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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2008, 09:56 
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adham wrote:
...I wish sport and its rules were as black and white as you would like them to be...

Adham


Adham, I have not been talking about "sport and its rules" in general. I have been trying to draw attention to the fact, that in my view 1 particular service rule has not been fully implemented for very long time (circa 6 years). And to the fact, that this rule is clear and simple.

You wrote earlier in this thread about the service rule:

adham wrote:
...you will not imagine how many experts inside the ITTF struggled to get the right wording. ...


So, experts, right wording.

I am looking forward to the next ITTF event.


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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2008, 11:18 
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Hi Adham.

Maybe we should give the service rule a little break. I mean, of course, the discussion, not implementation. :)

You wrote in German forum:
http://forum.tt-news.de/showthread.php? ... ost1297389
"I have checked about the 25mN friction standard. You are absolutely right. It applies only to pimpled-rubber (long and short pimples), it odes not apply to Anti-spin."

I didn't find a word about "minimum friction level" in the ITTF Handbook:
http://www.ittf.com/ittf_handbook/ittf_hb.html

But in the Technical Leaflet T4
http://www.ittf.com/ittf_equipment/pdf/ ... s_2007.pdf
we can read:

"1.4.4. Friction
The minimum friction level is 25 mN. The rubber surface of the racket
coverings should be uniform and without coating
."

No word here about "pimpled-rubber only"!

Now let's take a closer look at the context. Important is it's structure:

"1.4. The racket covering

1.4.1. Pimples
...........................
1.4.2 Ordinary pimpled rubber
............................
1.4.3. Sandwich rubber
...........................
1.4.4. Friction
The minimum friction level is 25 mN. The rubber surface of the racket
coverings should be uniform and without coating."


It's obvious for me, that "friction" here is meant to be a property of "the racket covering". It means, of all types of rubber. Not just a property of "pimpled-rubber"!

This conclusion, if correct, contradicts clearly your statement.

I would greatly appreciate it, if you could comment on this contradiction.


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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2008, 13:19 
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Hi Adham,

There was a lot of answers you provided to a lot of posts in your last log on so understandably you missed a question I posed. So I will re-pose it.

Do you think it would benefit ITTF events, if like many other sports, they introduced a "3rd Umpire" or as others call it a "Video Referee". I think this would have a lot of merit as TT, like in cricket, can have things happen at such a pace it can be hard for the human eye to catch. Being able to make a decision based on slow motion replay makes sense. What do you think?

I actually think it would be great to have some sort of system like this for all TT events as any dispute where the tournament ref is called in will have video evidence of what took place and the ref is not just relying on what he's told.

I appreciate there would be a cost to this, but technology cost is becoming so cheap that it may be viable. Or is this idea just too crazy LOL?

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Adham: I saw the junior womens semi final on your website (I think it's great you can view table tennis there by the way).

What is your view on stamping. Mine is that it is not neccesssary in ANY shot let alone a push or a lift and should be an automatic loss of point. I see it as a clear attempt to put your opponent off and to be totally unsporting.

I think it looks awful for this sport when tactics like this are condoned, especially at this level (for condoned read allowed - all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing). I lost interest in football when diving came in to the game and this would not encourage me to recommend table tennis to anyone as a sport. I wouldn't want any kids of mine to follow that example and would stop them playing if they did.

On the serve issue I would have to agree with smart guy. The people who are throwing it back are most likely doing it to gain an advantage. Players of that skill level should have the neccesary hand eye co-ordination to throw it near vertical. I think it needs a tighter application of the existing rule. I.e a simple instruction to umpires to enforce the rule should suffice.

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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2008, 22:41 
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Hi Adham,

In regards to the rule that a player is not allowed to change bat during a match, are you able to explain good reason for keeping this rule? There has been some discussion on the forum and some don't see any great advantage to anyone by not being able to change your bat. There may be some complication with testing of bats now with the VOC testing, although it shouldn't be a big issue to be allowed 2 bats tested if a player wishes it, should it? At lower levels than pro, (and at pro for that matter) is this rule maintained purely due to history, or is there a valid reason for it.

