Southampton Table Tennis Association Rules


1. The Association shall be called ‘The Southampton Table Tennis Association’, and shall be the governing body of the Southampton Table Tennis League. It shall be subject to the rules and regulations of Table Tennis England.

2. The Association shall consist of all Clubs within a radius of 15 miles of the Southampton Bargate willing to affiliate and conform to its rules.

3. The object of the Association shall be to arrange a table Tennis League or Leagues, Tournaments, Competitions and anything deemed necessary to foster the game, in the city.

4. The Officers of the Association shall consist of the President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Inter-Town Match Secretary, Honorary Tournament Secretary, two Honorary Match Secretaries, a Coaching Officer, and a Development Officer, who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Association.

5. (a) The affairs of the Association shall be managed by an Executive Committee (hereafter called the Committee) consisting of the Officers together with seven general committee members who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting as representatives of the Clubs affiliated to the Association. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt one member from each Division of the League to be elected by the Committee. A quorum shall consist of five members.

5. (b) The Committee shall have the power to award Life Membership to persons deemed worthy by virtue of long and meritorious service to the Association. Such persons shall become Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Association.

6. The Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancies that may occur on the Committee, such appointments to take effect until the Annual General Meeting.

7. The Committee shall appoint sub-committees for the selection of representative teams, coaching, and other such activities as may benefit the playing of table tennis. Each sub-committee may contain co-opted members subject to the condition that members of the Committee shall be in the majority.

8. The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held not later than 7th June in each year. All Club Secretaries shall be notified of the time, date and place at which the meeting is to be held not less than twenty-eight days before the date of such meeting. Nominations for Officers and members of the Committee shall be sent in writing to the Hon. Secretary fourteen days before the date of the meeting. Retiring Officers shall automatically stand for re-election without further nomination, unless they signify their wish to retire.

9. The Financial Year shall end on 30th April in each year. The Honorary Treasurer shall submit an audited balance sheet each year at the Annual General Meeting of the Association.

10. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened by the Committee or on written application of fifty per cent of the Clubs. Seven days notice of such meeting shall be given to all Clubs.

11. Any matter affecting alteration to rules must be sent in writing to the Hon. Secretary by the 15th April. Matters so received shall be circulated to all Clubs. Amendments or alternative proposals dealing with the same matters must be sent in writing to the Hon. Secretary fourteen days before the Annual General Meeting. Any additional rule or alteration to an existing rule shall only be made by a two-thirds majority at the Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting. These Rules shall apply to all Divisions in the League with Supplemental Rules applying solely to the Premier Division.

12. Voting power shall consist of one vote for each team affiliated to the Association and represented at the Meeting.

13. The Annual subscription shall be £15.00 per team, except teams in the Premier Division. All clubs in the League and new Clubs wishing to affiliate must inform the Match Secretary and provide all relevant information by 15 August preceding the commencement of the season.

Payment of Team Subscriptions along with Player Registration fees, see rule 14(a) below, should be made by 31 October of the administrative year. Payments to be made by electronic transfer or cheque, payable to STTA. At the time of payment a remittance advice should be sent to the Hon Treasurer giving full details of teams and players covered by the payments being made. An appropriate form to assist clubs will be sent out at the beginning of each season. Further copies will be available from the Hon Treasurer or Hon Secretary. Failure to make a payment by 31 October may result in teams and players being disqualified and points deducted.

A further payment to cover errors, omissions or additions of player fees should be made by 28 February. Again a remittance advice should be sent to the Hon Treasurer at the time the payment is made.

14. (a) All players taking part in a League Match must be registered with the S.T.T.A. within three days of playing in their first match. The registration fee is £6.00 + Table Tennis England fee (Juniors under 18 years of age on December 31 of the administrative year to be £3.00 + Table Tennis England fee).

Clubs should advise the Match Secretary of players Names, Date of Birth, Postcode and TTE Registration No. within this 72 hour period. Failure to advise these details within this time period may mean that games played by un-notified players will be disallowed with any relevant points being awarded to the opposing team.

Multiple league players will only pay the Table Tennis England fee once.

Payment of these fees shall entitle the player to the S.T.T.A. Handbook. Registered players shall receive free entry, if eligible, into the Southampton Closed Tournament.

