What happens if the ball hits your finger/hand in ping pong?

Anyone who has ever experienced table tennis surely hit the ball with a finger. During the rally or during the serve, the ball hits your finger. So what happens if the ball hits your finger or hand?

The rule is, it is permissible to hit the ball with your fingers but only with the hand you are grabbing your paddle. Also, if the ball touches your hand (playing hand) but not above your wrist, it’s ok.

I thought there were some beginners who does this, but in fact, it seems that there are quite a few who are intermediate or above.

There are three major reasons why you hit your finger. I will explain that on the later part of the article.

The Rules

According to ITTF rules, any ball hitting under the wrist is fine. But if there is a double hit, such as when the ball hits the hand and then hits the racket, or hits the racket and then hits the hand, In that case, if you hit the ball twice or more, it will be considered a loss.

Fortunately, because the ball changes its rotation and ball path, the referee can see it at a glance, not to mention that the sound is also different. If there is a game, the ball will be considered lost.

So, In short When the ball hits a finger during a rally or serve and enters the opponent’s court. It is valid according to the rules of table tennis.

There are three causes for hitting your finger

The ball can hit your finger at table tennis. There are three possible causes.

1. Can not see the ball

2. Racket swing is unstable

3. Not able to respond to sudden changes

Some people may be new to table tennis, but even a person who is able to hit to some extent may hit the finger.1 and 2 is the most common cause for beginners.  3 also applies to intermediate level and above.

1. can not see the ball

The first cause for the ball hitting the finger is “I can’t see the ball.”

I think this is the cause of many table tennis beginners. The ball trajectory reading is so sweet that it hits your finger instead of the racket.

I was suffering from this symptom at the beginning of table tennis. In my case, the ball tended to hit my index finger during the rally.

The solution that my senior gave me at that time was to ” lower your posture and bring your face closer to the ball .”

If you are not able to see the ball, bring your face closer to it. Simple method, but a valid solution. After trying this technique, the ball hits the finger less frequently.       

A word from the former table tennis player-table tennis is basically leaning forward. When you hit the serve and hit the drive, you try to lean forward. I realized that one of the advantages was “to make it easier to catch the ball”.

2. Racket swing is unstable

The second reason is that the racket swing is unstable.

I think this is the reason for people who hit the ball when they hit it. If the swing of the racket is blurred, it can be swung or hit your finger.

The trick to stabilizing the swing of the racket is to shake the racket compactly. When the racket is away from the body, the racket swing becomes unstable.

Swing close to your body with some extra power without extending your arms.

If you are aware of this, the ball will be stable. All you need to do to swing near your body is footwork. As your footwork gets stronger, you can catch up with the ball faster and be easier to hit in your strike zone.

In summary, “awareness of compact swing” and “strengthening of footwork” are the solutions.

A word from the former table tennis does not require much lower body muscles because it is a small sport. Those who do not play table tennis tend to think so.

However, it is actually a sport that uses a lot of feet. There are many practice menus for the purpose of strengthening footwork.

3. Not able to respond to sudden changes

The third cause is that we are unable to respond to sudden changes.

It is a cause that applies not only to beginners but also to intermediate level. The opponent’s rotation is so strong that he / she can’t keep up with the changes and hit the finger.

Heterogeneous rubbers (especially anti-rubbers), etc., which are rarely used by people, have very different quality of rotation, so it is easy to mistake the change of the ball.

I’m not used to it, so if I try to think in the same way as I usually do, I’ll make a mistake by hitting my finger without being able to see the changes.

All this is only used to match. You have to get used to the numbers until you can adapt to the changes. However, since there are few users of anti-rubber, the current situation is that it is difficult to devise countermeasures.

A word from the former table tennis player- In a match, the chance of meeting anti-rubber players is low.

I have never played before. A friend says, “If you were an anti-rubber at the time of racket exchange, you would despair lightly.”

It is not a mistake to hit it before your wrist, such as your finger. The ball is valid and you can continue the match.

The trick is to stop the ball because you think it is invalid. Since it is valid according to the rules, it will be the loss of the opponent who stopped.

Since it is a rare case, I think that there are many cases where I am at a loss of whether to hit it or not. If you get lost, hit it.

There is “ball hits finger” in table tennis rally and serve

The phenomenon of the ball hitting a finger during a rally or serve being experienced in table tennis by so many of us.

I have noticed, many people still had the experience of hitting their fingers. The most common comment about hitting the fingers is that “it hurts in winter. ” I really understand.

Hitting a finger when trying to swipe, hitting a finger while the ball is out, hitting the opponent’s ball, etc.

There are various situations. What is common to those voices is the voice that hurts. After all, there are many voices that pain increases in winter than in summer.

There are also voices that care about the rules for hitting your finger and entering the opponent’s court. It is the knowledge that does not hurt to know. Let’s know below some other rules of table tennis.

Other detailed rules

It is against the rules that the free hand (the hand without the racket) gets on the table during the rally. However, your elbows and stomach are safe.

If the ball hits your clothes, it violates the rules.

Moving the platform during the rally violates the rules.

If the ball hits the ceiling or wall and enters, it is against the rule.

Changing the bench coach during a match violates the rules.

It is against the rules to exchange rackets during a match. However, Exchange is only allowed if the racket breaks and the match cannot continue.

It is OK to change the racket to the other hand during the match.

If an opponent touches the ball during the rally by any part of the body located above the table, this will cost a point.


Table tennis is rallied at high speed, which may delay the judgment of the referee.

In such a case, if you keep the rules in mind, both sides of the match and referees will be able to play in peace with each other.

Table tennis is a “gentleman’s sport”, so let’s observe the rules and manners for a match!


Is it legal to hit a ping pong ball with your hand?

Yes, it is legal, as long as the ball hit your hand that holding the paddle and it touches under the wrist.

What happens if the ball hits you in table tennis?

Even if the ball hits your body, you may be able to hit it against the racket and return it, but this is out. In particular, be careful when hitting a ball near your body, such as the middle, as it may hit your clothes.

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