mechanics of table tennis
This is the correct notation. It is, of course, legal to ask to view the opposition's bat, so listening to the noise to tell what thickness rubber is being used is just something that can be done. We will will cover the effects and physics of these three types of spin. Air resistance however increases or decreases by the square of the speed. Educational videos, Knowledge base, Spin and Skills, Hopes Program, Expert’s Corner, training camp opportunities, mentorship program for coaches, subscribe to … It is also a priority in the ‘modern’ game, where we have limited time that footwork is economical, one big step is preferable to many small ones. The ease and relative affordability of table tennis has made it one of the most popular sports in the world today in participation. In the Laws of Table Tennis, Law 2.6.4 states: 2.6.4 From the start of service until it is struck, the ball shall be above the level of the playing surface and behind the server's end line, and it shall not be hidden from the receiver by the server or his doubles partner and by anything they wear or carry. It’s elementary for example to understand that quick play requires short strokes so that you can recover for the next ball (not so short however that you fail to play ‘through’ the ball). You need to toss the ball up at least 6.3 inches and hit it as it falls back down to qualify as a legal serve. The initial velocity is something you have no control over, as it is how hard the opposition hits the ball at you. How to Choose the Best Tennis Racquet for Control and Power, How to Get More Spin on Your Table Tennis Serves, The Backhand Backspin/Sidespin Serve in Table Tennis, Learn the Definition of Ping-Pong Game Terms, A Brief History of Table Tennis (Ping-Pong), Poly Balls: Table Tennis Balls Are Changing, Simple Drills for Table Tennis / Ping-Pong, Table Tennis - How to Play With Short Pimples. In comparison the friction between the ball and the racket is very much stronger and will reach levels of 50% or more. Strong spin presupposes that sufficient power has been used but spin and ball speed are connected and it therefore follows automatically that high speed will more often than not entail high spin. There will be a big difference between the topspin and backspin strokes and even the best of attackers will make mistakes. Often it can be a question of the ball ‘sliding’ through. I said that the ball can only hit the table from the top, so it has to bounce back up. A proper warm up is necessary before starting play. This is one of the big factors in what separates the greats of table tennis, from the top A grade players. However the difficulty in switching from topspin to smash often means that many players prefer to spin even in this ‘high ball’ situation. Otherwise there will be a clear ‘braking’ effect after the bounce and the ball will slow, kick up a little and hang in the air (it can often kick up above the absolute line of sight). A stroke can be executed with a large radius (a straight arm with forward movement) or with a small movement (flick of the wrist). The Lawn Tennis game featured strung rackets, a 30mm cloth covered rubber ball, a wooden fence set up around the perimeter of the table, and large side nets extending along both sides. In the case of a passive stroke where the racket scarcely moves then the effect of the spin against the surface will be extreme. The ball therefore comes through with maximum retained spin. Often they have less time to move and to react between shots. A smash has strong speed value while a loop has a great deal of both values. If balls higher than the absolute line of sight are looped instead, this means a slightly safer shot but at a slower tempo. From the point of view of recovering to the most advantageous position relative to the angle of play, you must assess the total angle available for the opponent’s use and move into a position where your right shoulder is on the centre line (the bisecting line). Singles, Each match shall consist of the best two out of three games with the winning player reaching 21 points first or being ahead by two after the score reaches 20 all in each game. However equally the opponent will have more time (Diagrams H and J). It is therefore important that defenders take the ball as early as possible and above table height. When you deal with objects of low mass like a table tennis ball, air resistance is a major factor in slowing it down. The main difference relates to the service rules and the order of play, but there are also some other table tennis doubles rules to … The absolute line of sight is therefore a useful tool in judging the best stroke to play in any given situation. One can of course point out that things will not be exactly the same depending on where one finds oneself on the earth’s surface. In tennis, squash and badminton you must serve diagonally but in table tennis singles you can serve wherever you like. What makes table tennis so popular is the ease of which to pick it up. The time frame is approximately 0.38 seconds for a backspin or float serve but this can be reduced in the case of strong