.

    While playing feel free to celebrate your hardly won points, but don't celebrate your opponent's unforced errors.

    Respect your opponent's concentration, as well as your own.

    After, congratulate your oponent when losing, accept congratulations gracefully when winning.

    Thank the referee and thank your opponent.

    When playing home and receiving opponents, be a good host and make them feel welcome.

    When playing out, accept the offered hospitality and be thankful for it.

    All that is to be heartfelt too. Do it and mean it.

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    Last edited by yoass; 11-17-2017 at 09:26 AM.

  17. Der_Echte is offline
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    #17
    Shake the hand of the umpires (if you are lucky to have one) and don't forget to shake hand of opposing coach. (or do not fill out scorecard and slap ur head and trot over there to shake his hand)

    This is real easy to forget.

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  18. Jimbob MacInbred is offline
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    When at 10-0 and player a (with 10) gives a point away, then player b would give the next point away to make it 11-1

    That is exactly what happened in the match between LGY and Liu Dingshuo (which i'm currently watching) at the end of the first set. Is that rule more common among asian players? At my club, if someone would make a mistake on purpose in a situation like that, he/ she would get a serious talking to (not from me, but from most of the old geezers who basically run the club...)

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  19. anchorschmidt is offline
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    #19
    You should inform your opponent if you are playing with Anti-spin, Long or short pips without him asking. Just good form. I however, make sure to ask. Many don't say so though.

    As a spectator, don't applaud lucky nets/edges. The way to do it is wait for a bit and then give them a short cheer "Come on/Auf geht's/ Jiayou".

    Make sure your opponent is in position before serving.

    Cheer your points if it helps you but eye-contact while cheering is not respectful (IMHO). However, if your opponent does so, then you have free reign to do as you see fit.

    Go a bit out of your way to pick up balls if your opponent is old or has health problems.

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  20. OldschoolPenholder is offline
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    #20
    Wow! Some I knew, some I didn't e.g. 11-0, although I would not want to win 11-0, but didn't realize it was an unwritten rule ... perhaps because the bulk of my playing time was in the 21/5 era.

    Thank you one and all!

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