Oddments

Rowden Fullen(2008)

  • A short-pimpled hit has a low trajectory and the ball stays low after the bounce. Also the ball comes through more slowly after the bounce. As a result the opponent often plays into the net especially if he/she plays close to the table.
  • A flat hit can have backspin if the opponent has looped the previous ball.
  • A short-pimpled hit has good effect if you ‘force’ the ball.
  • With pimples many players neglect to utilize the ‘softer’ blocking techniques, which throw the opponent’s spin back to them.
  • ‘Soft’ blocking techniques can also be used with normal rubbers especially against players who loop with much topspin.
  • When you want to create more spin play the previous ball more slowly.
  • To open, push long on the previous ball, preferably fast and from an early timing point. This cuts down the time available to the opponent and often means that you get a weaker return ball.
  • When you want to change the pace take the shorter ball at an earlier timing point.
  • With pimples hit at ‘peak’ or 1 - 2 centimetres earlier, but roll or topspin at an earlier or later timing point. With many types of pimples you cannot play power if you adopt a late timing point.
  • Pushing early with pimples creates openings.
  • If you serve very short it’s harder for the opponent to create severe backspin on the return.
  • You can often take the half-long serve at a very early timing point. With the very short serve to create spin/length you must take the ball at ‘peak’.
  • Sidespin creates problems for defence players, especially those using pimples.
  • Slow balls often cause problems for short pimple players.
  • No-spin balls often cause problems for long pimple players.
  • Playing down the middle of the table cuts down the angles for the opponent.
  • Very early- or very late-timed shots are more difficult to ‘read’.
  • Early-timed or pimple bat smashes are often winners.
  • Why don’t combination bat players twiddle more?
  • Why don’t more players explore the aspect of lesser power? A long, low, slow return is not easy to hit hard even in the men’s game. Many players use the opponent’s power and pace very well but are not so effective against a more leisurely ball.
  • Why don’t more players use a slow return against a fast serve?
  • Ball can spin at 100 revs per second. Reality — more than 150 RPS
  • Ball can travel in excess of 100 mph. Reality — More like 70 MPH maximum
  • Players have 6/100th of a second to react. Reality — More like 1 or 2 tenths, due to diminishing speed.

Often quoted on television. Just where do these figures come from? They would certainly not seem to bear any relationship to reality!