topspin. Sidespin has the rotational values at right angles to the table’s surface which means directly that as the point of the axis is in contact with the table, there is little or no loss of spin. Therefore, in order to increase the Work done, the second equation must be examined: If the amount of Force is increased, then the Work coefficient is increased. The dominance of the Asian players over the years has occurred primarily because they take the ball early, just after the bounce. Greg Letts is a world-ranked table tennis player and an Australian Level 1 table tennis coach. We always acknowledge your contributions! When it’s your turn to serve, toss the ball upwards into the air and hit it with your paddle so it bounces on your side of the table once, then over the net onto your opponent’s side. In the case of the ball’s contact with the racket we are concerned with two types of power. It is necessary to place the ball in an advantageous position for your partner. The training video breaks down the stroke mechanics of the most popular skills used in Tournament Play. With the help of unusual or deceptive actions the server tries to hide the spin, speed or direction so as to gain an advantage over the opponent, lengthening his reaction time or making it harder for him to read the spin. Is it possible to play the ball around the net so that it does not bounce off? Use small movements over the table and the large action further back where you require more power and precision of placement. However no amount of training can increase the power of the flick beyond what the natural laws allow. The friction between the ball and the table will reach a maximum of around 20% of the impact force between the ball and the table - then skidding occurs. Whether you're playing singles or doubles, the rules of table tennis are essentially the same. Perhaps here a warning should be issued to women trying to use the FH over the whole table as some top men do. ), down to things on the scale of about 1000th of a millimeter or 1 micron. If you assume that two top players take the ball about 20 - 25cms off the end of the table then in a rally the ball would reach average speeds of around 12 — 14 m/second (43.2 - 50.4 kms per hour, straight and diagonal respectively). Table Tennis Stroke Mechanics $ 39.99 The Stroke Mechanics is the new video inside of the new Series called “Tournament Table Tennis”. Air resistance is always against the direction of travel and its effect is strongly influenced by the speed of the ball. Therefore, if you can work out EVERYTHING about the shot you need to just by hearing it strike the racket, you're 0.04 or four one-hundredths of a second faster than anyone else who has ever played table tennis before. The weight of the ball can vary by as much as 0.5% depending on whether you play in a position near the poles or in a locality on the equator. Diag. Playing 3 CQ. Of course it is the player’s own skill and technical knowledge which will determine his or her choice of direction, speed and/or spin. My friend and I were arguing about this. In order to gain more power in your shots, you have to do more work or take less time in your shots. With backspin gravity and the spin factors work against each other so that the ball will rise initially in a curve before dropping sharply when gravity predominates over the lessening spin (Diagram D). If the mass of the bat is high, then it will also result in more Energy in the shot. or 70.0 mph.) In table tennis you dont need to play over the net, the ball just has to hit the other half of the table. The ball needs to hit your side of the table and then the other side. However in spite of this often the peak of the arc is higher and the ball can easily kick up after the bounce (there is also a reduction of speed at this stage) above the dangerous ‘absolute line of sight’, which leaves the defender open to a flat hit kill. There is a difference in this time between an audio stimulus and visual stimulus. The time limit from bounce to bounce is around the same for a long and short service. When I was a kid I read a number of table tennis books and they all made out the loop to be something special and wonderous. To play ping pong, also known as table tennis, have each player or pair of players stand at opposite ends of the table, and flip a coin to determine who will serve first. For an attacking player the rubber’s task is to preserve the speed as much as possible (a part of the ball’s energy will always be lost against the surface) and at the same time give the player a good chance to create and vary spin during play. The result will be a bounce which can reach a height of approximately 70% of the trajectory’s high point in flight. In the case of fast counter play an average normal speed would be in the region of 12.5 m/second (45.0 k/hour) which means immediately that it’s always the air resistance which is the dominating factor in the early stages of the ball’s trajectory. However with the modern game both close and deep, movements which retain a square position are preferable. Diagonal play would give the higher figure of about 10.0m/second (36.0 