Welcome back to PingSunday, the best place to learn table tennis. Today, let’s discuss the hand signals for doubles in table tennis. Is it the same for everyone? Is there any convention, a universal signal used by the pro players? And which one should you use?
A player from Jakarta, Indonesia:
“Dear coach, I’m new at table tennis. I don’t understand all the hand signals mean. Can you explain it? Thank you”
Why doing signals is important in Doubles?
Communication is very important in doubles. When you serve, the next ball returned to your partner. So your partner should need to know the type of serve (is it a long serve, topspin serve, a backspin serve, etc) to prepare the shot. He will attack or control the next ball, it depends on your communication.
Just for fun. Both players thumb up. Do it only when you win the match.
Communications in table tennis
There are 2 types of communication in table tennis: Talking, and Hand Signals.
For the tactics, the best way is to discuss, to talk with your partner.
2. Doing Hand Signs
For the service, the convenient way is doing the hand signals.
Who will give the signals?
Who will give the signals? The player who serve can give the signal, indicating what he intends to do. But in China, it’s different. That’s the partner will do the signals, he will give the sign that what type of serve he wants.
So if Ma Long wants to Forehand attack the next ball, he will ask Xu Xin to do the short topspin serve, for example.
In most cases, the server will indicate the serve and the partner will change it if they don’t like the serve.
So finally, your partner decides the type of service, not you. 🙂
In France, when coaching, I see mostly that the server gives the signal.
For me, the partner should give the signal but not the server. It’s better! Because he will attack the next ball!
Convention Hand Signals in Double
Are there any convention signals in table tennis? In general, each pair will develop its own set of signals. And the hand signals could be different!
In the US, in France, in Indonesia, in Germany, in India, in Vietnam, China, etc, there are some small variations.
But I would say, there are universal hand signals!
Universal hand signal exists in table tennis community.
This server gives the signal to his partner: I will do a topspin serve. Prepare yourself to attack the next ball. The ball returned is long.
Don’t push the ball. OK? 🙂
Basic Hand Signals that you should understand
In double, players often do the short serve near the middle line (the safest way) at the pro level.
And please hide your signal under the table. Don’t show it to the opponent. Basic hand signals that every table tennis player should know.
- The fist means no spin server
- Little finger means short backspin server
- Index Down for Backspin Serve (Pro level)
- Thumb means short topspin serve
- Top sidespin to the left
- Topsidespin to the right
- Pointer finger means long backspin serve
- Fast, Long serve with topspin
So here you are! The basic hand signals in Double that you should know.
1. The fist means no spin server
2. Little finger means short backspin server
3. Index Down for Backspin Serve (Pro level)
4. Thumb means short topspin serve
5. Top sidespin to the left
6. Topsidespin to the right
7. Pointer finger means long backspin serve
8. Fast, Long serve with topspin
So here are the basic convections hand signal and the meaning of each finger:
- Index = Long
- Thumb = Short Topspin
- Little = Short Underspin
- Fist = No Spin
So that it for today. What is the most common hand signals that you often use in your country? Read the 8 hand signals of the umpire that you should know before doing any serious tournament.
I really want to know. Please comment below. See you, coach EmRatThich.