Its noted that the ETTA actually allows a bat to be changed during a match. If a player must allow the umpire and opponent to see the bat when they change to it, what harm could come from deleting this rule?

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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2008, 23:30 
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This is the law if it helps with the discussion.
ETTA Laws (2008/9) 2.4.8 At the start of the match and whenever he changes his racket during a match a player shall show his opponent and the umpire the racket he is about to use and shall allow them to examine it.

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 05:55 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Hi Adham,

There was a lot of answers you provided to a lot of posts in your last log on so understandably you missed a question I posed. So I will re-pose it.

Do you think it would benefit ITTF events, if like many other sports, they introduced a "3rd Umpire" or as others call it a "Video Referee". I think this would have a lot of merit as TT, like in cricket, can have things happen at such a pace it can be hard for the human eye to catch. Being able to make a decision based on slow motion replay makes sense. What do you think?

I actually think it would be great to have some sort of system like this for all TT events as any dispute where the tournament ref is called in will have video evidence of what took place and the ref is not just relying on what he's told.

I appreciate there would be a cost to this, but technology cost is becoming so cheap that it may be viable. Or is this idea just too crazy LOL?


Yes, this is being considered. In fact, in Beijing Olympics because a point was disputed, the players could actually see the instant replay on the large screen and see for themselves. But a good system would need several cameras at each table covering from several angles. What may seem legal from one angle, may seem illegal from the other angle. However, it is not a priority to install this type of system because it is very costly and we only have rare occasions at ITTF events of controversial points. In the entire Olympic Games we only had 2 incidents, one was solved quickly with the players agreeing and one took a lot time to solve and the players were never in agreement. In this case your proposal would have helped. Eventually it is my goal to have such a system in place. Perhaps we could start just with the show-court table. In cricket or American Football where such systems are in place, they only have one field, we sometimes use 16 tables at a time. But perhaps for the show-court (TV) table, we could do it.

Adham

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 05:57 
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speedplay wrote:
Another, sort of rule, question.

I know that when it's time for big competitions, FIFA often gathers the umpires and tells them what they should be extra aware of, such as pulling shirts, taking a dive and stuff like this. I know that Ice Hockey does the same.

Now, my question is, does ITTF also gathers the umpires and tell them to be extra aware of fx the serve toss, the time between points or any other stuff?


Yes, for sure, at all top ITTF events the Referee has a meeting with the Umpires to set the tone. Basically to get some consistency in the umpiring.

Adham

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 06:06 
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antipip wrote:
Adham: I saw the junior womens semi final on your website (I think it's great you can view table tennis there by the way).

What is your view on stamping. Mine is that it is not neccesssary in ANY shot let alone a push or a lift and should be an automatic loss of point. I see it as a clear attempt to put your opponent off and to be totally unsporting.

I think it looks awful for this sport when tactics like this are condoned, especially at this level (for condoned read allowed - all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing). I lost interest in football when diving came in to the game and this would not encourage me to recommend table tennis to anyone as a sport. I wouldn't want any kids of mine to follow that example and would stop them playing if they did.

On the serve issue I would have to agree with smart guy. The people who are throwing it back are most likely doing it to gain an advantage. Players of that skill level should have the neccesary hand eye co-ordination to throw it near vertical. I think it needs a tighter application of the existing rule. I.e a simple instruction to umpires to enforce the rule should suffice.


Stomping used to be a tactic when both sides of the racket were the same colour. The players used to be able to distinguish each side by the "sound" each side made when the ball was struck. So some clever players would stomp their foot to camouflage the sound and trick the opponent. Now the players rely on the colour of the rubber to distinguish between the two sides, so stomping is no longer an effective tactic and it has become more part of the technique of some players, especially when serving. The top players are not bothered by it and we never received any complaints.