14. (b) All players taking part in the Southampton Closed Tournament must have played in at least seven league matches in the current season by the Tournament entry’s closing date. Juniors/Cadets may be accepted into Junior/Cadet events if full members of an affiliated Club, on payment of £2. Exceptions to be allowed at the discretion of The Committee

14. (c) All players must be registered with Table Tennis England and pay the necessary dues as required. (Multi league players need only register with Table Tennis England once in any season)

15. A team shall consist of three players of either sex in all Divisions, and a maximum of two additional players for the doubles. No player shall play for more than one Club in the same season except in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Committee. A Club must grade its teams in order of merit; i.e. the ‘A’ team must be the club’s strongest team.

Players shall be registered for one team in a Club. A player initially registered with one team in a Club may, at the discretion of the Committee, be ‘demoted’ and re-registered with a lower graded team provided; (i) no such re-registration for a team having fewer than five matches left to play will be permitted, (ii) once such a re-registration has occurred, the player may not play any games for a team of higher grading. A player may play a maximum of three games for teams of a higher grade without losing his original team status. Should he subsequently be required to play for a higher team he shall then be considered as being promoted to that team from his original team. In no circumstances will he be allowed to play for any other team after such internal promotion. A player registered after 31st January may play only for the team for which he is registered.

16. All teams shall play each once home and once away, except in the Premier Division.

A match shall consist of 10 sets, 9 singles and one double, each the best of fives games to 11, as follows: -

A v X, B v Y, C v Z, B v X, A v Z; Doubles, C v Y, B v Z, C v X and A v Y, the home player being the first designated.

All matches to be best of 5 games, 11 points up, and in the event of deuce, a clear lead of two points must be obtained. The opposing Captains shall simultaneously exchange lists of players before the commencement of each match. This list of players shall in no circumstances be altered without the consent of the opposing captain. No player shall play 2 consecutive singles games without the consent of the opposing captain.

17. The league shall consist of a Premier Division of 8 teams and such other Divisions as shall be decided by the Committee, depending upon entries. The bottom team in the Premier Division shall be relegated to Division 1 and the top team in Division 1 shall be promoted to the Premier Division. A playoff will take place between the team finishing seventh in the premier division and the team finishing second in division one. If the team from division one wins the match then they will gain promotion to the premier division and the other team will be demoted to division one. If the premier division team wins the match then they will retain premier division status and the team in division one will also retain their position. The match, will consist of nine singles and no doubles, to be played at a neutral venue in the week following the end of the normal playing season. The S.T.T.A. will cover the costs of hiring the neutral venue. The players eligible to play in this playoff match will be those who have played the most games for the teams in question during the season. If these players are unable to play then the game will be postponed until such a time that these players are available.

The top two teams in Divisions 2 and below shall be promoted to the next higher Division and the bottom two teams in Division 1 and below shall be relegated to the next lower Division. The positions in a division shall be determined by the number of points won. One point for every set won, for example a match result of 7-3, the winning team will be awarded 7 points and the losing team 3 points. Should any teams concerned in promotion or relegation be level on points then, it should first be decided by the aggregate scores between the two teams when they played each other, if still level then the team with more wins, then the team with more draws, should determine the outcome. Only then if the scores are totally level then the matter shall be decided by play-off match or (matches) to be arranged by the committee at a neutral venue. Only players who have played three or more matches during the current season for the teams concerned shall be eligible to take part in a play-off match. Teams finishing in a promotion place at the end of the season will not have the option of refusing promotion to a higher division in the subsequent season.

If a team or teams withdraw from a Division during the playing season, irrespective of their position in that Division at that time, it or they will fill one or more of the relegation positions at the end of the season. Vacant positions in divisions to be filled by teams from lower divisions at the discretion of the Committee. Where a Club has a team relegated and a team promoted at the end of a season and this results in a Club’s teams being in wrong alphabetical order, a Club shall be required to rename its teams to prevent this situation arising during the following season. A newly formed team may apply to enter the League in any Division. The Committee shall have the power to place the team in a Division that they consider suited to their playing ability, providing that a vacancy exists and that it does not affect the normal promotion and relegation procedures.

18. Any Club wishing to reduce the number of its Teams in the League must withdraw teams in lowest division of League, except at the discretion of the committee in exceptional circumstances. A Club withdrawing a team or teams from the League after 15th August shall be fined £4.00 for each team withdrawn. When such withdrawals mean that a given Club is no longer represented in the League, the fines shall not be imposed until the Club requests to enter the League once again. Each team must have a minimum of 3 players registered

19. Clubs, other than those in the Premier Division, must nominate their Home Nights for each team prior to the commencement of the season. The Committee shall have the power to decide the week each match shall be played, and the match shall commence not later than 7.15p.m. Both teams must be represented by any two players ready to commence the match at 7.15p.m. and the full team must be present by 7.45p.m. Failing the appearance of the third player by 7.45p.m, his games will go by default to the opponents. In the event of a team not being represented by any two players at 7.15p.m, the match shall be awarded to the opponents.

