Table tennis has evolved so much that many recreational table tennis or (ping pong) players abide by the older rules. Such as celluloid balls, up to 21 points, 5 serves each, no ball toss etc. This means if you are unwilling to adapt and change, table tennis as a sport will gust rate the hell out of you.
Rules are extremely important, it’s like building a cupboard from Ikea without instructions. You would put many holes in the wrong place, you may break a few pieces, some things would be the wrong way round etc.
Rules allow people to express themselves but with limitations and a clear outcome. How you reach the outcome is down to you. It also may pave the way in which we perform and carry out the task at hand.
Should rules be broken?
Depends on who you ask, Arnold Schwarzenegger says, “break some rules but don’t break the law”. Personally, I love this quote and in many ways, I follow his philosophy. My wife, on the other hand, will not and does not break the rules. This may be because of upbringing, past experiences or developed via culture.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger playing table tennis
For me personally, there were little rules growing up. My mum was hardly home and if she was she wasn’t exactly a stickler for rules. On the other hand, my wife was brought up in a lovely family home with 4 siblings. This meant order was required in making sure everyone and everything was in check, keeping piece inside the home.
Pros and cons of rules:
If you are like me and break the rules you can find yourself in many sticky situations. Lots of mistakes, lots of disagreements, lots of seemingly (failures). But on the positive side, you may find lots of success, new ideas, exponential growth, unique methods, super learning, wonderful experience, development of strong mindset, grit, survival, and finding ways thought of as impossible etc.
On the other hand:
If you’re like my wife, you will not; try out new things, ponder over small mistakes, have fewer experiences, predictable often using systematic methods, let fear control you, follow others, be indecisive etc. But you will be trustworthy, organised, committed, play fair, rarely get in trouble, rarely make mistakes, consistent etc.
Are rules important?
Yes, 100% they are but if I had a choice (which we all do) I would choose to take positive qualities from both. This includes; Pushing the boundaries, look for loopholes and explore beyond to gain those special experiences via personal goals and vision. Yet I would also benefit from being committed, focused, have clear outlines and be organised.
I think if you are able to combine both elements you will witness great success.
Many of the best players explore the limits of scientific rules, both in physical and mental capabilities.
Breaking table tennis rules:
If the game is up to 11 why not play;
1. some games up to 100 points?
- Why not play half table only?
- Why not play two red rubbers one anti-spin?
- Why not serve behind the arm/body creating illegal serves?
All these things wild explorations will elevate your game because you will have to adapt. As human beings, we are the best creatures on the planet at adapting because not only does our body adapt but our brain also looks for solutions.
Of course, once the official game begins re-group, focus and use your new skills to find ways of winning inside the rule book.
The choice is yours, become one way or another or be everything.