Playing styles in table tennis

Social games/Table tennis
Chandler Lee
Playing styles in table tennis
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Professional table tennis players, who play their matches during the World Championships or Olympic Games, use a variety of techniques and styles of play. Meet the most popular of them!

The defeat or victory of a table tennis match is determined by the precision, speed of the ball, but also the technique of the player. The ball can be played in many ways, and each of them has a specialized name, inscribed in the style of play of the player. No single tactic can be singled out as the most effective.

There is only a small group of players who are comfortable with many styles. A particular way of playing should be tailored to the skill level as well as the experience of the opponent. Players who play table tennis at the highest level are able to skillfully and effectively mix different styles while creating their own unique way of playing. Anyone who would like to improve their table tennis skills should familiarize themselves with the basic table tennis styles.

Characteristics of players

Table tennis players can be symbolically divided into those who are more comfortable with defensive play, use more aggressive solutions or have become masters of defense. Players who are effective in attack are focused on scoring a point on their own play, they try to hit the ball fast and hard. Most choose their distance from the table based on individual preference. Close players use flat plays so that the ball is as close to the table as possible and makes it difficult for the opponent to defend. Those who choose to distance themselves from the table use topspin, giving the ball high rotation and a downward curved trajectory. Blocking-oriented players try to turn the power and rotation of the ball played by the opponent against themselves. Hits are short and powerful so that the opponent has as little time as possible to defend themselves. Table tennis players who specialize in defensive play wait for the opponent’s mistake, playing the ball a bit more calmly. This type of player is the least common in professional games.

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Classic defensive style

It is based on an assurance game. Players using this technique often change the rotation of the ball, attacking with less force. The premise is to discourage the opponent and force him to make a mistake. This type of style must be combined with an effective attack that allows the player to finish the action with a single hit.

Defensive active style

It is focused on accuracy and control of the game. It consists of playing close to the table, the racket of the player is equipped with a disruptive lining, which allows rapid changes in the rotation of the ball. This style is a common solution at the amateur level, but in the professional game is rarely used.

Classic offensive style

It consists of a two-sided topspin attack played close to the table. Players who prefer this style like to wait for the ball and impose a fast pace of play, looking for opportunities to finish the action. In the classic defensive style it is also common to switch from forend to backhand.

Offensive aggressive style

The most risky way of playing table tennis. A player with this characteristic tries to play power plays to finish actions, for example, countering the ball from the table. This offensive style of play is the most difficult to control by the opponent.

Classic all-round style

The versatile style of play requires a good condition of the player. It is based on rotation play, which is a combination of attack and defensive plays. The players using this style focus on playing and keeping the ball in different areas of the opponent’s table.

All-active style

The characteristic element of this style is a short distance from the table. The players try to use the block, speed and counter-strikes. In this style of play, rotational balls are less often played, which are usually used to open the action. The all-action style is most commonly used in women’s Chinese table tennis, where exchanged balls reach high speeds.

Featured image: Freepik

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