Yes, those that throw the ball back are trying to get an advantage, but in fact the advantage is visible. The problem in returning service is not so much the quantity of spin, the problem is to know the and recognize the amount and type of spin. If you can see the point of contact, and if you can see the direction of the toss, then it's rather easy to know the amount and type of spin. This is why I keep insisting about the "intent" of the rule. The main intent is "a clear view for the receiver", as long as that is achieved, then the players are happy. As long as they can see the point of contact then it's OK for them. The first year of the new service rule was the toughest. Once both the players and umpires found a common comfort zone and the objective of a "clear view" was achieved, then it's OK. Of course, as you said and smart guy said, eventually I would like to see a consistent and exact application of the rule.

Adham

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 06:20 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Hi Adham,

In regards to the rule that a player is not allowed to change bat during a match, are you able to explain good reason for keeping this rule? There has been some discussion on the forum and some don't see any great advantage to anyone by not being able to change your bat. There may be some complication with testing of bats now with the VOC testing, although it shouldn't be a big issue to be allowed 2 bats tested if a player wishes it, should it? At lower levels than pro, (and at pro for that matter) is this rule maintained purely due to history, or is there a valid reason for it.

Its noted that the ETTA actually allows a bat to be changed during a match. If a player must allow the umpire and opponent to see the bat when they change to it, what harm could come from deleting this rule?


I remember when some players used to show up at the table with 10 different rackets and changing every few points ! But that was then. Now, we do have the rule of using only one racket because of racket testing. This was imposed when we started with the Draeger Test to detect illegal glues. So, the fear was that a player gets one racket tested and then uses another one half way through the match or so. Now the problem is even worse because we test the racket for VOC presence, thickness, flatness, etc. So once the racket is tested, that is racket that must be used, unless damaged (as per our rules). Perhaps 2 rackets could be allowed and rather well controlled. But if we allow 2, then someone will ask for 3, and so on. So far, the one racket rule works very well. Actually, at the German Open, one famopus player tested 2 rackets before the match. One passed and one failed. By some unintentional error, he ended up using the illegal racket. he was tested after the match, failed the test, and disqualified. So, perhaps it's wiser to stick to the one racket rule to avoid even more such problems.

Adham

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 06:23 
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antipip wrote:
This is the law if it helps with the discussion.
ETTA Laws (2008/9) 2.4.8 At the start of the match and whenever he changes his racket during a match a player shall show his opponent and the umpire the racket he is about to use and shall allow them to examine it.


Yes, this is the old ITTF rule, the ETTA decided to keep it for ETTA events. At the international level the one-racket rule was adopted after the introduction of racket testing. I think 2 rackets should be OK. If a player changes a racket during a match, then this racket must be tested after the match. I guess the one-racket rule avoids extra complications.

Adham

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adham wrote:
The problem in returning service is not so much the quantity of spin, the problem is to know the and recognize the amount and type of spin. If you can see the point of contact, and if you can see the direction of the toss, then it's rather easy to know the amount and type of spin. This is why I keep insisting about the "intent" of the rule. The main intent is "a clear view for the receiver", as long as that is achieved, then the players are happy. As long as they can see the point of contact then it's OK for them.


This would eliminate the need for the 'nearly vertical' portion of the rule. If I understand correctly, as long as I toss the ball at least 15cm in the vertical and do it so that the toss and contact point are perfectly visible to my opponent, then I have met the 'intent' of the rule and the angle at which I toss the ball is irrelevant.

I'm more confused now than ever. :oops:

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 21:22 
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adham wrote:
haggisv wrote:
adham wrote:
- perhaps you are talking about oils and vegetable based tuners, these of course are not harmful to the health. The problem is that they alter the rubber after approval.
Adham


I'm sorry to keep questioning this, but I'm still unconvinced of the explanation...

1. Lets assume we have a VOC-free poison-free booster. The factory glues an ITTF approved topsheet onto a sponge. Now the factory uses a booster on the SPONGE ONLY. Now according to all evidence I've seen, the ONLY effect that the booster has on the TOPSHEET is that it stretches it, which according to you is legal when done in the factory (within ITTF set limits). Sponges are already made with the use of chemical, and are also glued to the topsheet using VOC-based chemical, so the booster is simply part of this factory process. The rubber is aired properly before sold to the public. Legal rubber or not?

