What do the hand signals used by umpires mean and when are they used? Find out here. The umpire should point to the next server with an open hand. This may be followed by the name of the. Source: ITTF Handbook for Match Officials.
by courtesy of the ITTF
In 1981 the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) introduced hand signals for use by international umpires.
So, in addition to controlling the match with verbal communication, umpires can also use approved hand signals to indicate certain decisions.
This is especially useful where the noise level makes it difficult for the umpire to be heard.
Umpires are instructed that these hand signals should be clear and positive but not unnecessarily flamboyant or aggressive.
Umpires must also ensure that hand signals are clearly separated. For example, they should not indicate a point scored with one arm and simultaneously indicate the next server with the other arm.
However, we need to be aware that the use of hand signals is included in the Regulations for International Competitions rather than the Laws (rules) of table tennis.
Before we go any further, it's worth noting the difference between the Laws (commonly referred to as the rules) of the game and the Regulations.
The Laws are the 'basic' rules of the game and are mandatory for all sanctioned table tennis events, whereas the Regulations are supplementary to the Laws and are only mandatory for ITTF (International) events.
However, the Regulations may also be used for non ITTF events and it is for the event organiser to decide whether they will use any or all of the Regulations.
So the Regulations may or may not always apply. As a general rule, the higher the level of competition, the more likely it is that some or all of the Regulations will be used in addition to the basic Laws.