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Except where both players or pairs have scored at least 9 points, the expedite system shall come into operation if a game is unfinished after 10 minutes play or at any earlier time at the request of both players or pairs. If the table tennis ball is in play when the game is interrupted, play shall restart with service by the player who served in the rally that was interrupted. If the ping pong ball was not in play when the game was interrupted, play shall restart with service by the player who received service in the immediately preceding rally. Thereafter, each player shall serve 1 point in turn. If the receiving player or pair makes thirteen successive good returns, the receiver shall score a point. Once introduced, the expedite system shall remain in operation for the remainder of the match.
If in service the ball, in passing over or around the ping pong table net assembly, touches it, provided the serve is otherwise good or is obstructed by the receiver or his partner. If the service is delivered when the receiving player or pair is not ready, provided that neither the receiver nor his partner attempts to strike the ball. If, the failure to make a good service or a good return or otherwise to comply with the Laws is due to a disturbance outside the control of the player. If play is interrupted by the umpire or assistant umpire. To correct an error in the order of serving or receiving or ends. To introduce the expedite system. To warn or penalize a player. Because the conditions of play are disturbed in a way which could affect the outcome of the rally.
Service shall start with the ping pong ball resting freely on the open palm of the server's stationary free hand. The server shall then project the table tennis ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises as least 16 cm after leaving the palm of the free hand and then falls without touching anything before being struck. As the ping pong ball is falling, the server shall strike it so that it touches first his court and then, passing directly over or around the net assembly touches the receiver's court. In doubles the ball shall touch successively the right half court of the server and receiver. From the start of service until it is struck, the ping pong 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 any part of the body or clothing of the server or his doubles partner. As soon as the ball has been projected the server's free arm shall be removed from the space between the server's body and the net. It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can see that he complies with the requirements for a good service.
Unless the rally is a let, a player shall score a point: If his opponent fails to make a good service. If his opponent fails to make a good return. If, after he has made a good service or a good return, the ball touches anything other than the net assembly before being struck by his opponent. If the ball passes beyond his end line without touching his court, after being struck by his opponent. If his opponent obstructs the ball, except as provided in Rule 9.1. If his opponent strikes the ball twice successively. If his opponent strikes the ball with a side of the racquet blade having an illegal surface. If his opponent, or anything he wears or carries, moves the playing surface. If his opponent, or anything he wears or carries, touches the net assembly. If his opponent's free hand touches the playing surface. If, in doubles, his opponent strikes the ball out of sequence established by the first server and first receiver. As provided under the expedite system. If the umpire assesses a penalty point against his opponent.
The ping pong ball, having been served or returned in play, shall be struck so that it passes directly over or around the net assembly and touches the opponent's court, either directly or after touching the net assembly. If the ping pong ball, having been served or returned in play, returns with its own impetus over the net, it may be struck so that it touches directly the opponent's court.
In singles, the server shall first make a good service, the receiver shall then make a good return, and thereafter, server and receiver alternately shall each make a good return. In doubles, the server shall first make a good service, the receiver shall then make a good return, the partner of the server shall then make a good return, the partner of the receiver shall then make a good return, and thereafter, each player alternately in that sequence shall make a good return.
The ping pong table shall be in surface rectangular, 274 cm. (9 ft.) in length, 152.5 cm. (5 ft.) in width. It shall be supported so that its upper surface, termed the playing surface, shall lie in a horizontal plane 76 cm. (2 ft. 6 in.) above the floor. It shall be made of any material and shall yield a uniform bounce of about 23 cm. (8 3/4 in.) when a standard ball is dropped from a height of 30 cm. (12 in.) above the surface. The ping pong table playing surface shall be dark colored and matt, with a white line 2 cm. (3/4 inch) wide along each edge. The lines along the 152.5 cm. (5 ft.) edges or ends shall be termed end lines, and they shall be regarded as extending indefinitely in both directions. The lines along the 274 cm. (9 ft.) edges or sides shall be termed side lines.
A table tennis rally is the period during which the ball is in play. The ball is in play from the last moment at which it is stationary on the palm of the free hand before being intentionally projected in service until it touches anything other than the playing surface, the net assembly, the racquet held in the racquet hand or the racquet hand below the wrist, or until the rally is otherwise decided a let or a point. A let is a rally of which the result is not scored. A point is a rally of which the result is scored. The racquet hand is the hand carrying the racquet. The free hand is the hand not carrying the racquet. A player strikes the ball if he touches it in play with his racquet, held in the racquet hand, or with his racquet hand below the wrist. A player obstructs the ball if he or anything he wears or carries, touches it in play when it is above or traveling toward the playing surface and has not passed beyond the end line, not having touched his court since last being struck by his opponent. The server is the player due to strike the ball first in a rally. The receiver is the player due to strike the ball second in a rally. The umpire is the person appointed to decide the results of each rally. The assistant umpire is the person appointed to assist the umpire. The stroke counter is the person appointed to count strokes under the expedite system. Anything that a player wears or carries includes anything that he was wearing or carrying at the start of the rally. The ball shall be regarded as passing over or around the net assembly if it passes under or outside the projection of the net assembly outside the table.
1 Players are entitled to practice on the match ping pong table for up to 2 minutes immediately before the start of a match but not during normal intervals. The specified practice period may be extended only with the permission of the referee. During an emergency suspension of play, the referee may allow players to practice on any table, including the match table. Players shall be given reasonable opportunity to check and familiarize themselves with any equipment, which they are to use. However, this shall not automatically entitle them to more than a few practice rallies before resuming play after the replacement of a damaged ball or racquet.
The choice of ends and the right to serve or receive first in a match shall be decided by lot and the winner may choose to serve or receive first or to start at a particular end. When one player or pair has chosen to serve or receive first or to start at a particular end, the other player or pair shall have the other choice. After each 2 points have been scored the receiving player or pair shall become the serving player or pair and so on until the end of the game, unless both players or pairs score 10 points or the expedite system is in operation, when the sequence of serving and receiving shall be the same but each player shall serve for only 1 point in turn. In each game of a match the pair who has the right to serve first shall decide which of them shall do so and in the first game of a match, the opposing pair shall then decide which partner will receive first. In subsequent games of a match, the first server having been chosen, the first receiver shall be the player who served to him in the preceding game. In doubles, at each change of service the previous receiver shall become the server and the partner of the previous server shall become the receiver. The player or pair serving first in a game shall receive first in the next game of the match, and in the last possible game of a doubles match the pair due to receive next shall change their order of receiving when first one pair scores 5 points. The player or pair starting at one end in a game shall start at the other end in the next game of the match and in the last possible game of a match the players or pairs shall change ends when first one player or pair scores 5 points.