Lose the point and serve, a possible change to the laws of table tennis?
26/09/2011 – Prior to recent Baltic Championships staged in the Latvian town of Dobele, it was agreed by all parties to introduce a variation to the regulations pertaining to the service.Instead of players having two services each and from 10-all al
26/09/2011 – Prior to recent Baltic Championships staged in the Latvian town of Dobele, it was agreed by all parties to introduce a variation to the regulations pertaining to the service.Instead of players having two services each and from 10-all alternating, the player who lost the previous point had the next service; an innovative move.
The innovation is rather different to other sports where if you win the point you keep serving; volleyball is an example. A new idea but not so new; the Latvian Table Tennis Federation submitted the proposal to the ITTF General Assembly in 2001 at the World Championships in Osaka.
It was a time when the scoring system as whole was undergoing change as was the size of the table tennis ball; perhaps it was not the most suitable time for such a proposal. In 2007 at the Liebherr World Championships in Zagreb, the proposals was submitted once again and more recently the matter was on the agenda at the General Assembly earlier this year in Rotterdam.
The conclusion from the ITTF Rules Committee and the Umpires and Referees Committee plus all concerned was quite simply to try out the idea; that is exactly the policy followed by Egils PURINSH, the Referee at the Baltic Championships.
An International Umpire since 1984 and International Referee since 1994; Eglish PURINSH has more often than not been the Latvian delegate at the ITTF General Assembly.
“As we were applying the rules for the first time many players where not ready; therefore many of them were against such changes”, explained Egils PURINSH. “However, I think that it is necessary to continue to study, discuss and explain to the players why such changes have been proposed.”
Presumably a player must be two points clear to win a game; therefore under the system used at the Balkan Championships, a player cannot win the game on his or her service. The player must be receiving service.
The aim is very genuine, the aim is to promote table tennis to make a better sport; a natural reaction is to oppose change but without change we will never move forward.
Did we once really play to 21 points and have five services each?
(by Ian MARSHALL, courtesy ITTF)
Photo: “famous” OVTCHAROV’s service (Photo Roscher)