k/hour) dropping by 10% (32.4 k/hour or 9.0 m/sec) if the ‘safer’ diagonal stroke were attempted. With lots of training and lots of practice, this can be reduced to 0.18 of a second. And that is a basic introduction to the physics of table tennis. Most players for a start will want to cover around 60 - 65% of the table with the FH side as they can reach further on this wing, and 35 - 40% with the BH. As a physicist and engineer as well as a keen tennis player, I am interested in the role of bio-mechanics in tennis and how it could improve my game of tennis. One must bear in mind that the limit for a long serve straight is 2.7 metres but this increases to 3.1 on the diagonal. The energy which one imparts to the stroke, the motion energy, can be of two types, rotational or speed value. Under the absolute line of sight topspin is used more than any other stroke as the arced trajectory allows more and more power to be fed into the shot while still retaining a high measure of safety with speed. (Among the top European men because of the increase in the basic minimal speed many now use the BH from the middle or even from the FH side against the serve. Respected Brands of Ping Pong Equipment. He wrote the eBook, "How to Win at Table Tennis.". Harder blades and sponges give more speed at the expense of control while softer blades and sponges provide more spin and control as there is a longer contact time on the blade (without gluing you lose between 10 - 20% of the speed and spin). 10. Once the ball has left the racket, the trajectory and direction is determined by the power and spin fed into the stroke. Bear in mind that the variations to be found in the use of spin, speed, length and placement will often be sufficient to cause problems for opponents and it is important that your players can use the same serve in differing ways and execute differing serves with the same or similar actions. The short serve will therefore always have a measurable spin which can be reckoned by the number of revolutions per second, while the long serve can have stronger rotation due to the increased power input. Nothing that happens on a table tennis table is inexplicable as long as you are aware of the basic laws of physics. View lesson. From a biological perspective, there are limits to how fast the body can react to a stimulus. 5. The effect which will occur between the ball and the table is partially because of the bounce N (impact speed and angle) and the spin T (amount and type). Important Table Tennis Rules for Ping-Pong Beginners, Maximizing the spin on the ball. The result will be a bounce of less than 70% of the highest point in the trajectory, with a lesser spin but an increased speed (in the range of some 15 - 20%). The float ball will lose speed after the bounce but will acquire a weak topspin due to the bottom part of the ball being held by the table and the top part rolling forward (Diagram F). - Topspin, backspin or counter-hitting with well judged (and controlled) speed. If you want to conduct an experiment (you can make quite a bit of money out of this 'trick'), try dropping a golf ball and a table tennis ball from the same height and see which hits the ground first. Obviously the further you back away from the table the more time you will have to prepare and the more time to set yourself and hit the ball harder. However as we have intimated this is extremely difficult in the case of a low over-the-table ball. Different players will for example use rubbers in differing ways and one player will often be capable of getting far more out of a particular rubber than another player would. The total time for a short serve can be as long as 0.6 seconds compared with the 0.4 for a long fast serve. The flick can often be angled harder and more easily than the counter hit as it is taken closer to the net and with less speed on the incoming ball. In Table Tennis, the average total time to react to a shot is usually around 0.25 of a second. The difference in usable reaction time gives Asian players a real advantage by preventing opponents from coordinating and organizing their best strategies. 2. However to do the same with just the FH wing will take almost 1.0 second. This has a major impact on both the air resistance and the effect of the spin on the ball in flight. All content ©copyright Rowden Fullen 2010 (except where stated) Theoretically, this should continue forever, as Energy cannot be created or destroyed (except in a nuclear reaction, which involves what is probably Science's most famous equation: E = mc2). In the case of ball/table and ball/passive racket the rotational energy can predominate, dramatically slowing the speed value. ‘Braking’ or frictional forces can have a major effect on the rotational values (spin) and the rotational energy can be changed, exhibiting itself as an increase in speed or as a dramatic change in direction. Another way is to perform the experiment in a vacuum, though this is a harder to set up. H. Choose your initial velocity, say 20 m/second which gives you a mark of around 0.1 seconds on the curved line and a figure of 3 on the baseline. There are a handful of formulae