20. The secretary of the HOME team will be responsible for sending the result via the WEBSITE to reach the Hon. Match Secretary within 72 hours of the fixture date. The match secretary must be advised if fixtures are not played and the revised date given in order to keep the website up to date. Failure to comply with this rule will involve a fine of £2.00 on the home team plus 25p for each week or part, the result is not received.

21. (a) Matches must be played on the dates specified in the Fixture List.

21. (b) The Hon. Match Secretary will only give permission for matches to be postponed in exceptional circumstances if the team initiating the postponement by email not later than 72 hours after the fixture date informs him. He must at the same time be notified of the revised date, which must be within 28 days of the original fixture date, and not later than 14 days after the commencement of the last week’s fixtures. The date to have been mutually agreed upon by both teams. No postponements in any circumstances will be allowed if this procedure is not followed.

21. (c) Should a club fail to keep a fixture without satisfactory cause, they shall be fined a maximum of £5 to be paid to the Association within 28 days of notification, and the match and points be awarded to their opponents. The Secretary of the offending Club shall inform the Hon. Match Secretary, in writing, of the reasons for their default within three days of the original fixture date; in the absence of such an explanation, the £5 fine referred to above shall automatically be imposed. The offended Club may apply to the Committee for reimbursement of their expenses and may be awarded an amount not exceeding £5. Any fines not paid within 28 days of notification shall be automatically increased by 25p for each additional week, or part thereof, the fine is outstanding. The Committee shall be empowered to refuse entry to the league to any Club still having fines unpaid on 15th August following the season in which the fines were imposed.

21. (d) The absence of regular players, or their inability to play, shall not be deemed a sufficient reason for non-fulfilment of fixtures. Reserves must be played. Any matches played after the scheduled last week of the playing season should only include players that have previously played in the league.

21. (e) Fixtures affected by events sanctioned by the S.T.T.A. may be re-arranged, provided application is made to the Hon. Match Secretary, in accordance with paragraph 21. (b) above.

21. (f) Re-arranged League matches may be played on Saturdays or Sundays by mutual consent.

22. The official ball to be used in all League matches and Tournaments during the season shall be a top grade approved ball (white or yellow).

23. All protests and questions in dispute, other than mentioned in Rule 19, shall be notified in writing by the Club Secretary to the League Secretary within three days of the date of the match, and the decision of the Committee shall be final in all such matters.

24. A Ladies’ League may be organised, if required, by the Committee.

25. New clubs entering the league shall have their premises inspected and approved by the Committee before their affiliation is accepted.

26. In the event of the winding up or dissolution of the Association, any surplus assets remaining after the discharge of liabilities shall automatically vest in Table Tennis England. They shall hold them for a period of six years in trust to pay them to any organisation set up with objects identical or similar to those of the Association. Table Tennis England during such period making every endeavour to promote and encourage the formation of such an organisation. After this six-year period the funds shall be used for the general purposes of Table Tennis England.

27 In the event of any question or matter arising which is not provided for in the foregoing rule the Committee, whose decision shall be final shall deal with such question or matter.


Supplemental Rules for the Premier Division

A The general Rules of the Association shall apply to the Premier Division except as amended by these supplemental Rules.

B Matches in the Premier Division shall be played at a central venue to be determined by the Association.

C The teams in the Premier Division shall pay an annual subscription of £190.00. This sum shall be paid by the end of October in the administrative year along with other Division Team Subscriptions and STTA Player Regis-tration Fees.

D Teams in the Premier Division shall play each other three times during the season. The fixtures will determine which teams are nor-mally “home” or “away”.

E No Premier Division match shall be post-poned.

F Teams failing to fulfil a Premier Division fixture shall be fined £10 and forfeit the points. The opposing team shall be awarded a 10/0 walkover.

G The bottom team in the Premier Division shall be relegated to the first division and be replaced by the top first division team for the following season.

H The nominated “home” team shall be re-sponsible for putting up tables and screens in time for the match to start at 7.15pm.

I No sets shall commence after 10.30pm. Any outstanding sets shall be awarded to the “away” team.

J If the “away” team does not arrive in time for the 7.15pm start any sets not started by 10.30pm shall be awarded to the “home” team.

K In all Premier Division matches the doubles set shall be the last played. (Event 10)

L All Premier Division sets shall be best of five games, of 11 up.

