Baal, here is the full list in one place!!
New "Rules" for Table Tennis
These are inspired by "The Rules" a set of guidance originally provided to Road Cyclists by a group called the Velominati. Here are an analogous set of rules for our sport.
1. Wipe your damned sweat off the table.
2. No choing unless you are getting paid to win. Further, players under 1200 rating using Tenergy are not allowed any sort of celebration when their shots land on the table.
3. Rubbers are to be trimmed cleanly around the edge of your rackets.
4. You must apologize for nets and edges. A small gesture with your non-playing hand will suffice, but only after the point is over.
5. You must show up on time.
6. Harden the f^#k up. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
7. You are not allowed to put your name on the back of your shirt unless you are a professional player.
8. You are allowed to wear a shirt with a manufacturer logo (e.g. Donic or Butterfly) up to the age of 50, at which time this is no longer allowed.
9. Your socks should not go higher than mid-calf. You are required to actually wear socks and they cannot under any circumstances be black.
10. You must wear footwear designed for racket sports. Under no circumstances are basketball shoes allowed.
11. You may not use long pips or anti-spin on your backhand unless you have a demonstrated ability to hit a strong topspin loops with your forehand in live match play.
12. No matter how you think you look like when playing in your mind's eye, in reality you are probably not that good.
13 You must be aware of the official documents of ITTF that govern our sport, over and above the Laws of Table Tennis. These include Technical Bulletins and the Handbook for Match Officials.
14 It never gets easier but you do get better. (Not really a rule, but a fact of life)
15 Keep accurate track of the damned score!
16 Serve legally.
17 However you may not post threads on TT forums complaining about opponents who serve illegally.
18 You are not allowed to start comment threads on TT forums about rules changes that occurred more than ten years earlier.
19 Cellulose acetate balls may be used for Christmas decorations but should not be used in actual table tennis matches.
20 The correct number of blades to own is n + 1 where n is the number you own now. An exemption can be made for players in committed relationships, in which case the correct number is s-1, where s is the number of blades that causes your spouse or partner to leave you.
21 Do not do multiball drills on a court where the barriers are not adequate, or where the court is too small, to prevent your balls from disrupting adjacent courts.
22 If one of two players is consistently whacking their shots into the next court, the two players should trade sides in an attempt to minimize this.
23 You are not allowed retrieve your ball from the adjacent court while their point is still in progress or to announce a let for their point.
24 You may not defend TTex on table tennis forums or social media, and similarly you are not allowed to mention Pickleball or in any way acknowledge its existence.
25. You must understand that the Chinese do not win because they cheat.
26. You may not engage in arguments on TT forums about the GOAT in which you advocate for any player who has not won a world championship in singles. Similarly you are not allowed to discuss players who played prior to 1960 without creating a special category for pre-sponge players in which case the only possible person in that category is Viktor Barna.
27. While it is allowed and perhaps even mandated to own an insane number of blades (see rule 20), it is not allowed to believe that the next one you buy will appreciably improve your level.
28. There is no alternative to Tenergy, even though other rubbers are very good indeed. Stop asking.
29 Intentionally losing so as to maintain your ability to play in rating events where you might win a trophy is an act that requires extreme introspection as to why you should continue to play.
30. All ranking systems are flawed in one way or another. All comments on this topic in table tennis forums must begin by acknowledging this fact.
31. TTNPP will not return your emails. Stop asking. Your stuff will arrive eventually.
32. Sock puppetry on internet TT forums can be used as an automatic referral to see a mental health professional. Especially if you create an identity with a name like John Barron (look it up).
33. If you spend more than 60 US dollars on a table tennis rubber than you are not allowed to glue it to your blade with Tearmender or rubber cement.
34. Support your local table tennis club or it will cease to exist.
35. Only bring water onto a table tennis court with Gerflor or a similar material. You are especially not allowed to bring Starbucks coffee drinks onto such courts.
36. You are not allowed to play table tennis in a shirt without any sleeves. Exceptions are granted for Liu Shiwen and Bernadette Szocs (and on a case by case basis moving forward).
37. You are allowed to swear while playing as long as you avoid racist or homophobic tropes. If you do it in a foreign language you are bad ass.
38. Young kids are often under-rated and will beat you. You are required to live with it. (This primarily pertains to North America).
39. The young kids you used to destroy may someday be your coach. You are allowed to look at the bright side of this fact.
