The old serve rules

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2002 the ITTF changed the rules on service to prevent a player from hiding the ball during service, in order to increase the average length of rallies and to reduce the server's advantage. A lot of years have past and i was wondering if we have any old service experts who miss the old rules?

Feel free to comment how the serve rules effected your game and also the sport itself.
 
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JHB

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I like the new rule but what is really frustrating is when people are still covering the ball and the umpire sits like question marks! Why don't they just allow backhand serves? :cool:

I also like the new rule. It's still possible to get plenty of variation both subtle and unsubtle, and there are still plenty of players who have trouble reading services regardless of the whole service being plainly visible. I don't see how hiding the ball from the opponent - or doing 90% of the whole action behind your back - was ever remotely fair. We don't want table tennis becoming a game like men's tennis where half the points are won on service alone - yes it's sometimes handy if you're playing the old scoring system and you're a few points down, but it's no fun to play a whole match that way and it's even less fun to watch !

Rocketscientist, what exactly do you mean by "backhand" serves ? Not the same as I mean, I suspect :)
 
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I like the new rule but what is really frustrating is when people are still covering the ball and the umpire sits like question marks! Why don't they just allow backhand serves? :cool:

I agree with you, it's a rule that are to easy to ignore and i think it's important that the umpires step up there game even in minor tournaments, even though i know it's hard to make that happen..
 
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I also like the new rule. It's still possible to get plenty of variation both subtle and unsubtle, and there are still plenty of players who have trouble reading services regardless of the whole service being plainly visible. I don't see how hiding the ball from the opponent - or doing 90% of the whole action behind your back - was ever remotely fair. We don't want table tennis becoming a game like men's tennis where half the points are won on service alone - yes it's sometimes handy if you're playing the old scoring system and you're a few points down, but it's no fun to play a whole match that way and it's even less fun to watch !

Rocketscientist, what exactly do you mean by "backhand" serves ? Not the same as I mean, I suspect :)

Great input! Would be really interesting to see how the world ranking would look like with the old rule still in play.
 
Do you include penholders in that backhand only serve rule?

I like the new rule but what is really frustrating is when people are still covering the ball and the umpire sits like question marks! Why don't they just allow backhand serves? :cool:

Umpire some matches first before you start making judgements like that.
 
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It's always been a terrible rule because it fixed a problem that didn't need fixing and because it is difficult to enforce from where the umpires sit, so now we have endless controversies as to whether someone is serving legally or not. BUT, it has been 12 years now!!!!!!!!! We've all had time to adjust I should think.

The biggest problem I had adjusting is that the motion I used to hide serves also helped me quickly regain balance after serving. In the intervening period I have had to develop an entirely new set of serves.
 
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JHB

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Yeah exactly! btw, I really love your blade of choice! Could it be any more classic than the stiga contra super carbon! ;)

Lol, yes I bought it new in 1979 or 1980, used it regularly for about two years and then changed jobs, relocated and lost the opportunity to play table tennis. So the blade sat in its case on the top shelf of my wardrobe for many years. When I returned to the game and got the bat out again the Yasaka Tornado which I originally had on the blade did look very sorry for itself.....

RE. umpires and so on - I think one reason for inaction is that local leagues are full of players who've been playing for a lot of years and have become very resistant to change. Quite a few players who I regularly play with ( social players with some league players mixed in ) can't handle the "flat hand, throw the ball up" part of the service rule let alone what's being discussed here. I am told that at league meetings when the subject of illegal service actions is raised the response is often along the lines of "Old Fred's been doing it like this for years, we can't force him to change now" to which my reaction is "Really ??"

Why do people not change to conform to the rules ? Many possibilities there, however one we may not have considered; a friend who plays in the local league complains that several of his fellow team members NEVER practise - they come along on league night, play their matches and then don't touch a bat again until the next league night. I wonder how common this is ?
 
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Umpire some matches first before you start making judgements like that.

I agree with you 100%. Most people make judgement on what they see on their PC screen from that particular angle of the camera. To them it looked covered or hidden, but to the opposite player, usually in a diagonal position of the server, it's not hidden. It's not what we as viewers see, but what the opposite player sees.
 
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I'm a bit surprised why players don't use backhand serves more. instead players do a reverse fh serve and many times with a poor result. look at dima ovtcharov, he has a great backhand serve.

Interesting thought, Ovtcharov surely has an amazing serve. My guess is that most beginners start with forehand serve because it's a more natural motion. Also most trainers, that trains beginners, don't have the knowledge of how important it is to have a serve that is different. Furthermore they don't see that having a peculiar serve with good placement can be just as effective or even more effective, they just see the importance of spin.
 
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When beginning with training it's absolutely necessary to learn how to create spin, may it be on the serve or topspin or pushes. Spin is a essential part of modern table tennis and plays a huge role in getting points.
I think the main reason for learning forehand serve first is that getting into playing position from the serve motion is an inward motion which shifts the weight to the forehand side which creates the optimal conditions for a forehand attack. This is also the ideal scenario to abuse the serving advantage. Serve -> attack -> point that's exactly what attacking players should be looking for.
The backhand serve other than the forehand serve requires a outward motion to compensate the footing needed for a free swing on the backhand serve. This leads to a shift of weight towards the backhand side which requires rebalancing for a forehand attack after serve.

For professional players the rebalancing wont pose a problem because they have the needed leg strength and footwork, but for new players this could cause some problems in the early learning stages. So as to not overwhelm new players I think starting with the forehand serve is generally better.
 
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