Note: The following are Rules of Table-Tennis and apply to all games.

Scoring System

A game shall be won by the player or pair first scoring 11 points unless both players or pairs score 10 points, when a game shall be won by the first player or pair subsequently gaining a lead of two points.

A match shall consist of the best of any odd number of games.

After each 2 points have been scored the receiving player or pair shall become the serving player or pair and so on until the end of the game, unless both players or pairs score 10 points or the expedite system is in operation, when the sequence of serving and receiving shall be the same but each player shall serve for only 1 point in turn.

The player or pair serving first in a game shall receive first in the next game of the match, and in the last possible game of a doubles match the pair due to receive next shall change their order of receiving when the first one pair scores 5 points.

The player or pair starting at one end in a game shall start at the other end in the next game of the match and in the last possible game of a match the players or pairs shall change ends when first one player or pair scores 5 points. Except where both players or pairs have scored at least 9 points, the expedite system shall come into operation if a game is unfinished after 10 minutes` play or at any earlier time at the request of both players or pairs.

If the expedite system is introduced, or if a game lasts longer than 10 minutes, all subsequent games of the match shall be played under the expedite system.

Play shall be continuous throughout a match except that any player is entitled to: - (i) an interval of up to 1 minute between successive games of a match and (ii) brief intervals for towelling after every 6 points from the start of each game and at the change of ends in the last possible game of a match.

A Good Service

Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of the server’s stationary free hand. The server shall then project the ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises at least 16cms after leaving the palm of the free hand then falls without touching anything before being struck. As the ball is falling the server shall strike it so that it touches first his court then, after passing over or around the net assembly, touches the receiver’s court; in doubles the ball shall touch successively the right half court of the server and receiver. The ball and the racket shall be above the level of the playing surface from the last moment at which the ball is stationary before being projected until it is struck.

From the time the ball leaves the server’s hand until it is struck it must be behind the server’s end line and above the level of the playing surface, and it must not be hidden from the receiver by any part of the body or clothing of the server or his doubles partner.

It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or assistant umpire can see that he complies with the requirements of a good service. If the umpire is doubtful of the legality of a service but neither he nor the assistant umpire is sure that it is illegal he may, on the first occasion in a match, warn the server without awarding a point. If subsequently in the match the same player’s service is of dubious legality, for the same or for any other reason, he shall not be given the benefit of the doubt and the receiver shall score a point. Whenever there is a clear failure to comply with the requirements for a good service no warning shall be given and the receiver shall score a point, on the first as on any other occasion.

Exceptionally, the umpire may relax the requirements for a good service where he is notified, before play begins, that compliance is prevented by a physical disability


The Expedite System

(For 11 up games)

Unless 18 points in total have been scored, the expedite system shall be introduced automatically after 10 minutes’ play in a game or at any earlier time at the request of both players or pairs.

If the ball is in play when the time limit is reached, play shall be interrupted by the umpire and shall resume with service by the same player who served in the rally that was interrupted.

If the ball is not in play when the time limit is reached, play shall resume with service by the player who received in the immediately preceding rally.

Thereafter, each player shall serve for 1 point in turn and if the receiving player or pair makes 13 good returns the receiver shall score a point.

Once introduced the expedite system shall remain in operation until the end of the match.


Time Out.

The ITTF time-out regulation applies to international competition and shall not be used in the STTA leagues or other event organized by them.


Matches involving a Wheelchair Player

1. The service to a wheelchair player in singles games, must, if the ball were to continue, cross the end line at the receivers end of the table. A let shall be called if, in service, the ball leaves the table by either of the receiver’s sidelines. However, if the receiver strikes the ball before it crosses the sideline on his or her side of the playing surface, the service shall be considered good and no let shall be called. Service in doubles play is permitted to leave the receiver’s sideline.

2. In doubles play, the pair that includes a wheelchair user may hit the ball consecutively (wheelchair rule), i.e.they are not constrained to hit the ball alternately, as under normal rules of doubles. However, by adopting this rule, if any part of a player’s wheelchair protrudes beyond the imaginary extension of the centre line of the table, or the able bodied player puts a foot over the imaginary extension of the centre line of the table, the umpire will award a point to the opposing pair.

3. When a pair which includes a wheelchair and an able bodied player, and the other pair with two able bodied players, the able bodied pair is given the choice, at the beginning of the match, of adopting the wheelchair rules or playing the ball alternately as under the conventional rules. If the wheelchair rule is chosen by the able bodied pair, neither player can put a foot over the imaginary extension of the centre line of the table