Have you ever noticed that a table tennis player serves really weirdly? I imagine so if you wondered in my article. Many table tennis players seem to serve from a weird position, especially in pro-level competitions, and there is a good reason for that.
In this article, I will explain why table tennis players serve weirdly, do they have to serve from that position, what is an illegal serve, and much more about serves in table tennis.
But first, why do table tennis players serve weirdly?
Table tennis players serve weirdly because they want to hide their intentions from their opponent. By serving as close to the body as possible from a semi-lunge position, the racket is hidden to the last moment, making it hard for the opponent to anticipate the ball’s direction.
That being said, the idea of serving from a weird position isn’t to look weird but to implement the benefit that the weird serve enables for the player. Next, I’ll walk you through the reasons why one might serve weird in table tennis.
- Why Do Table Tennis Players Serve Weird?
- What kind of weird serves are there in table tennis?
- Can table tennis serve bounce twice?
- Do you have to throw the ball up to serve in ping pong?
- How many let serves are allowed in table tennis?
- What is an illegal serve in table tennis?
- My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Why Do Table Tennis Players Serve Weird?
There are two main reasons to serve from a weird position in table tennis: concealing the racket and noise.
1. To conceal the racket until the last second
The most important reason to serve weird is to conceal the racket until the last second because the opponent has the least time to react to the ball’s trajectory.
Table tennis is an incredibly fast-paced sport, and every millisecond counts because the ball is so fast and the table is so short. This is why most professional players use the head serve to hide the racket.
2. To hide the noise of a ball’s spin
Another reason to serve weird is to hide the racket’s noise when hitting the ball. Also, when the ball is spinning, it makes a small sound where a professional player can determine the amount of spin.
If you see a player stomping during a serve, this is why. However, stomping has a controversial reputation in the table tennis world because many people consider it cheating. In fact, you shouldn’t stomp to your own advantage unless for gaining balance, but it is tough to determine whether a player stomps for stability during a serve or not.
What kind of weird serves are there in table tennis?
Now that you know why one might serve weird in table tennis, you should know the how. There are 3 types of weird serves are used in table tennis, and each one of them has a specific benefit they are used for.
1. Head/face serve
Head or face serve is the most common weird-looking serve used by table tennis players. This is done by taking a semi-lunge position and serving as close to the body as possible. Also, the paddle needs to be hidden before striking the ball to get the benefits out of the serve.
Take a look at the video below to see how it looks.
2. Stomping during a serve
Stomping is another weird way to serve. During a stomp serve, the player stomps when they hit the ball, which hides the serve’s sound, making it extremely hard to determine the speed or spin of the ball.
If you want to learn more about stomping in table tennis, I highly encourage you to read my in-depth article about it.
3. High toss serve
High ball serve is yet another weird serve that raises questions. This is done by throwing the ball really high, which increases the possible maneuvers to the spin, making it harder for the opponent to prepare for it. This also makes the ball hit the racket with greater power increasing power and spin.
Table tennis rules state that one might serve the ball only when the ball starts to descend. Making a high ball throw serve makes it harder for the opponent to know the exact moment you will serve.
Take a look at the video below to see what a high toss serve looks like.
Can table tennis serve bounce twice?
In short, a table tennis serve can only bounce once on your side of the table. However, the ball can bounce twice or more times on your opponent’s side of the table, earning you a point. Also, the serve can land anywhere in singles.
Do you have to throw the ball up to serve in ping pong?
There are many rules to serving in table tennis, and one of them regards how you must throw the ball before serving.
Table tennis rules state that you must toss the ball straight up at least to the height of 6” (15.24cm). You can only strike the ball when it is on its way down. Also, the ball must hit your side of the table before hitting the opponents.
How many let serves are allowed in table tennis?
As a rule of thumb, there is an infinite number of let serves in table tennis when it hits the net, given that the serve is legal otherwise. However, a ball rarely hits the net multiple times on the row, so an infinite amount of let serves is impossible.
What is an illegal serve in table tennis?
There is far more than one illegal serve in table tennis. I’ll explain the most common ones below.
There are many illegal serves in table tennis which most common ones are hiding the racket’s and ball’s contact point and quick-serve, meaning your opponent aren’t prepared for it. Also, low toss serve is common among beginners where the ball doesn’t reach the required 6” (15.24cm) height.
My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my preferred table tennis equipment that I believe you could benefit too!
- Racket: My favorite racket choice is the beautiful Killerspin Jet800 because it fits my offensive and speed-focused playstyle. The two carbon layers, 2.1mm sponge, and 190g weight makes this racket powerful.
- Ping Pong Balls: New technology and design have made the JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Balls stand out from the other balls. These balls are seamless, meaning they are more durable than any ball with a seam! Even when these balls come at a higher price, they will pay themselves quickly. As a bonus, the design makes me excited!
- Table Tennis shoes: The famous Butterfly Lezoline Rifones is my choice as it is for many others because they are designed specifically for table tennis standards. I like the excellent support, comfortable cushioning, and lightweight sole with great traction, which gets you exploding fast to whatever direction you need to.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.