2. Lets assume we have a VOC-free poison-free booster. The factory uses a booster on the sponge, BEFORE it's glued onto an ITTF approved topsheet. The rubber is aired properly before sold to the public. Legal rubber or not?

3. A distributor buys a cheap ITTF approved topsheet and a sponge, and applies either on the the methods (1. or 2.) above. This turns a cheap chinese topsheet and sponge combination into a rubber of similar performance to the top-end Tensor style rubber. The rubber is aired properly before sold to the public. Legal or not?

4. A player buys a cheap topsheet and sponge, and applies either on the the methods (1. or 2.) above. This turns his cheap chinese topsheet and sponge combination into a rubber of similar performance to the top-end Tensor style rubber. Legal or not?

Please understand I have no problem in accepting your speed glue ban, for health reasons. I also would have no problem in accepting the booster/tuner ban if you gave us a reason why, since the health issue is not proven.

If you said it was in order to slow the game down, I would accept that as a valid reason, even if I didn't agree with it...
The bit I'm not happy with is that the ITTF trying to justify the banning of tuners/booster, by saying that they are already against existing rules... this is a means of banning them, not a reason... I hope you can see the difference...


In order to answer your 4 scenarios, first I will explain clearly the rule:
- Any post-factory alteration of the equipment (in this case racket covering) is NOT legal. By post-factory, we mean at the distributor level, at the retail level, at the player level, at the reseller level, etc.
- VOC-containing glues are used at the factory level for several applications (gluing the rubber to the sponge, gluing the wood plies to make the racket, etc.). The factory must follow the rules of their government as it relates to VOCs (very strict in Japan, Canada, Germany,etc, but rather lax in China, India, Russia, etc.). In any case, the ITTF advices the factories to air and ventilate the equipment (rackets and racket coverings in this case) using special ventilated racks, which usually eliminate all VOCs (or almost all).
So now, you could answer your questions yourself:

1. Legal (at factory, no VOCs, no poison, properly aired, stretched within limits).
2. Legal (same as above, if I understood correctly)
3. Post factory, not legal
4. Post factory, not legal

The above is according to the current rules (if I understood the scenarios correctly).

I understand your position about VOC-glues. Regarding the so-called vegetable-based tuners and boosters that are free of VOC and poison, I really do not see any harm in accepting them. But what I keep repeating is that according to our current rules they are "illegal" because they alter the racket covering. This is NOT according to our rules and never was. Rule 2.4 is clear about the composition of the racket, but since some felt it was not clear enough, rule 2.4.7 was proposed by those that sought further clarity. This makes any type of additive, whether healthy or not, illegal. Now let's talk practically. Is it detectable? Probably not, unless it makes the rubber bulge too much and exceeds 4mm, or if it makes the rubber bulge and the surface is not flat. So as you can see it may cause 2 infractions to the current rules. I anticipate your next question: suppose I use VOC-free, non-poisonous, vegetable based substance on the sponge, and the total thickness of the racket covering does not exceed 4mm, and the surface is flat, is it legal or illegal? The answer is it is still illegal because you are not supposed to have any additives according to 2.4 (not part of the composition of the racket) post-factory, but would be totally acceptable, because no apparent rule would be violated. In fact, this could be the future direction, but the question is, would you still have the same effect? Less than 4mm thick, surface flat (no bulge or dome), would there be any reason to do this?

Please believe that the rules are not purposely intended to slow down the game. The speed of the game depends on the players. Sure, a side effect of the 40mm ball and the VOC-free glue, and the booster and tuner ban does make the game slower. But speed is not really the issue. You could get more speed by making the blades faster to compensate in the loss of speed. In fact, my recommendation to the top players and to the manufacturers is to always look at the racket as a whole: blade wood type, blade weight, blade distribution of weight, sponge type and thickness and rubber type. The sum of the total combination of all those elements is what should give the player the amount of speed he/she desires, the amount of friction (spin) they desire, and the amount of "feel" they desire.

I hope I answered your questions, I am not trying to convince you, just trying to explain.

Adham


Dear Adham,

I'm Laurent Bérenger, I produced boosters for many brands and member of FIT.