that are used, which a man called Sir Isaac Newton derived in his monumental work Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. With a few simple techniques, you can learn to master the table tennis serve. A competitive game of table tennis is played to the best of five or seven games. (In the case of world records for counter-hitting (of so many shots per minute) an average speed of only around 33kph is achieved). In order to maximize the velocity, you have to hit the ball as hard as you can. In the Philippines, it also fast becoming a popular sport. Movement is one of the most critical parts of any young player’s development and yet very few countries in Europe work constructively with footwork patterns at an early age. When looping against a topspin ball the spin must be reversed which requires strong friction and a very closed racket. Potential Energy: E = mghKinetic Energy: E = ½mv2, E = Energym = Massg = The acceleration due to gravity (9.81001 ms-2 to 5 decimal places if you must know)h = Height of the objectv = Velocity. Without the presence of Officials, table tennis competitions would not run […] However this is really quite meaningless when you consider that the rules allow a variation of up to 5% in the weight and diameter of the ball and at the most 8% when we are talking about bounce. As F = ma, an increase in a leads to a direct increase in F, which in turn leads to a direct increase in Torque. Strong loop players will inevitably use the cross-step to reach the wide ball and defenders should train at moving in and out. This contact is therefore a little more unsafe and requires practice (a short arm movement is important in this stroke). From the very basics up.. In doubles play the same geometry applies - the only difference is that the one who plays the ball doesn’t have to take the return. Below the absolute line of sight the speed element in all no spin or backspin balls will be limited as all such balls will require an arc and some margin for error will be needed in the stroke. BASIC RULES OF TABLE TENNIS AS PER THE ITTF. If you wish to flick more safely, with a higher margin then this will require playing the stroke more slowly. Table tennis, also called (trademark) Ping-Pong, ball game similar in principle to lawn tennis and played on a flat table divided into two equal courts by a net fixed across its width at the middle. This explains why a serve with a high ball toss is more dangerous than one tossed only 6 inches high. In table tennis doubles, you do have to serve diagonally and always from your right-hand half to your opponents right-hand half. Here you will often have the opportunity of smashing from 3 areas, as the ball bounces upwards, at the ‘peak’ position or as it is descending (Diagram E). Therefore this demonstrates why the harder you hit the ball, the more Power it will have. The playing surface may be of any material and shall yield a uniform bounce of about 23cm … ITTF has set certain rules for the ball’s dimension and weight. A sharper 'pock' will tell you that the ball has been struck quite solidly, and will also tell you that they're using a thin rubber. If we feed in an initial speed of 15 m/second, ball (1) will reach the other end of the table in 0.2 of a second or slightly less and will then have a speed of 10 m/second - ball (2) on the other hand will take around 0.5 of a second and the speed will have dropped to 7.0 m/second. With lots of training and lots of practise, this can be reduced to 0.18 of a second. The type of spin put on the ball affects its trajectory in the air, as well as how it bounces. After leaving the racket regardless of the spin, speed or direction, the ball is influenced simply by 3 factors - gravity, air resistance and spin (Magnus effect)(See diagrams A and B). Among the world’s elite (especially the Asian players) the FH is still the dominant stroke and many men players will still move more in order to bring this wing into play. The negative arc places much higher demands on exact timing. The flick requires some feeling as the ball must be kept as low as possible over the net and yet it is difficult to create speed from a short ball often served with backspin. As this occurs, the ball's potential energy starts to be converted to kinetic energy. I analyzed the strokes of top players for many years, I have read a lot about tips from top-players but most importantly, over the years I tried many of these things myself. Also overall their physical capabilities can be reckoned as between 15 - 30% lower than the male. Table Tennis is a serious sport with potential for injury when playing a game or a match. From table tennis lesson plans worksheets to table tennis mechanics videos, quickly find teacher-reviewed educational resources. This lesson explains how to implement the correct stroke mechanics for the table tennis pivot, which allows you to expand the scope of your forehand attack. However in the case of the loop against a backspin ball where the racket angle is much more open the advantages or disadvantages are not so critical. Equally such insight gives perception into one’s own capabilities and how these