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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2012, 12:48 
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Hey, guys, I have a question. Is there any limitation as to how much motion I can have when I serve? Could a person be warned by an official for "excess movement" when they are serving? I am not aware of any law of table tennis that applies here, but I haven't read the rulebook from front to back, either. Here's a scenario I have in mind...

I am a Seemiller style player, and I want to execute a serve in which I am swiping at the ball with the bat from right to left, handle pointing down (in a motion that is parallel to the end line). In other words, I am brushing the back of the ball with a horizontal swipe, imparting mostly sidespin with a small degree of either topspin or backspin. I'm pretty certain it is OK for me to throw the ball up, and as it comes down, fake swipe the serve left, then swipe right and contact the ball. But, would it be OK for me to throw the ball up quite high, and "fake swipe" back and forth quickly (3-5 times) until the ball comes down to where I actually hit it? I have been working on such a serve, and it has been fairly effective. But before I try to perfect that serve any more, I want to make sure that it is legal.

Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2012, 12:54 
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JimWeiland wrote:
Hey, guys, I have a question. Is there any limitation as to how much motion I can have when I serve? Could a person be warned by an official for "excess movement" when they are serving? I am not aware of any law of table tennis that applies here, but I haven't read the rulebook from front to back, either. Here's a scenario I have in mind...

I am a Seemiller style player, and I want to execute a serve in which I am swiping at the ball with the bat from right to left, handle pointing down (in a motion that is parallel to the end line). In other words, I am brushing the back of the ball with a horizontal swipe, imparting mostly sidespin with a small degree of either topspin or backspin. I'm pretty certain it is OK for me to throw the ball up, and as it comes down, fake swipe the serve left, then swipe right and contact the ball. But, would it be OK for me to throw the ball up quite high, and "fake swipe" back and forth quickly (3-5 times) until the ball comes down to where I actually hit it? I have been working on such a serve, and it has been fairly effective. But before I try to perfect that serve any more, I want to make sure that it is legal.

Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

That is perfectly legal.

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2012, 12:58 
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Yep, totally ok. Just as long as you don't cover up the ball. you could do a little happy dance if you wanted during you serve, as long as the contact is behind the table and you dont cover it up.

Cometo think of it,if practiced, a littl weird dance would be very offputing for the opponent :lol:

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2012, 20:54 
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Hi Jim,
perfectly legal - I have my main windscreen serve going right to left, and the occasional alternative coming back again left to right, and no one has ever complained - about the legality, that is! :D


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2012, 22:08 
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Yes, should be perfectly legal no matter what you do, as long as it does not disrupt play in other ways, like making the umpire roll on the floor laughing, as you do a Gangnam Style dance as the ball comes down :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2013, 12:55 
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The rule just says that the service STARTS with the ball stationary in the palm of your hand. Once you toss you can do anything you want as long as you don't hide the ball in some way.

At our club we have a new player (experienced, just new to our club) who does an amazing hand-dance with the ball BEFORE he makes a small toss. He never actually comes to anything close to a stationary position and he waves the ball all over the place, including over the table...sometimes he actually makes a noticeable "click" as he taps the ball on the table during his hand-waving marathon prior to actually serving it up.

Now I'd say all THAT is illegal...but AFTER the toss I'd say just about anything goes.

 

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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2013, 01:26 
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haggisv wrote:
Yes, should be perfectly legal no matter what you do, as long as it does not disrupt play in other ways, like making the umpire roll on the floor laughing, as you do a Gangnam Style dance as the ball comes down :lol: :lol: :lol:


Maybe I should practice that one :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2013, 11:42 
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Thanks, guys! I appreciate the informational--and humorous--replies. I can assure you, with my physique, I will not be doing any dances of any sort. Shake a bowl of jello, and watch how long it continues to move. I'm afraid that would be me.

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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2013, 14:32 
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Hey Jim, while there is nothing illegal about what you are suggesting I give you one warning. We have a few players at the club that do various things during their toss (one actually does a short dance of sorts lol), but one of them does what you are suggesting as habit on every serve. He swishes twice beneath the ball before striking it. Its not terribly effective for anyone who knows to watch the ball and only the ball. But if you can be deceptive enough it with changing spins during it, perhaps it will help hide that. Personally I think it adds more risk factor in muffing the serve than anything, but thats just me ;)

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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2013, 22:19 
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Jasna Rather (Reed back then) had an article in USATT magazine exhorting players to make all manner of bat movement, such as waving the bat back and forth before serve while ball is in the air.

Maybe a good soul could find it...

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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2013, 03:24 
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Firstly, its ok to do that. i know a player who does a hook serve with so much pomp and show, the first time you recieve it you keep looking at the man himself instead of actually attempting a return. Its like he thinks if the opponents realize he is constipated, maybe they will throw the game...

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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2013, 11:36 
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I'd say you want to monitor how wild you get with your free hand.

I play a guy who occasionally puts his free hand up in the air as he does a serve or while looping.
The motion tends to look just like raising his hand to call a let.
It's very irritating to stop play only to find out the guy thinks nothing is wrong and he won the point.
I assume I have the right to call a let for my part because of this type of thing, though it makes for a hassle.

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PostPosted: 10 Feb 2013, 18:16 
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I like to carry my ball with my freehand upwards before I actually toss it... illegal according to this video.

I like to recoil my backhand serve by bring the arm back and then forward before tossing the ball.... illegal I guess because I cant keep my left hand perfectly steady while holding the ball although most opponents will tell me its pretty much still...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1fl_la2yhYc

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