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 Post subject: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2009, 17:45 
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G'day all

wow, this forum is looking very flash! 8)

I recently played in the Easter Classic.
In my match against my friend, the umpire gave him a warning for illegal service motion (the umpire said he did not toss the ball up high enough). My friend was adamant that the umpire was incorrect, and said the warning cost him the match by making him too self-conscious about his service motions. As luck would have it, my wife had recorded that serve. The angle and distance is not ideal, but he was interested in hearing the view of the experts on oneofakind forums on whether the umpire was correct or not.

The service can be viewed at:




PK

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2009, 17:59 
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Well I'm hardly one to lend advice...

LEGAL. Looks like the ball is thrown 6'' and was contacted on the descent (just).

Palm of the hand was open... the ball was on full display to the opponent at all times, no obstructing body, or arm.

I don't think it was a great serve, but I could easily be wrong. I suspect that the umpire believed that the ball was contacted before is descended - which it wasn't. To issue a warning because the ball was thrown 5'' not 6'' is difficult to justify.

In my case it appears it would give me an advantage - well okay it does, the question is it a legal advantage. There was no advantage to the server in this case.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2009, 18:01 
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Oh hang on... I've got this thread confused with a previous discussion we were having in the discussion area.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2009, 21:00 
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I agree with the others that it is very hard to tell from the angle but as speedplay states if he uses this serve a lot and it is constantly such a line ball decision I think a good umpire may issue a gentle warning directing the player to allow the ball to more clearly descend before striking it. In addition I think the fast and relatively short back swing of the blade makes the serve it look worse, it all happens very quickly and my experience is that that makes umpires look twice.

Hey poor knight is that the Easter classic @ MSAC down here in Melb or are my eyes messing with my mind. If so what events did you play in & how did you go.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2009, 23:48 
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Thanks all for comments...
One thing more I noticed (though it's not so obvious in my clip...I probably cropped it too much at the beginning) is that my friend never brings the ball to a complete rest before tossing...so that might be one other way it is not entirely legal.

Mars, your eyes do not deceive you...it was the Easter Classic at MSAC.
I entered divisions 2, 3 and 4 singles. Only won one game, and that was against my friend.
Not one of my career highlights! Oh well...all good learning experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2009, 12:40 
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poor_knight wrote:
Thanks all for comments...
One thing more I noticed (though it's not so obvious in my clip...I probably cropped it too much at the beginning) is that my friend never brings the ball to a complete rest before tossing...so that might be one other way it is not entirely legal.

Mars, your eyes do not deceive you...it was the Easter Classic at MSAC.
I entered divisions 2, 3 and 4 singles. Only won one game, and that was against my friend.
Not one of my career highlights! Oh well...all good learning experience.

Cheers
PK


I think this is a very tough tournament, its been going on for years. Too bad I did not know you were going to be in town I could have had a hit and warmed you up for the tournament. :D

Is that the first time you have been to MSAC and what did you think about it. Did you get around to nany other TT venues.

I know you said you friend was upset at being called during the match for the questionable serve but have you shown him the vid and discussed how he feels about it, will he be making any changes if he is going to continue playing tournaments.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2009, 12:59 
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Mars63 wrote:
I think this is a very tough tournament, its been going on for years. Too bad I did not know you were going to be in town I could have had a hit and warmed you up for the tournament. :D

Is that the first time you have been to MSAC and what did you think about it. Did you get around to nany other TT venues.

I know you said you friend was upset at being called during the match for the questionable serve but have you shown him the vid and discussed how he feels about it, will he be making any changes if he is going to continue playing tournaments.


I didn't realise you were in Melbourne. I do occasionally make my way down there (I am originally from Melbourne) so maybe next time we can arrange a hitout. It can be my mini version of Der_Echte's oneofakindtrading world tour!

I actually did enter in the Easter Classic last year (in divisions 3 and 4) and at least got past the first round on that occasion. So I am going backwards. It's very different from competition I play in Canberra. First of all I find the levels are all over the place. You can meet someone in division 4 who is a lot better than someone in a higher division. Second, I find the people are much more competitive and much less friendly (maybe the prize money has something to do with it). Aside from my two stabs at the Easter Classic I played in the NSW Country Championships (and will be playing again this year), and the Open ACT table tennis championship last two years. That seems to be basically my calendar of competitive events. Wondering whether I should perhaps add the NSW Championship to that list.

After I showed the video to my friend, he was even more adamant it was a legal serve. He considered all the comments to the contrary on youtube to be just the usual youtube negativity. He thinks the umpire was on a power-trip and deliberately tried to muck up his game, and that he would have won if the warning had not been given. Given that he was only up 6-4, and it was the first game (and I have won our past 20+ matches against each other) I would beg to differ...but hard to convince him! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2009, 13:59 
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I agree with the warning - I commented on the YouTube video as user G309. I think the toss was less than 16cm but the dropping of the free hand makes it look a bit higher.

I think a good call by the umpire - who after all is in the best position to judge.

And remember that it is also up to the player to serve in such a way that it is clear to the umpire that he meets the requirements of a good serve. If it's not clear to the ump, that's the player's fault, not the umpires! And this looks pretty borderline to me.

My thoughts overall - throw the ball up high enough to make it clear it's legal. If you don't and an umpire picks you up, don't complain about the umpire - he's probably the first one with the balls to call it correctly, while everyone else couldn't be bothered.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2009, 17:21 
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Looks less than 16cm to me.

I'd judge that around 12 cm.

I judge it from when the ball leaves the hand, not when the throw starts. This way you can ignore the other common error (which your friend is doing) which is dipping the hand below the height of the table at the start of the serve.

The other thing that's a bit iffy is that your friend is hitting just below the top of the service toss. It's clearly on the way down there, but it still is pretty iffy, especially at normal speeds.

I think I saw in the proposed rule changes that the ball has to drop at least 16cm now. That will stop this sort of ambiguity happening.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal serve?
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2009, 14:26 
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DTopSpirit wrote:
I agree with the warning - I commented on the YouTube video as user G309. I think the toss was less than 16cm but the dropping of the free hand makes it look a bit higher.

I think a good call by the umpire - who after all is in the best position to judge.

And remember that it is also up to the player to serve in such a way that it is clear to the umpire that he meets the requirements of a good serve. If it's not clear to the ump, that's the player's fault, not the umpires! And this looks pretty borderline to me.

My thoughts overall - throw the ball up high enough to make it clear it's legal. If you don't and an umpire picks you up, don't complain about the umpire - he's probably the first one with the balls to call it correctly, while everyone else couldn't be bothered.


G'day Greg

Yeah, I recognised your youtube username.
When my friend dismissed the comments as just normal hysterial youtube negativity, I mentioned to him that you were one of the commentators and that you were a table tennis guru with his own website (and I had bought my Australian Open DVDs from you!) and a top player in your own right. He quietened down a bit after that and read your comment.

However, he remains defiant. Now he is saying that the reason why it LOOKS like a borderline serve is that his hand actually went UP after tossing, which made the toss look shorter - and which goes against the observations of the rest of humanity which suggested his hand went DOWN after the serve, making the toss look higher. Oh well, I've given up discussing the issue with him.

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