The ITTF seems to be in war against boosters an other chemical stuff. From my knowledge, and you confirmed it (point 1 of your answer), there is no rule against placing a sponge if this sponge, boosed or not, doesn't modify the charachteristics of the topsheet.

but I'm surprised by your answer "post factory". According to my knowledge, once again, I don't see any rule witch prohibit a player removing sponge from the topsheet and past this original and not modified topsheet with another or with the same sponge (boosted or not).

Also, when topsheet and sponge are selling separately, is there any rule witch prohibit to boost the sponge before gluing it on the approved and not modified topsheet?

These last 2 cases, the topsheet keeps originals characteristics (nb of pimples by cm² , thickness, elasticity, pimple size, logo size and so on...)

The ITTF shouldn't be on war against boosters because not illegal if palyers or manufacturers respect differents steps for, finally have the same topsheet as approved.

Anybody can use a car if he doesn't drive too quick. Anybody can use a booster if he doens't modify the topsheet.

I'm looking formard to your answer,

very friendly yours,

Laurent Bérenger

(sorry for my english, I hope I'm clear enough!)


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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 21:37 
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Adham: My point about stamping or stomping as you put it was more to do with what I would call ungentlemanly conducty or a lack of sprotmanship and how it affects the perception of the game. I think it gives the game a bad image.
I don't doubt it's a learned technique, but I don't believe it is a neccesary one in the execuution of any shot.

You raised the point of it been used to cover up the sound of which racket side is used and this been less important since the introduction of the 2 colour rule. You will find that if you really listen you can tell how it was hit not just which side was used, so they are also gaining by covering up information. I am more concerned with what I see as unsporting behaviour and its affect on the image of the game rather than this loss of information.

On the serve issue: Whilst I have no access to table tennis studies, I have seen some with other racket sports. These show that elite performers attend to the servers wrist not the actual racket as many of the performers themselves and others think.

Have such studies been done in table tennis? If not they should be done. If they poduce the same results as other racket sports the implication would be clear. The receiver would need to see the wrist at and before impact of the server not just the racket at the point of contact to not be disadvataged. I would hypothesise that the present rule and how it's implemented gives the server too much of an advantage. If no studies have been done, based on your comments earlier in this thread that the service was not wanted to give to much of an advantage; I would suggest you do some studies and based on those findings you can leave or alter the rule.

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Glueless wrote:
adham wrote:
The problem in returning service is not so much the quantity of spin, the problem is to know the and recognize the amount and type of spin. If you can see the point of contact, and if you can see the direction of the toss, then it's rather easy to know the amount and type of spin. This is why I keep insisting about the "intent" of the rule. The main intent is "a clear view for the receiver", as long as that is achieved, then the players are happy. As long as they can see the point of contact then it's OK for them.


This would eliminate the need for the 'nearly vertical' portion of the rule. If I understand correctly, as long as I toss the ball at least 15cm in the vertical and do it so that the toss and contact point are perfectly visible to my opponent, then I have met the 'intent' of the rule and the angle at which I toss the ball is irrelevant.

I'm more confused now than ever. :oops:


Don't be confused. The necessity of the wording "nearly vertical" is to avoid one particular situation, whereas players where throwing the ball high, but to the side, and as the ball descended, they shielded it with the left shoulder (for right handed server). The ball was visible to the umpire all the time, but was shielded from the receiver just before the point of contact. This was throwing off the receiver. With the current wording, if the umpire suspects that the ball is being shielded he can then call a fault. For you to be absolutely clear, the spirit of the law is as follows: "The Ball must be clear to the receiver at all times including the point of contact". This is the main point.
I sent to one of the Forum members here or at another website the Power Point explanation of a good service. If you wish I could send it to you also. Please send me an e-mail to "[email protected]" and I will send it to you.

Regarding the "throw back" of the service to gain advantage, this seems to be tolerated by the Umpires. Either because they feel that the point of contact remains visible and therefore the advantage is lost. Or because they have an accepted "tolerance" level on the interpretation of the word "nearly". I am sure if things degenerate, then the ITTF's URC will set it straight.

Adham

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