It’s not the first time, that the Chinese players got the penalty. Recently, Fang Bo is fined for his uncontrolled temper. Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin were sanctioned by ITTF. Zhang Jike’s winner price was taken away. To avoid all of these scandals, you should learn the right table tennis rules and etiquette.
What was happening with Zhou Yu?
At the Round 32 of the Hungarian Open 2019, Zhou Yu played with Chuang Chih Yuan. Zhou Yu was losing 2-3 at the fifth set.
Zhou Yu has intentionally ripped out the black rubber right before the assistance umpire, in order to change the rubber. And this violates the official international table tennis regulation.
Zhou Yu is suspended from competition for 3 months by the CTTA Chinese Table Tennis Association. His coach is suspended for 1 month.
Rules about the racket replacement in table tennis
After discussion, the umpire staff has decided Zhou Yu lost and disqualified the match. Zhou Yu has violated Rule 18.104.22.168.
Here are the Official Equipment rules in table tennis:
22.214.171.124 Players shall not choose balls in the playing area.
126.96.36.199.1 Wherever possible players shall be given the opportunity to choose one or more balls before coming to the playing area and the match shall be played with the ball chosen by the players.
188.8.131.52.2 If a ball has not been chosen before players come to the playing area, or the players cannot agree on the ball to be used, the match shall be played with a ball taken at random by the umpire from a box of those specified for the competition.
184.108.40.206.3 If a ball is damaged during a match, it shall be replaced by another of those chosen before the match or, if such a ball is not available, by one taken at
random by the umpire from a box of those specified for the competition.
220.127.116.11 The racket covering shall be used as it has been authorized by the ITTF without any physical, chemical or other treatment, changing or modifying
playing properties, friction, outlook, color, structure, surface, etc.; in particular, no additives shall be used.
18.104.22.168 A racket shall successfully pass all parameters of the racket control tests.
22.214.171.124 A racket shall not be replaced during an individual match unless it is accidentally damaged so badly that it cannot be used; if this happens the damaged racket shall be replaced immediately by another which the player has brought with him or her to the playing area or one which is handed to him or her in the playing area.
126.96.36.199 Unless otherwise authorized by the umpire, players shall leave their rackets on the table during intervals; but if the racket is strapped to the hand, the
umpire shall allow the player to retain his or her racket strapped to the hand during intervals.
Power of the umpire
Zhou Yu has the right to change the racket, but he can’t have such an offense in a match. Here is the rule for the offensive behavior in table tennis:
188.8.131.52 The referee shall have the power to disqualify a player from a match, an event or a competition for seriously unfair or offensive behavior, whether reported by the umpire or not; as he or she does so he or she shall hold up a red card; for less serious offenses which do not justify disqualification, the referee may decide to report such an offense to a Disciplinary Panel.
This is a learning case for any table tennis player and umpire. Learn more about the hand signal of the umpire in table tennis here.