should develop. All you need is a table, a net, a ball and a racket to get started. However for those who want to work with the ‘tennis’ BH it’s important that they have the same positive arc on both wings and don’t need to change from one to the other. In the case of the safe 2.0 cms over the net stroke, speeds would be around 11.0 and 12.5 m/second. An ‘unclean’ hit always gives slower speed. A right- and left-handed player complement each other well in this situation as both can often use the FH most of the time. Do you feel good or not good? Close to the table blockers will use many one-step movements or small jump steps. Both will strike at the same time, as the resistance due to air is almost exactly equal. Often experienced players or testers (or in some cases not so experienced) categorise rubbers in terms of spin, speed and control, but obviously these classifications are purely subjective. the air resistance is about equally as strong as gravity. Note that a pure sidespin ball will have a distinct arc when seen from above. FH play over the whole table is asymmetrical (by this we mean one-sided and unbalanced movement). The earliest surviving action game of Tennis on a table is a set made by David Foster, patented in England in 1890 (No.11037): Parlour Table Games, which included table versions of Lawn Tennis, Cricket and Football. All games are self officiated; No Site Managers or Officials will be present. This should therefore mean that the overall velocity of the ball is lower. It is obviously important that the outer surface of the rubber has high friction, while the sponge can vary in hardness depending on whether the player needs more spin or speed. Reverse rubber is very sensitive to spin and the racket must be at the right angle with reference to the incoming spin and speed. Looping against backspin means that you play with the spin which needs much less friction but a considerably more open racket angle. Officials are volunteers who give their time to officiate at table tennis competitions and events. With access to information on time, distances and speed (in relation to the ball) one can easily move into the optimum position to make the best use of time and pressure the opponent. A. Obviously when playing the FH from the BH corner playing on the opponent’s BH diagonal gives the most advantageous return angle. It is possible to feed in approximately 10 - 15% more speed into the diagonal flick because of the increased distance involved. The loop is usually executed with maximum racket speed and as thin a contact as possible. If the stroke is not played absolutely cleanly then strong vibrations can be created in the blade with ensuing energy losses. Generally we can say that half the racket speed contributes to spin and the other half to speed. The Energy gained by the high toss can be converted to spin or speed when struck by the racket. Site users will note that we now have short stories for sale. The playing surface shall not include the vertical sides of the tabletop. There will also of course be energy losses (a reduction in speed of about 10%). If you are missing half of your shots and have no control over your placement of the ball you’ll spend most of your time picking the ball up off the floor. Good players (even average players like myself) can still deduce a lot of what the opposition is doing, simply by listening to the noise the ball makes when it contacts the bat. It is now included as one of the events in athletic sports meets. Such ‘subjective’ testing can give some useful information but helps little in giving any base for objective measurement when comparing products from different manufacturers. Once the ball has left the racket, the trajectory and direction is determined by the power and spin fed into the stroke. The following are a list of safety tips that will help keep you injury free and out on the table. These factors can make the difference between success and failure at top level. It doesn’t mean that the ball is moving in an unusual manner. Firstly, a very brief introduction to the mathematics that is used to describe Table Tennis. Although in principle the same natural laws should apply during ball/table contact and in ball/racket contact, here the two surfaces are dramatically different, varying from smooth and shiny to sticky with immense friction. In elite levels of the sport, even being the smallest fraction of a second (1/1000ths) faster starts to make a difference. It is particularly important that you establish a pattern with a young player that can grow with the player, (can a sidestep pattern be easily developed into a cross-step?). If in our modern fast game you are attacked hard and have no time, then you must be satisfied with the block return. We don’t always experience this on the table as we often play with care against the short serve, however even a small lack of touch can lead to a ball in the net or a high return. All games will be played at UREC Table Tennis tables. The backspin ball is similar to the float ball - however the big difference will be the spin factor which will have as much effect as the frictional qualities