Table tennis is a complex sport – far more complex than many realize. The rules of this sport are very clear, and there is no exception to the established rules for amateur players and for professionals alike. Learning the rules of the game enables players to compete and win fairly against one another. An action that is often contested in table tennis is throwing the paddle. Many wonder if this is illegal in the sport.
You cannot throw your bat in table tennis. Throwing the racket intentionally for any reason is prohibited in the sport. A thrown racket cannot be used to return the ball or score a point, and a racket thrown in anger results in a point forfeit, yellow card, or expulsion from the match.
Throwing a bat in table tennis is an action that many find offensive, and it is a game tactic that has been used by some amateur players to keep the ball in play, but is it legal to throw your racket in table tennis? What do the rules say about this action? Let’s find out!
Can Your Table Tennis Bat?
Table tennis is a fun sport, but it can also be very demanding and shockingly challenging. It is not uncommon for tempers to rage in this sport, and players of all skill levels resort to unusual tactics to keep the game going.
Throwing the racket has been used by some amateur players to keep the ball in play when they are unable to reach the shot with their arm, and this leaves many friends frustrated with one another and arguing over the rules of the sport.
It is also fairly common for players to throw their racket out of frustration with a game or a match that does not go their way. Throwing the racket from frustration is not pretty, but what do the rules say about this action? Is this legal, or is this prohibited in table tennis?
The truth is that the rules of the game address each instance of throwing the paddle differently. This means that answering this question properly means that we must address the problem from both angles.
Throwing A Table Tennis Racket To Return
Throwing a table tennis racket to return a serve or a strike is illegal in the sport. It is not legal to hit the ball with anything other than the racket or the parts of the racket hand if they happen to strike the ball by mistake.
If the paddle leaves the hand of the player, the racket is no longer in play, as it is no longer in the racket hand of the player. If the racket is not in play, it cannot be used t return the ball in the match, and any return conducted in this way is disregarded and does not count toward gameplay or point scoring.
If you throw your paddle in table tennis and the paddle hits the ball and returns it to your opponent, the return is illegal and does not count, even if it scores a point. The point is awarded to the opposing table tennis player without exception.
Throwing A Table Tennis Racket Out Of Frustration
It is not uncommon to witness a table tennis player throw their racket on the ground or on the table due to the frustration of losing a point, missing a hit, or losing a game entirely. This action is difficult to watch, and the reality is that this conduct is not tolerated in the sport.
The truth is that the rules of conduct in table tennis clearly state that throwing a racket in this way is prohibited and will not be tolerated. The extent of the consequence of throwing a racket in this way is determined by officials and usually results in a point being awarded to the other player, a yellow card, or an instant dismissal from the match, depending on the severity of the action.
Table tennis has a strict code of conduct, and any players that do not abide by this code are guilty of unsportsmanlike behavior and can be immediately removed from the game, losing the game by default.
What Happens If You Accidentally Throw Your Paddle?
We have established that throwing your paddle in table tennis is not permitted for points scoring, returning, or when it occurs out of anger or frustration, but what if you throw your racket by mistake? If your paddle accidentally leaves your hand, will you be penalized?
If your racket is thrown from your hand during a game of table tennis, it is not illegal and not worthy of punishment. However, if this happens, the player is not permitted to return the ball with their hand.
This means that if your racket is thrown from your hand by mistake, your only options in the game are to leave the next return and default the point to your opponent or to try and recover your paddle to make the return.
If you can recover your racket and keep the ball in play legally, there is no reason for the game to be interrupted, and gameplay should continue as normal.
If you attempt to hit the ball with your hand after dropping the paddle, the point will be forfeited and awarded to your opponent. It is illegal to hit the ball with an empty hand in table tennis, as the ball can only be struck by the racket or racket hand, and if there is no racket in your hand, it is not your racket hand.
Are There Consequences For Throwing Your Paddle?
Throwing your paddle in table tennis does have consequences.
For example, if the paddle is thrown intentionally, the point of the match is awarded to the other player. If the racket is thrown accidentally, unless the player recovers their paddle, they will forfeit the next point.
It is always good to keep hold of your racket as best as you can and never throw it to try and hit the ball. This is an illegal move and may result in a yellow card or expulsion from the match if done in a professional setting.
It is never good to throw your racket in table tennis, regardless of the reason. As soon as the racket leaves your hand, it is no longer in play and cannot be used to return the ball or score, and if the racket is thrown out of frustration, it usually leads to serious consequences, especially in professional matches.
Accidentally throwing the paddle is permitted, but the player must recover the paddle to keep the ball in play and is not permitted to hit the ball with anything other than the paddle. These rules are final and have no exceptions for amateur or professional players.