Rules in Focus

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) have released the 2020 version of their handbook which includes current match rules. It can be accessed through the ITTF website at
There are few rules we would like to highlight to our players.

Advice to Players – this rule was changed in 2017 to allow players to receive advice at any time during their match except during rallies and provided play is not thereby delayed. Players may receive advice at any time except during rallies provided play is not thereby delayed (; if any authorised person gives advice illegally the umpire shall hold up a yellow card to warn him or her that any further such offence will result in his or her dismissal from the playing area.
Please refer to section 3.5.1 of the handbook for full details.

The Expedite System – did you know there is a time limit of 10 minutes per game. If a game is unfinished after 10 minutes and fewer than 18 points have been scored (i.e. score has not reached 9-9 or 10-8), the game will continue to a conclusion using the expedite rule.
2.15.4 Thereafter, each player shall serve for 1 point in turn until the end of the game, and if the receiving player or pair makes 13 correct returns in a rally the receiver shall score a point.
Once introduced, the expedite rule shall remain in operation until the end of the match.
Please refer to section 2.15 of the handbook for full details regarding rule implementation during match.

The Service – are your serves legal or do they fail to meet the current requirements. Section 2.6 of the ITTF Handbook describes in detail what is required to make a legal service. All players should ensure they are familiar with these requirements either when playing or umpiring.
The following link provides a demonstration of the correct service requirements.
Demonstration of Service Rules by PingSkills