40. Practicing shadow strokes is weird. It is allowed but do it in private.
41. It is allowed to call our sport ping pong. But the simple word "pong" is preferred.
42. You are not allowed to join fan clubs of top players and be obnoxious in cheering them on at international events.
43. You are not allowed to use the word "control" to describe a blade or rubber unless you state exactly what it is you are controlling.
44. You are not allowed to subject you’re playing partners to crappy balls. Buy new ones when the old ones are no longer round or if the surface has lost all friction.
45. Compared to most sports, table tennis is incredibly inexpensive. Therefore while it is allowed and even normal to be annoyed by the price of a rubber and blades, you are not allowed to mention this in any TT forum except in a full review of a product, and only then in comparison to comparable products.
46. All practice sessions that have included at least 30 minutes of forehand looping must include an equivalent length of time practicing the short game and return of serve.
47. If you converse with your playing partner, you should be barely audible at the next table.
48. If you are the national champion in a rating event that is excellent but you are not really a national champion and you are not allowed to mention this victory as part of your signature on an internet forum. You are allowed to mention what blade you used in a signature.
49. Tournaments can have rating events (e.g. under 2100) and age events (e.g. over 50) but they should not have age-specific rating events.
50. The best win of your life is not your actual level.
51. Deep or contentious discussions of physics in threads on table tennis forums should probably be avoided. Exceptions can be made for players with doctorates in aerospace engineering who have playing levels of 2300 or greater.
52. Beyond a certain age you are not going to easily succeed in making large changes in your technique but you can make it more effective and you can learn to play smarter. If this describes you then you are not allowed to ask "how to hit a Chinese loop" on any TT forum or social media. You are allowed to ask a Chinese coach. You are not allowed to be offended if his response is "ah yes, but for you this will be very difficult".
53. All players must recognize that every type of rubber requires mastery of techniques and that acquiring such mastery takes a long time. So if a long pips player beats you they are not cheating. However, see rule 11. If somebody beats you who is in violation of rule 11, nevertheless you must accept full responsibility. You are not allowed to state or even imply indirectly that they are cheating; instead you should not even admit to it or ever mention it to anyone, except possibly to a Catholic priest in an act of confession.
54. If you sweat a lot you are required to bring several shirts with you and use all of them. See also rule 1.
55. Drinking beers with mates after playing table tennis is an enlightened form of existence.
56. That "national" version of a rubber you just got probably isn't.
57. You are not allowed to apply random household products on your table tennis equipment in an attempt to find a cheap way to boost. If you must boost, buy some booster.
58. You are not allowed to use the Seemiller grip unless you are American. Some would extend this to say that you should have grown up near Pittsburgh.
59. If your rubber looks old you must change it. If it is new but filthy you are required to clean it. You are not allowed to be a filth-wizard.
60. Playing with a Butterfly black tag blade makes you badass even if the blade is not actually better.
61. Players who come from the Balkan Peninsula including the Danube region are allowed to swear more than other players but must still obey rule 37.
62. You must acknowledge that Larry Hodges is not part of the table tennis "Deep State". It is not allowed to suggest otherwise. Also he wants you to buy his book.
63. Players must recognize that there is more that goes into running a tournament, league, or club than meets the eye and nobody is getting rich doing this.
64. You must try to take care of "certain bodily business" at home before coming to play. The bathrooms at TT clubs should be reserved for "number 1" wherever possible.
65. Ibuprofen is your friend.
66. Actually coaching kids to cho like Harimoto is a Crime Against Table Tennis and is not allowed.
67. It is not allowed to try to hit your backhand like Kreanga if the club is crowded and all the tables are busy. (See also rule 22).
68. Posting excellent table tennis videos to youtube is a service to humanity but stealing other people's videos and posting them yourself, especially without crediting them, is deplorable.
69. You are not allowed to discuss "secret Chinese training techniques" unless you actually played on a Chinese provincial team or trained in China for a long time.
70. If someone new comes to your club, you are encouraged to hit with them and not annihilate them to the point that they don't come back, unless they are tennis players with an attitude, in which case it is allowed.
71. You are not allowed to check any social media until matches are complete. Social media are not life. Table tennis is life.
72. Upon the third time both players in a match forget the score they must cease all TT activities for the day and go drink beer.
73. Upon joining a table tennis forum you are not allowed to engage in any flame war until your second month even if someone is wrong on the internet, especially in reply to threads that have had no activity in more than five years.
74. Cases for protecting your table tennis racket are to be rectangular. Under no circumstances should they be shaped like a table tennis racket.
