How to Serve a Ping Pong Ball

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The rules of ping pong dictate how a serve is performed. Learn how to serve a ping pong ball in this free video presented by a ping pong expert.

Part of the Video Series: Table Tennis
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Elie from Gilbert Table Tennis Center, and today I'm going to show you how to serve a ping-pong ball. So, you might be surprised that professional table tennis rules dictate some certain rules of the serve. So, the rule number one is that the serve has to come, the ball has to be tossed from the open and flat palm, like this. So, in other words, you cannot hold a ball like this, you cannot grab it, you cannot keep it on the fingers. So, that's not legal. So, the correct rule would be open palm, like this, okay? Second rule is the toss. So, you have to throw the ball into the air. You can't toss just like that. That is not legal. So, the ball has to be tossed with the height, with the minimum height of six inches, so, which is about this much, or the height of the net. So, it's the same. You can toss higher, this is fine, but you can't toss just like that, not legal. Okay, toss. Toss has to go straight in a line. So, you can't toss forward, or on you, okay? So, it goes up in the air. Then, you're going to hit the ball when the ball goes down right here. So, you can't hit the ball while it goes up, that's the rule number three, okay? Then, you're serving, and the ball has to hit your side first. So, the way to serve would look like this. When your position, and the ball position towards the table, this line, the ball has to stay behind this line right here. In other words, I cannot serve like that. So, that is not legal either. So, we have to go all the way here, tossing the ball, going down, serve. That's legal serve, okay? Legal serve. If it's on the backhand side, same thing here, ball, line, open palm, toss. And, in single matches, when it's just one and one, you can serve anywhere on the table. You can serve either to the backhand side, backhand corner, or you can serve to the forehand corner. So, don't pay attention to this white line in the middle. It's only for double game. So, you can serve anywhere. And, I'm Elie from Gilbert Table Tennis Center. And today, I showed you how to serve ping-pong ball. Thanks for watching.

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