The status of a serve in Ping Pong is determined on the basis of rules defined by ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation). Here, we will put forward and thoroughly explain all those rules on the basis of which you can lose on a serve in Ping Pong. We will provide you a brief guide about which serves you should attempt and which serves you should avoid. If you are a beginner level player, you might not be familiar with these rules. That’s why we are here to your rescue. Knowing about these rules is extremely important for your success in this field. So, without any further delay, let’s dive right into it.
“The very quick answer is Yes, you can lose on a serve in ping pong” but you will have to understand the overall serve rules to clear the concept”
The serve is the most crucial part of your game. This beginning really matters in deciding the future of your game. So, start with holding the ball in your spare hand and your Ping Pong racket in your other hand. Now the server shall throw the ball vertically upwards, about 6 inches above the launching point. But you must keep this in mind that imparting spin in the ball at this level can declare your serve illegal and you can lose on your serve.
After the ball is in the air, the server shall strike the ball with their Ping Pong racket before it touches the table in a way that the ball first touches your side of the table and then passes over the net assembly and goes to the receiver’s side of the table. If the ball gets into the net at this point, the server loses a point. After launching the ball, the server must remove their hand from the playing zone and just keep their racket inside the playing zone.
This is the basic serving rule, there are many more complex rules about a serve in Ping Pong that you must know about to avoid any penalty and improve your game.
The Order of Play:
In singles (the game between two players), the play is easy and straight-forward. The server and receiver serve the ball in the way described above. While in doubles (the game between four players), the server first serves the ball to the receiver on their side of the table and that respective player serves back to the server’s end of the table.
But, here note down that the partner of the server has to take the shot. If the server no. 1 takes the shot again, they can lose on their shot. In doubles, struck the ball in a sequence described above.
The only exception is for disabled players. In a double game between disabled players, either of the players may respond to the shot, there is no set sequence.
How Can You Lose on a Serve in Ping Pong?
Now that you have learned the basics, we will move forward and state the more complex rules about serves in Ping Pong and give you a detailed summary about how can you lose on a serve in Ping Pong, so that you can avoid those serves and elevate your game.
1.Missing a ball: If you hit the ball and the opponent misses their shot and the ball bounces back to you after hitting their side of the table, you get a point and they lose on their serve in Ping Pong. Here, the opponent should have hitted the ball and taken that shot, it was their fault that they couldn’t take the shot.
But make sure, you never practice such shots because the spin might be really difficult to handle.
2.Position during a serve: During a serve, the server must position themself in a way that they are behind the end-line of the table. The ball must be clearly visible and behind the end-line of the table and must hit the server’s side of the table before going to the receiver’s side of the table. If that does not happen, the server loses on their serve.
There is no certain restriction about the position of the receiver. They may position themself however they feel comfortable.
3.What if the ball touches the net and bounces back to the server side: If the ball touches the net, either from a server or receiver and bounces back to their respective side or stucks inside the net, they lose a point. But if the ball touches the net and makes it to the receiver’s side of the table, it is declared a net, which means the player will have to replay the shot.
In this situation, the server loses on their serve and the receiver automatically gets a point. It’s a valid ball until or unless it doesn’t touch the sides of the net.
4.Hitting the ball before it touches your side of the table: If a player hits the ball before it touches their side of the table, they lose a point. If a server hits the ball before it hits the ground of the table, they lose on their serve. In Table Tennis, an illegal shot like this is called “obstruction”. If you hit the ball after it crosses the end-line, you get a point but your opponent loses on their serve in Ping Pong.
But again, you should never play such shots, there is a great amount of risk in playing such shots and you should never take risks like that. It can change your whole game in seconds.
5.Touching the table with your body: If you touch the table with your hand after serving the shot, you will lose on your serve because it is illegal to touch the table with your free hand once you have launched the ball and you must only use the hand with Ping Pong paddle in it, either to hit the ball or touch the table.
But make sure to never use your body to obstruct the path of the ball because you can get penalized and will also lose on your serve in Ping Pong.
6.Ball hitting sides of the table: You must not hit your ball on the sides because the edges of the table are considered as a part of the playing zone, but the sides of the table are not considered as a part of the playing zone. If the ball hits the sides, you lose a point.
The game of Table Tennis is a bit tricky, but you don’t need to worry as long as we are here for your assistance and guidance. Take care to follow all these rules in your game and start winning.
Rooting for you!