Ultimate Table Tennis, the first professional sports league of Table Tennis in India completed its inaugural season recently. In professional sports leagues, normal game rules are modified a little to improve the viewing experience.
The popularity of the game increases leading to more opportunities for players and awareness among people.
Ten Seconds Rule
A player has to serve within ten seconds after being handed the ball. This rule is not part of Professional ITTF(International Table Tennis Federation).This rule was implemented to speed up the game. It gave Players less time to think and strategize about their next point.It generated mixed reactions from different quarters.
Some players found it a little experimental while other think it will help players in improving their fitness.
Subramanium Raman, first ever gold medal winner at Commonwealth games and Arjuna awardee shared his view in the Sportstar “I think the ITTF will take a cue on the ten-second rule between points and speed up the game. Players have to become fitter and play faster matches,” .
World No. 14, Portugal Player playing for Dabang Smashers TTC in the inaugural Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) commented
“It’s very different. There are many new rules. Today, it was hard as it was my first match and not all the rules were inside my head. Especially the rule on 10 seconds between each point. A lot of techniques and tactics are involved in table tennis. After each point, the player is thinking. It’s difficult to play fast when you are not relaxed. We are thinking too much about the next point and things to do. So 10 seconds is very short. Most other rules are easier,” in the Indian Express.
Another top player, playing for Shaze Challengers ranked 8th in the world, Han Ying remarked.
“It was too fast for me. Even though I was leading, it was hectic. But it’s only a matter of time. I think I can get used to it,” she said.
The introduction of ball boy like in Lawn Tennis who helps players with the ball during the match. It was another interesting rule to speed up the game in Ultimate Table Tennis league.
Subramaniam Raman, Former Olympian shared his views regarding it and asked ITTF to include them in professional matches. He said “The ITTF should consider appointing ball-boys to make the games faster. The UTT has set the tone for such changes.”
In UTT, balls were kept in bowls near the table and players were free to choose which is not the rule in the ITTF where single ball rotates until it is broken or lost.
Ultimate table tennis has received praises from everyone involved, be it coaches, players or viewers for its format and capability to popularize the Table tennis like never before.
Ultimately, it will help to unearth new talents and provide an opportunity to domestic players to improve their game by playing with experienced players.
Han Ying talked about it saying