∎ Page Contents ∎
What is a let serve in table tennis?
A serve is a let if the ball hits the net but bounces on the opponent’s side of the table (which means it needs to be replayed).
If the ball hits the net but does not cross the table, the receiver gets a point.
Let serve is called on non-counting points. This is a ‘let’ and does not count when you serve a ball that hits your net but continues over to your opponent’s side of the table.
A let also occurs when an external occurrence interferes with the match (eg. a ball from the next court rolls into your playing area).
What happens if there is a dispute about the let serve?
Because it’s rather difficult to see if the serve is “let” or not. The decision is based on the “honor system”. The players will be honest about it. The umpire sometimes can’t decide who is right. But normally, it’s better to replay the point.
ITTF Official rule about the “let” serve
Definition of the let:
Based on ITTF’s official handbook, a let is a rally of which the result is not scored. (Rule 2.5.3).
How is the let is called out by the umpire in table tennis?
2.9 A LET
2.9.1 The rally shall be a let:
- 220.127.116.11 if in service the ball touches the net assembly, provided the service is otherwise correct or the ball is obstructed by the receiver or his or her partner;
- 18.104.22.168 if the service is delivered when the receiving player or pair is not ready, provided that neither the receiver nor his or her partner attempts to strike the ball;
- 22.214.171.124 if failure to make a service or a return or otherwise to comply with the Laws is due to a disturbance outside the control of the player;
- 126.96.36.199 if play is interrupted by the umpire or assistant umpire;
- 188.8.131.52 if the receiver is in a wheelchair owing to a physical disability and in service the ball, provided that the service is otherwise correct,
- 184.108.40.206.1 after touching the receiver’s court returns in the direction of the net;
- 220.127.116.11.2 comes to rest on the receiver’s court;
- 18.104.22.168.3 in singles leaves the receiver’s court after touching it by either of its sidelines.
2.9.2 Play may be interrupted
- 22.214.171.124 to correct an error in the order of serving, receiving or ends;
- 126.96.36.199 to introduce the expedite system;
- 188.8.131.52 to warn or penalize a player or adviser;
- 184.108.40.206 because the conditions of play are disturbed in a way that could affect the outcome of the rally.
How many let serve is allowed in table tennis?
Is there a limit to the number of times a table tennis serve can be repeated?
The simple answer is that there is no limit to the number of times you can replay the service after it has been touched the net. According to Rule 2.09, it is a let “if the ball contacts the net assembly and you will serve again.” There is no limit on the number of lets in table tennis.
No, you may repeat the serve as many times as you like.
©PINGSUNDAY. Unauthorized use, translation or duplication of this material is strictly prohibited. Link and excerpt may be used, provided that clear credit is given to PingSunday with the specific link to the original content.
Sign up and join +65k readers. Get free coaching ebooks and coaching advice every week