Underhand Serve -- Have you used it? Been a victim?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by TimeSpiral, Sep 20, 2013.

?

The underhand serve, in Adult League / Match Play

  1. I have served underhanded before.

    40.3%
  2. I have never served underhand before.

    34.7%
  3. I have received an underhand serve.

    65.3%
  4. I have never received an underhand serve.

    13.9%
  5. It's a legitimate serve.

    66.7%
  6. It's bad manners.

    22.2%
  7. It's an underated shot at the rec level.

    23.6%
  8. It should never be used at the rec level.

    5.6%
  9. This is a topic I do not care about.

    12.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,291
    Location:
    Gotham City
    #1
  2. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I used to play a guy here who did it a couple of times a match...I know it's a legit play and I shouldn't get mad about it, but I always took it as a sign of disrespect anyway. It only worked the first time he did it, after that I was always ready for it.
     
    #2
  3. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,879
    Location:
    states
    yeah I know I am going to heck. It won me the point so in the end it was justified.
     
    #3
  4. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,291
    Location:
    Gotham City
    Taking ping pong as a cue, for a righty, there is a way to get ridiculous Z spin on the ball and kick it out wide, short, and low (to the ad court).
     
    #4
  5. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I've used it a few times when the sun was really bad. I give my opponents notice before the match starts that I might use it occasionally if I can't get my toss right to avoid the sun. Notice is not required, but I don't want them to think I am trying to trick them with a quick, unusual serve. I'm just trying to get the ball in play without going blind.
     
    #5
  6. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I used it a couple of times last week in doubles. the first time my opponent tried to get to it, hit a crappy floater that I hit for a winner. The next time I tried it on the same opponent, and he didn't even try for it, saying it wasn't 'real tennis'. My side still took a 'real point' though.
     
    #6
  7. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    you should also give notice when you hit a drop shot, or hit a server out wide, or down the T, or hit a backhand down the line. Its not fair to hit a shot that your opponent is not expecting.

     
    #7
  8. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,554
    I have only done it when the sun was so directly in my toss that I couldn't serve normally.

    I also indicated that I was doing it before, so I wasn't trying to surprise anyone.
     
    #8
  9. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    I have never used it in a real match. I have had it done to me before at least 3 times. No big deal really. Legal shot and I got to it pretty easily. I treat it like any other deceptive shot- i.e. dropshot from baseline
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,710
    Never hit one, out of respect to my opponent.
    Seen it hit against me a few times, no biggie, I stand near the baseline to volley back most fast serves anways and stand inside for most second serves.
    I do sometimes play a bud who can underhand/sidespin a ball that lands on the deuce court very short, then bounces into middle of the ad court before it crosses the service line. More power to him, he serves about 45 mph anyways.
     
    #10
  11. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Respect has nothing to do with hitting a legal shot. WHETHER i hit a hard flat serve, or a spinny kick serve, is irrelevant to respect or lack of respect. Same with underhand serves, dropshots, lobs, down the line, crosscourt, etc.

     
    #11
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,710
    Just wondering, what level of tennis do you play at?
    I"m now a excellent 3.5, having dropped a bit from A/Open 30 odd years ago.
     
    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,710
    Respect...
    No underhand serves.
    No bouncing the ball a million times.
    No stalling tactics, or rushing tactics.
    No tossing the ball up, catching it, over and over again on your serve.
    No bullying actions on court, or during changovers.
    No spitting on the court. Occasional cursing is OK, if it's cursing yourself.
    No calling a stop in play just as your opponent tosses his serve ball up.
    Bring new balls once in a while.
    Dress somewhat athletic, no RedFoo stuff.
    Show up on time.
     
    #13
  14. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,368
    I don't want to be your doubles partner if you do an underhand serve:). If you would do that to a guy lendl in doubles he would smash a 100 mph FH at the face of your partner.
     
    #14
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,710
    There's a concurrent thread on "Etiquette" on here right now.
    Maybe some of you should read it.
    I haven't. I have the utmost respect for tennis.
     
    #15
  16. Jhitch1

    Jhitch1 New User

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    An opponent tried to throw one in once...then got a forehand return down his throat. Bush league play IMO.
     
    #16
  17. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The most bush league thing in this thread is whining about legal shots.

     
    #17
  18. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I am a 4.0 player, mostly doubles.

