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Scenario, Question, Answer – Table Tennis

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Pips (pimpled rubbers on table tennis rackets) Scenario:

1. Table Tennis Player A and Table Tennis Player B are both using grippy inverted on their rackets.  Player A gives good topspin and Player B blocks. Player B’s rubber grabbed the ball and it returned with topspin. The spin changed and therefore stayed topspin.
2. Player A is using grippy inverted and Player B is using long pips or anti without any friction at all.  Player A gives good topspin and Player B blocks. Player B’s rubber did not grab the ball and the same rotation continued back to Player A, which is now backspin.
3. Player A is using grippy inverted and Player B is using short, medium or long pips with a slight amount of grip. Player A gives good topspin and Player B blocks. Player B’s rubber slightly grabbed the ball, enough to kill the spin, but not enough to give his own spin back. The spin on the block is now “no spin.”

Questions from a Table Tennis Player:
-How do you know if the long pips your opponent uses is grippy or not? For example, you take a look at their ping pong paddle before you play. Can you tell that way?
-If the short, medium or long pips that an opponent uses all have the same amount of grip, what is the difference in performance for those rubbers regarding the kind of ball that you receive from it?

Answer:
Before playing table tennis against an opponent, you have the right to hold their racket and examine it.  In order to examine it, hold it with your right hand.  Hold the ball in your left hand and gently push on the pips using the ball.  If the pips wiggle, then they are long pips.  Slight wiggle = med.  No wiggle = short.  The amount of spin they produce also is factored by the sponge.  Thicker sponge gives more spin and thinner sponge gives less spin.  As the table tennis match progresses, you need to adjust and re-adjust based on how your ball reacts from your opponent’s racket.  If they all produce the same amount of spin, then your must treat them similarly. However, realize that most short pips rubbers are much faster and will produce good smashes and speed blocks.  Most long pips rubbers are very slow and are good for dead-blocks.  After looping against short pips, sometimes you need to back-up slightly to give yourself more space.  After looping against long pips, sometimes you need to move forward because the block is usually very slow and dead.

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  • Jena Newgarden
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