If you are very new to table tennis, you may ask why would I touch the table. Here may be some examples, while you stroke a ball very near to the table, your paddle or finger may touch the table, when you are far to the table, a short ball comes and you run to the table and hit the table with your leg, etc. The point is: what happens now? Can you touch the table in table tennis or not? The rally ends, or continues?
Can you touch the table in table tennis? Your free hand, that does not hold the racket, can not touch the playing surface of the table. However, If your hand that holds the racket or racket itself or your clothes or your leg, touches the table, the rally continues unless you move the table.
Even if the answer seems satisfying most of the questions in mind. There may be many cases for touching the table in table tennis. Here are some cases you may need to take a look.
What if you did not move the table?
Ok, you did and touched the table, but you did not move the table. By your hand, or leg, or paddle… So what? Is it still your opponent’s point?
Do not forget, these rules apply only when the ball is in play. For example, if the ball bounced 2 times on the opponent’s side or there is a let, etc. the ball is not in play. So the rally already ended. No penalty.
Let me exaggerate the case a little:
Related ITTF Rule & Regulations
All the explanations I made above are coming from related rules & regulations of the ITTF, that can be found in the ITTF Handbook of 2019. Below you can find the related 3 rules that structures in which situations and how you can touch the table in table tennis.
Unless the rally is a let, a player shall score a point(2.10 A Point):
18.104.22.168 If an opponent, or anything an opponent wears or carries, moves the playing surface,
22.214.171.124 If an opponent, or anything an opponent wears or carries, touches the net assembly,
126.96.36.199 If an opponent’s free hand touches the playing surface.
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Can you touch the table in table tennis?
Your free hand, that does not hold the racket, can not touch the playing surface of the table. However, If your hand that holds the racket or racket itself or your clothes or your leg, touches the table, the rally continues unless you move the table.
Can you strike the ball before it bounces in table tennis?
You can not hit the ball until it has bounced on your side of the table. In other words, volley is not allowed. You should wait for the ball to continue its path.
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