     
    #18
  19. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,000
    I tried it once, when I had cramps in both calves in a 3rd set tiebreaker. Didn't go in anyway... :p
     
    #19
  20. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,049
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I have had to serve underhand for an entire match a few times. I have shoulder issues and when it gets really bad I can't serve normally without pain. I tell my opponent beforehand (during the warmup when we get to warming up serves) so that he doesn't take it as an intentional disrespect.
     
    #20
  21. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,167
    Location:
    DE
    I have had it done to me many times and I dont enjoy tennis played in this way. It has never surprised me as always have gotten to the ball in plenty of time. I do however always attempt to rip the ball down the line (at/by the net man) when this happens ... occasionally I miss, so perhaps they thought it worked. However the net man almost always goes back to his partner and says "dont do that again".

    If you serve underhand because that is your best serve so be it. But serving underhand simply because you might catch your opponent off guard puts your partner in jeopardy because you would rather be sneaky than good.... that is Bush league.

    Bush League: A phrase commonly used in (but not restricted to) baseball to describe something (usually a playing style or attitude) that is not respectable or sportsmanlike, but technically not breaking any rules of the game.
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,710
    I concur. Underhand serves are disrespectful to the returner.
    Now if OrangePower warned me he can ONLY serve underhand, that's OK.
     
    #22
  23. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    First time my opponent did it a few times bc of the sun.
    Didn't bother me in the least. Didn't harm me either.

    Another guy did it to mix things up a few times. Caught me by surprise the first time, but was still able to get to it. Was prepared for future now that I knew it was in his arsenal.

    If done to me in the future, I wouldn't feel disrespected at all.

    I've got enough troubles with serving regularly, but if I learned how to do it, I'd do it to throw people off once in awhile. Just another tool in the toolbox, I say. But if done in doubles, I'd warn my partner first before attempting.
     
    #23
  24. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,040
    Bush league. Disrespectful unless you tell your opponent before the match that you need to serve underhand for whatever reason. Every sport has an unwritten code and everyone who plays tennis knows that this is a b1tch move. Obviously this is in the context of someone who is reasonably capable of serving overhead. If you can't serve overhead due to sun, injury etc. then it is fine if you tell your opponent beforehand.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
    #24
  25. SoCalJay

    SoCalJay Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    402
    I play at the same level as you do and also am mostly a doubles player. I couldn't agree more about what you've said in this thread! There's an older (65+) guy who I play with regularly and he has all sorts of trickery up his sleeve. He has some of the best dropshots and lobs I've ever seen and his serve repertoire contains overhead dropshots, underhand dropshots, topspin moonballs that drop on the service line almost every time (underhand), and a crazy side spinner. Some might argue that he employs these tactics because he's no longer physically capable of "normal" tennis serves. While that may be true, I think it would be perfectly fine for him even if he was a young guy. Why? He's playing within the rules just like the rest of us. So, instead of acting like a pretentious idiot and telling him or others who use similar tactics that they are disrespectful or need to learn etiquette, I simply adjust my strategy and enjoy the tennis. Get over yourselves, people. Seriously.
     
    #25
  26. Ace of Aces

    Ace of Aces Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Mississippi
    As long as it's within the rules and effective, I don't see what's wrong with it. I would never use it in doubles though. If the opponent reaches it in time then the net man could be creamed. No one complains about the hurry up offense in football, or the eephus (look it up) in baseball. As long as your not using it as a quick serve before your opponent is set, then it's fine.
     
    #26
  27. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,689
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    This summer, I shown the videos to my nephew, of Chang's underhand to Lendl and Lendls short puff serve to McEnroe... Then we laughed for few weeks how someone should do it to Nadal :)
    Sure enough, little bugger decided to underhend drop serve to me, in one of our clashes :D Normaly I'd get to a short serve, however he diguised it with a normal toss, that looked like slight miss-toss that he would catch, then just pushed it in underhand. At first I didn't even realise I lost the point, then started laughing like crazy. We laughed about it all afternoon. I felt quite stupid to fall for it :D
     
    #27
  28. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,737
    I can use it effectively. I like to serve and volley off it as it throws people so out of whack they don't hit a great pass most of the time. I should say that on the add side my underhand serve has so much sides pin and stays so low it's often an ace. I am not. Talking against 3.5 level players either. A good low bouncing sides pin serve can screw up 5.0 players if you know how to set them up for it.

    It's not my normal serve though. I have too many years perfecting my service delivery to use it a whole lot. It is a nice change up to have though. It's a pretty skilled shot if you can hit it well. If you don't practice it forget it.
     