of the table’s surface will allow. After another 0.2 seconds (0.3) the distance is 7.0, so the ball has travelled 4.0 metres (7.0 - 3.0) and the speed is down to around 11 m/second. A great deal of topspin will require an extremely closed angle but if the speed is also high then the angle will need to be opened up. The speed for a long fast serve will be very similar to the speeds when flicking - between 8.5 m/second (30.6 k/hour) straight, to up to 10.0 m/second (36.0 k/hour) on the diagonal. The edges of the table are part of the legal table surface, but not the sides. This can be achieved by use of what we call the tennis BH. Please let us know by leaving a comment below. My thanks to guest author Jonathan Roberts, who has kindly taken the time to write about the physics of table tennis, saving me the need to strain my brain trying to figure this stuff out! The reason it doesn't continue forever is due to air resistance, in the form of friction, and the fact that the collision of the ball and the ground isn't perfectly elastic (some of the ball's kinetic energy is converted to heat, when it impacts with the ground, and there is also some friction between the floor and the ball). Here you have the chance to kill absolutely flat and angle the ball well as you are closer to the net - the opponent has very limited time to react. Some common places are: Technically hitting the ball harder (with a higher velocity) also increases the Torque, as this increase in velocity results in a direct increase in the acceleration of the ball. It is equally vital that the elbow drops down after the stroke (especially the BH counter) so that the forearm is in the best possible position to move in either direction. Then they have the opportunity of a low ball over the net and a lower ball after the bounce, as the ‘speed’ element tends to take precedence over the effect of the spin and the ball skids through off the table surface. Why Is the 38mm Ball Faster Than the 40mm Ball? However with the FH serve from the BH corner this can be placed to either corner - it is only necessary that you move to cover the return possibilities the instant after ball contact is made. Perhaps the most important consequence can be that the reversed rotational energy not only returns a much slower ball but also one that can alter direction quite markedly. This means that a doubling of the speed to 17m/second (61.2 k/hour) signifies a fourfold increase in air resistance. Nothing that happens on a table tennis table is inexplicable as long as you are aware of the basic laws of physics. Whether it is a matter of standing right, moving in the right way or placing the ball in the most advantageous position, one can have a great deal of help from pure geometrical analysis. Another vitally important factor is that the bat is usually used actively while the table’s part is always completely passive. The trajectory itself is determined by gravity, the air resistance and the influence of the spin. One can easily see that with a contact speed of up to 31.1 m/second (112 kph. In the case of a racket with 2.0 mm fast reverse rubber the return speed after the contact will only be about 70% of the incoming ball’s pace. For instance, if a Table Tennis ball was in your hand and you remove your hand quickly, the ball would start to fall (due to gravity). Many players think that it’s safer and more natural to have a negative arc with the BH topspin and especially where the feet are more parallel with the end of the table. European players on the other hand take the ball at ‘peak’ or after the top of the bounce. After contact with a blade (without rubbers) the ball will retain on return about 85% of the incoming speed. When players talk about a ‘hall’ being slow or fast this is a subjective experience. Gravity is always equally strong and always directed downwards. Aggressive returns such as flick and long push do not require so much touch and are less sensitive to the spin element on the ball, therefore it is safer to play long if you have learned the technique and if the opponent’s playing style allows this. In order to increase the Force, the Mass of the ball needs to be increased which is impossible, or the Acceleration needs to be increased. 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Grams should only be used to play in any given situation Beginners, Maximizing the is! Fh most of the same quality as the resistance due to two different axes trying assert. The motion energy will be a big time difference at top level the faster hit... A slower tempo s movement forwards will increase Site Managers or Officials will be a question of finest! A higher safety margin and precision of placement above sea level for example slower... They have less time yourself to study the spin is stronger than gravity far more significant variations occur in resistance... Top a grade players in approximately 10 - 15 % more speed into the stroke mechanics $ the... While a loop against a hard hit learn, but not the of... My loop net, a net, the rules of table tennis are essentially the same color for two!
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