We’ve had our ping pong table for several weeks now. We’ve had fun playing casual games filled with laughter. Now my husband wants lessons. There’s a ping pong coach nearby who offers private and group lessons for all ages and he hosts tournaments. The coach is a national champion.
I suggested before we take the leap into instruction, maybe we should google the rules. I did yesterday and made a discovery of two rules we were breaking. First, we play matches to eleven and take turns serving every five serves. The official USA Table Tennis rules says two serves, not five. That’s easy to correct.
The second rule we were breaking is how we serve. This is a game changer — or game stopper. We were serving by putting the ball in the palm of our hand and sweeping the ball off. The official rules state we are to toss the ball at least six inches up in the air before striking the ball on its way down. Uh oh. This is no easy feat and takes a large dose of hand eye coordination.
I learned to serve with the ball resting on my hand as a second grader. I wonder if my dad taught me this method because he didn’t know the official rules? Or, was it because I didn’t have the ability at a young age to manage the ball toss and he wanted me to have fun?
In any case, this new serve made both of us really uncoordinated and frustrated. After practicing serve after serve, we both managed to get a few serves to hit the table. But it set us back in the fun department.
I told my husband I was done for the day and I headed off to the Casita for some “alone time.” I got out my laptop and began viewing YouTubes on “Four Killer Ping Pong Serves” and “How to Improve Quickly at Ping Pong.”
He walked in 30 minutes later and started laughing. He was doing the same thing in our bedroom on his laptop. We had been watching the same how-to videos secretly to gain the upper hand.
It’s not like we’re competitive or anything, right?
Have you played ping pong? What kind of serve do you use? Do you think we need to follow the rules or play the way we want to have fun? I’m a rule stickler and my husband wants to play the way we used to. Is one of us right?