How to CHEAT at Table Tennis

a writing by Paul Butters

The other day a table tennis unofficial umpire accused me of cheating. This has never happened before. Allegedly I deliberately forgot the score in order to put off my opponent. Nonsense of course, but as we say in the UK, in for a penny, in for a pound. Here are some more cheating tips...

Having been accused of cheating at table tennis by deliberately forgetting the score to break the concentration of my opponents, let me see what other forms of cheating I can list:

1) Foul Serves: the easiest foul serve is simply to hold onto the ball and brush your bat across it before it leaves your hand. None of this six inch toss rubbish. With this serve you can get lots of speed! Very popular in the lower leagues where it comes naturally to raw novices.
Getting your arm in front of the ball as you serve can be effective. At one time young kids practised this for hours. Be careful, though, there are laws against it these days.

2) Damaging your bat-rubber on the table can yield benefits. The rough edge of the remaining rubber can be used to impart some amazing spins. Well, that’s what the umpires told me when they disqualified me at a Two Star Tournament at Huddersfield. I was surrounded by blue uniforms and one of them filled in the gaps on my blade with a felt tip pen. I was informed that if I beat my Staffordshire County player opponent I would be out. In the event I lost about 12-5, 21-4! I borrowed an undamaged bat for the remaining events.

3) A common form of gamesmanship is “Old Manning”. This can be effective against young, lively players who prefer a fast rhythm to the play. All you do is take your time. Go slowly to pick up the ball, towel down, check the score, chat with spectators... (anything you can think of to disrupt the flow). Leave your mobile on and get someone to ring you. A slow, defensive chop or push game is ideal for this approach. Anything to frustrate these young whipper-snappers.

4) Use an “effect rubber” such as a long pimpled one. This will give you all sorts of weird spins. The more spin an opponent uses, the more funny spins he or she will get back from you! Best of all use a “Combination Bat”: an “effect rubber” on one side of your blade and a spin-rubber on the other side. Expert exponents of the combi-bat also “twiddle” the blade in order to confuse. And it’s all legal!

Our own John Hilton won the European Championship by using two black rubbers: one anti-loop and the other spin-rubber. After he’d bamboozled everyone they brought in the rule whereby one side of the bat must be red, the other black...

5) If you want to make your own “funny rubber” it has been suggested you might bake a spin-rubber in the oven! That will change its playing “properties” completely. Sorry but he didn’t give me the exact recipe. Lol

6) For the girls: against male opponents, wear very short skirts and low-cut tops to show yourself off and distract your opponent. Giggle at every opportunity and smile. Flutter your eyelashes. Turn your back to him when you bend over to pick up the ball. These techniques may also work when you take your driving test. But not if you are a “minger”, as we say in the UK.

7) If you are a strapping, athletic male you might be able to distract a female by leaving your shirt off to show off your six-pack. Beware, though, the umpire might have you painted red, blue or some other officially acceptable non-white shirt colour! With my beer-belly, I’ll pass on that one. Lol

Yes this is all tongue-in-cheek. Hope you had a nice giggle to yourself.

Paul Butters

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