75. White clothing is for weddings and tennis at Wimbledon, but is only allowed for shoes and socks in table tennis.
76 .Young players who have defeated a better older player whose level has declined due to age and/or injury are not allowed to imagine or imply that this is anything remotely similar to having defeated that player in their prime. See also Rule 50. However this rule must NEVER be invoked by the older losing player, who is obligated to follow Rule 6.
77. You are not allowed to signal to a doubles partner what serve you will use unless you actually know how to execute more than one serve.
78. The Rules come from the Ping Pong Gods, and you do not negotiate with the Ping Pong Gods. Rule zero states, Obey the Rules.
79. If you are unsatisfied with the ball that your partner pulls out of the bag, then you are not merely advised but obligated to immediately produce a better ball that in most cases should be new or once-used. Furthermore, you are not allowed to reject your partner's original ball solely on the basis of the brand unless it violates Rule 19.
80. More generally, you are not allowed to play with balls that are not round, do not bounce or that have lost their surface friction except for multiball drills and serve practice. See also Rule 19, which is redundant since cellulose acetate balls do not bounce and are not round. If neither player has a decent ball they are required to cease table tennis activities or borrow a good one from a clubmate in exchange for beer or other valuable items or services.
81. You are not allowed to invoke the expedite rule unless you are a professional player. Instead you must relinquish the table to people who can get on with the job at hand because you are holding up the whole evening. You are also reminded of Rule 11.
82. Players are required to contribute to setting up or taking down barriers at venues where this is done on a daily basis. An exemption can be granted to players who use a single ball in a single rally and who never once miss for the entirety of their session.
83. You are not allowed to sniff the glue.
84. You are not allowed to wear a hat of any type while playing table tennis. If necessary you are allowed to use a headband or wear a bandana like a pirate.
85. You are absolutely not allowed to try to win the points in the warm up. Save it for three minutes later when the match starts. If you fail to grasp this simple concept you are required to take remedial action (watch a video with an example of how elite players approach this) or quit the sport.
86. Your shorts must not extend below your knee but neither under any circumstances are you allowed to roll up your shorts in the manner of Jean-Michel Saive.
87. Glue is to be used to attach your rubber to your blade. It is not allowed to be placed on other parts of the blade in an attempt to change its appearance. More generally, your blade does not require decoration. It is a tool. Nothing more.
89. A player is not allowed to bounce the ball more than three times before serving. If a player consistently serves too long or always hits the same serve they are allowed zero bounces, since in that case it is particularly pointless. See also Rule 77.
90. Flash photography in a table tennis venue is absolutely forbidden and warrants immediate ejection. You are required to inform friends and family of this since, since whilst it might seem to be common sense, it apparently is not. Actual players who violate this rule are to be shunned. See also Rule 42.
91. Stop beating yourself.
92. You are not allowed to take your frustrations out on your equipment anywhere that people can see you do it. (This is analogous to Rule 40 on shadow practice). This includes your spouse/partner or children or dogs*. However, given sufficient solitude, along with the conviction that this is the correct course of action, you are allowed to burn, atomize or curse blades rubber or balls provided you are in compliance with all local environmental and safety regulations. Keep in mind however, that blades will generally not pass through your toilet into the sewer systems.
94. You may not pass gas in the vicinity of other players or close to the end of a game just prior to changing sides.
95. You are not allowed to retreat to the barriers and "lob for show" on the last point of a lopsided match unless you are a professional player. See also Rules 2, 7 and 8.
96. You are not allowed to bring highly fragrant and particular foods -- e.g. surstromming, choudoufu, or durian fruit -- to the closed confines of a table tennis club.
97. You are not allowed to call "ex post facto" lets. You are required to call them immediately at the time of the disturbance, usually a ball from another court. If you keep playing and lose the point, too bad. See Rule 6.
98. You are not allowed to call let's for other people's points unless you crash through the barriers and land face down in their court. See also Rule 95.
99. Only the Table Tennis gods know what blade FZD actually uses and this knowledge is not comprehensible by the human intellect. In fact it is in a state of quantum indeterminacy, rather like Schrodinger's Cat. Moreover any further discussion of this comes under Rules 51 and 78.
100. There is no rule 88. This is a mystery to contemplate. The Table Tennis gods do not reveal all. Rather the Truth is there for you to discover. How? You are required to train hard, behave well, have fun, and play for as long as you can. And take heart in Rule 14.