    #28
  29. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,167
    Location:
    DE
    I dont mind this ... I would not chose to play him, but at least he is consistently inconsistent.

    What I dont respect are the guys who are good players that elect to do this once or twice in the middle of an an otherwise enjoyable match. They are saying one of two things ... either of which I find objectionable:

    1) I am so good that I can screw around with you and still win.

    2) I dont care about you or your enjoyment of the game ... trickery can work and all I care about is winning.
     
    #29
  30. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,001
    I have a really weak slice serve that I sometimes hit in the deuce court, that for all intents and purposes is just like an underhand serve. Perhaps even worse because it has the appearance of a regular serve. I have absolutely no shame in producing this serve. My serve is laughably weak and I need to take what I can get.
     
    #30
  31. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,291
    Location:
    Gotham City
    Every sport has a written code--the rules of the game--and Tennis has gone one step further and written out the unwritten code, called The Code. Nowhere in the code does it suggest that an underhand serve is bad manners.

    I've never done it in league or match play, but had it done to me once. It was 5-all in the third set, critical point, and my opponent has a nasty first and second serve. I'm getting ready to return serve, and he underhands the ball over the net like someone would start a casual rally. I was so flummoxed, that I caught the ball with my hand.

    "What's up?" I asked him, still holding the ball.

    "Was it in?"

    "Wait, what? That was your serve?" He nods, and confirms that was a serve. "Oh, **** ... I've never seen that before. Yeah, it was in. Damn."

    I lost the match shortly after that. It was a tight match and that tactic was so clever, and devious, and well placed, that it may have been a critical factor in him winning the match. Well done to him, I say--although at the time I was uncertain whether it was legal, or bad mannered or what.

    I believe this post to be right on the money.

    Tennis is a strategy game. It's also a gentleman's game, which means gamesmanship is frowned upon, however; the underhand serve is not gamesmanship. The metagame* suggests that every first serve is an overhead attempt at a power serve, and that every second serve is an overhead attempt to start a neutral rally, and not double fault. I had been playing for years and never once seen an underhand serve, even though it is a legal play. Can you think of another legal play that is never used?

    To me, this suggests a giant hole and opportunity in the metagame. If you practice it, and become extremely good at it, then you could potentially have a unique and effective weapon on your serve that completely goes against the standard metagame.

    We're constantly discussing how the game changes, how technology changes, and how gameplay evolves: I don't see why the underhand serve could not be developed into a lethal weapon, not terribly dissimilar from the drop shot.

    I do understand and appreciate that some people believe tennis is supposed to be played in a certain way (usually the way they play, or want to play) and anyone who deviates from this style is not playing real tennis. Balderdash to that, I say. That's not tennis, that's ideology. Real tennis is defined by the rules, and that's it.

    Why isn't real tennis played with taped up hands, like it was in antiquity? Do all of you who think the underhand serve is disrespectful play with wooden racquets? Do you wear trousers, loafers and sweater-vests too? Do you ever hit a drop shot? Come on, now.

    It don't believe it is disrespectful. Right now, because of the metagame, it's a cheese* play, but cheese is legal. I believe that it is a shot so incredibly underused, that if played well, can completely flummox your opponent both psychologically, and technically.


    *Metagame: an old term used in tabletop gaming, and then later adopted by eSports. It typically means: how the players think about the game, and how they expect the game to be played in certain situations.

    *Cheese: similar to metagame in its roots. It's typically used to describe a play that is not considered "standard play" (defined by the metagame). It's a legal play that is often very risky, but has big rewards. Ideological players will often frown on cheese, even though if you follow them closely enough, you will find them using cheese plays also.
     
    #31
  32. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    3,560
    Just be sure to tell all your opponents about all the other shots you don't enjoy hitting as well. No dropshots maybe? No lobs or moonballs? Junky spin a no no?

    It is simply impolite (apparently) to not play the way your opponents wants you too.

    Me, I don't enjoy opponents that hit high paced, hard shots to the other side of the court that I can't get to for a winner. When someone does that, they are saying to me that they don't care about my enjoyment of the game.
     
    #32
  33. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,309
    Location:
    Colorado
    I play a guy big tall guy that can usually crack a big flat serve, but when he can't he lets crazy spinners fly on the first and second. Sometimes they barely make it over the net and just die. This guy makes it to 4.0 playoffs! Everybody gives him hell for it, but he keeps winning points with those garbage serves. Sometimes he'll throw one in on first serve even if his flat cracker is working and he see's you've backed up. If he misses it, he will often go for the flat, low percentage cracker on the second. He thinks it's hilarious even when he misses, but he usually holds serve.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
    #33
  34. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,713
    I don't get offended by the under-hand serve in the least. I say to myself "Game On"--this is gonna' be fun! Most of the time I rip it for a winner and after my third winner in a row, they retire it on me. If my dubs partner falls for it I slip some NoDoz in his water bottle on the changeover.

