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How to Serve in Table Tennis aka Ping Pong

Learn how to serve from table tennis pro Tahl Leibovitz in this ping pong video from Howcast.


My name is Tahl Leibovitz and I'm here at SPiN, New York. I am a professional table tennis player who has been competing internationally since 1995. I am here today to speak to you about the intermediate and beginner aspects of the Olympic sport of table tennis.
I'm now going to demonstrate how to serve in table tennis. I'm actually known throughout the world as having very legal services so, the thing is what we need is to do is first we need to stand behind the end line. When we serve, we cannot have our racket over this white line. Our racket's got to be behind the white line so that's the first important thing. Secondly, our palm has to be completely open. We can't cup it like this, we have to have the ball in our palm and it has to be open and behind the line. Third, we need to throw the ball at least six inches. It can't move like this. It has to stay here, six inches. Fourth, which is really important and they just changed the rule, we cannot hide the ball. I'm going to demonstrate an illegal serve which is the way players used to play. They used to serve here and serve under their arm. We can't do that anymore. Now what we need to do is we need to serve here and move our hand so that's uh one way for a legal service. So what we're doing is we're, we're starting the ball- it's in the palm of our hand or behind the white line, we're throwing the ball six inches and then we're just moving our hand and making sure nothing obstructs uh the ball. A lot of players, you know, when they're starting out they like to try to serve the ball like this, like right out of their hand. In a legal official tournament, that won't be legal because you're gonna have an umpire and a referee on each side and they can see exactly what you're doing and they're going to expect that you keep the ball in your palm throw the ball six inches and you don't hide the ball and that's the legal service.

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