    If you fall for it after the first attempt then you aren't paying close attention and you are probably hung-over. If they change their pre-service ritual and try to fast serve you with it, then it is gamesmanship, but if you're paying attention you should still be able get to it. I'll do it on a whim in a rec match but I've never done it in a tournament.

    I have done it as a sign of DISDAIN for a creepy "opponent" and trust me, they well deserved it! In that case I'll usually double fault it, don't care and am ready to walk-off anyway. I've never gotten offended by someone utilizing it, if you do, get over it, there's a lot worse things happening on the planet to get offended about.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
    #34
  35. lobman

    lobman Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    133
    O.K. All you who consider underhand serves disrespectful, poor sportsmanship and the like, are you the same players who groan about "pushers" and opponents who hit lobs and drop shots? Sorry, I don't see it. Really, what's the difference in an underhand serve and a drop shot as far as "fair play" is concerned.
     
    #35
  36. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,167
    Location:
    DE
    Lets not be ridiculous. You are trying to portray me as a someone that only wants the game played to benefit me ... not true.

    If you can drop shot, moonball, hit your spins off the balls I hit to you then more power to you. If you saw me across the court I know your first thoughts would be to see if you can punish me by moving me around ... ok I get that. Push away ... see if I hit an error.

    However legal the underhanded serve falls into to one of 2 categories .... either you are trying to show me up (1) or you and trying to win through treachery (2).

    Perhaps this treachery requires skill, but the real hope is that I am not ready for this unexpected shot that is rarely performed from the service box... not a driven ball. Usually players do this by changing their service routines and generally disguising the fact that they intend to hit the ball at all.

    Playing pushers is different ... I don't enjoy them (who does) but they are trying to outplay me by exploiting a weakness in my game ... I am cool with that. They are not trying to trick me they want to out play me.

    Trying to trick (or show up) your opponent is by its very definition Bush League. It is legal I know ... but bush league for sure.
     
    #36
  37. kaibaNYC06

    kaibaNYC06 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    HI
    I find double faults more offensive personally :p.

    I have a friend who would do it on occasion during practice matches (singles or doubles) and it really helped me anticipate and prepare for the shot during real matches. They don't even surprise me anymore tbh.

    If I'm playing a match that I want to win, and my serves just aren't working, I see no problem with an underhand serve. It'd be more disrespectful to my opponent if I didn't try the best I could during our match. Rather than blowing points because of my ego.
     
    #37
  38. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,291
    Location:
    Gotham City
    I know you're responding to another forum member, but I just want to jump in.

    You seem to be suggesting that the serve is somehow "different," or deserves special consideration. The serve is the most important shot in the game. I'm definitely trying to trick you when I'm serving. I'm hoping you guess wrong based on patterns. I'm hoping you read the spin or the pace wrong. Frankly, I'm hoping that I trick you so badly that the ball goes right by you! Whether it's down the T, out wide, into the body, flat, slider, or a kicker. And if I don't trick you, I'm hoping the serve is so good that it can't be returned well. Is that me "showing you up?"

    Same thing with the forehand, backhand, and volley.

    I don't think anyone has issues with jukes, or head-fakes, or anything like that in tennis, or any other game for that matter. If I'm running down a drop shot and I can telegraph a down the line return, and you buy it, and my CC is a clean winner--sweet! I tricked you and I won the point.

    There is nothing wrong with disguise, or trickery, however ...

    Using the word treachery is hyperbolic, and you must know this. I'm not "betraying your trust" if I perform a shot you're not expecting. If I return a cross-court ball back CC 20 times out of 20, do I now have your trust that I will go CC on the 21st ball? Is it treacherous if I take the risk and change direction down the line and catch you guessing wrong? Of course not. So, if I hit 40 serves with an overhead, am I somehow obligated to hit the 41st serve in the same manner, otherwise be branded a traitor to the cause? No way.


    Sure, it might be gamesmanship, in the technical sense: using clever tactics to win without cheating, but Bush League is something else. Bush League is specifically condescending and patronizing. It's a term used to specifically suggest that one's behavior "does not belong in the big leagues," which in this came, seem highly pretentious.

    Now, by "show me up," you might mean it's bad manners in the sense that the server believes they are so much better than you that they can "screw around with shots they don't practice." Sure. That might be the case sometimes. But if the person practices the underhand serve, and develops it, and can use it in a variety of clever and skilled ways, I don't think this can apply anymore.

    I don't use the serve, but the more I think about it, the more I think it can be developed into something--perhaps even add some much needed variety to otherwise predictable service routines.
     
    #38
  39. Chico

    Chico Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    9,204
    At rec level it is a bad manner and should never be used.
     
    #39
  40. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,309
    Location:
    Colorado
    How often is a true underhand serve used anyway? Almost never. It's legal so go for it if you want.
     
    #40
  41. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,713
    One in 10,000?--just a guesstimate.
     
    #41
  42. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    bush league is whining about legal shots.

     
    #42
  43. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    West Orange, NJ
    I disagree. I find it a sign of respect of my return of serve that nothing else is working and they have to serve underhand to try to throw me off.

    I have served underhand on a couple of occasions:
    1. Against a really strong baseliner with weak volleys as a way to bring him to net.

    2. On a really sunny day at districts and I couldn't deal with the sun and nerves at the same time.

    3. Shoulder injury that made it hard to serve pain free.
     
    #43
  44. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,794
    I played a guy who actually had a pretty nice underhand serve in the duece court. However, if I just sliced the ball back deep the server had a tough time hitting the pass. The few guys i have played that hit drop shot serves weren't big servers anyways so I could stand in. That's probably common so it makes things easier. If a big server mixed in those serves it would be tough. I'd never hit one because I'm not going to spend practice time on hitting drop shot serves. My time is better spent practicing more high percentage and effective serves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
    #44
  45. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,049
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    The underhand serve is not as effective as an overhead serve, even as a change of pace. I've had to resort to serving underhand from time to time due to injury, and it hurts my game. Maybe with an element of surprise it can work once in a while, but I still think it's a low percentage play. So if an opponent wants to try it against me, go right ahead.

    You're much better off using that same practice time to improve your overhead serve - increase your 1st serve %, or maybe add a new serve that you don't already have, like a twist, or wide slice.

    Agreed, and that's when I think it gets lame. I know a guy who will pretend like he is serving overhead but isn't happy with the toss and is going to let it go, only to hit an underhand serve as the ball is close to hitting the ground. He is hoping to catch the opponent not ready, thinking that it was a bad toss. But I think the problem there is with the rule that allows you to catch your toss multiple times - if that rule didn't exist then this lame tactic wouldn't work either.
     
    #45
  46. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,291
    Location:
    Gotham City
    I agree with just about everything you said, save the first sentence.

    Obviously I'm not out there practicing my underhand serve constantly--LOL!--that would be silly. Being the best as you can be at standard serves is critical. The point that I was making, is that if your underhand serve is not a dinker, and not some lame "fake toss" as you alluded to later, but rather, a super wicked Z Spinner out wide to the deuce court, with a quick snappy motion, you could have yourself a nice change of pace service weapon. If the ball stays low, and kicks out, how many options do they really have? It could set up a volley, or an easy open court winner.

    I'm taking cues from ping pong, where there is no "standard serve." Maybe you already have, but go watch some badass ping pong serves. It's incredible!
     
    #46
  47. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,251
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Haha, that gave me a good laugh! :grin:
     
    #47
  48. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,078
    it's a legal shot

    i never do it, and I rarely see it, but that's not the point

    get over yourselves
     
    #48
  49. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,049
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I used to play competitive table tennis, so I'm pretty familiar with the different kinds of serves. There actually is a set of "standard serves" that most competitive players use, but there are like 15 types of serves in this set. A top player will use all of them at times, though he might have a few favorites.

    BTW in table tennis the serve starts with the toss, so none of this nonsense with catching your toss the way we can in tennis. You catch your toss, you lose the point.

    Also, there are pretty strict rules about the toss - how you have to start with the ball in the palm of your hand, the minimum distance you have to toss the ball up from your hand before hitting it, keeping the ball and your paddle in line of sight of your opponent during the serve, and more. The idea is that while variety of serve and attempted deception as to pace and spin are a big element in table tennis serves, the receiver has to have a reasonable opportunity to 'read' what is coming, so you can't obstruct his view.
     
    #49
  50. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,167
    Location:
    DE
    Nanny nanny boo boo ... whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

    :confused:
     
    #50

Share This Page