Official Rules for Classic Hardbat Table Tennis Events
MOTIVATION: To define a game which:
- approximates as closely as possible table tennis as played in the 1930s/40s, before the advent of sponge rubber,
- is understandable to spectators,
- balances offense and defense,
- minimizes mechanical advantage due to equipment variation,
- minimizes deception to players caused by easily-produced intense spin,
- minimizes confusion to spectators caused by easily-produced intense spin,
- eliminates combination bats and the associated advantage of twiddling,
- fosters longer rallies than occur in sponge play,
- lessens the importance of serve and service return compared to sponge play,
- encourages participation by players of all skill levels,
- and therefore is uniquely enjoyable for players and spectators,
- and is not so restrictive as to be detrimental to promoting itself.
The game of Classic Hardbat Table Tennis is the same as the USATT's definition of Table Tennis, except in the areas of equipment (blade, surface, and adhesive) and rules (service, foot-stamping, and clothing).
The hardbat committee may change the following rules at any time. Changes require a majority vote of the entire committee.
In order for a player to participate in a UHRL-rated event, he/she must use an acceptable hardbat.
An acceptable hardbat is defined as either:
1. a pre-assembled hardbat racket, as defined in section 1.1; or
2. a racket composed of the following approved components:
* Blade, as defined in section 1.2;
* Racket Covering, as defined in section 1.3; and
* Glue, as defined in section 1.4.
1.1 PRE-ASSEMBLED HARDBAT RACKET
An acceptable pre-assembled hardbat racket must be explicitly listed on the current Approved Pre-Assembled Hardbat Rackets list. Further, the pre-assembled racket must have its original unmodified short-pips-out no sponge surfaces.
The Approved Pre-Assembled Hardbat Rackets list is published by the hardbat committee and subject to change at any time. Anyone wishing a pre-assembled racket to be considered for approval should submit one to the hardbat committee for evaluation.
The blade shall conform to the USATT definition, except that it shall be comprised solely of rigid wood (no carbon or other non-wood plies). The handle may incorporate decorative non-wood inserts or inlays. If two hitting surfaces are used, both surfaces must be identical, and the composition of the blade must be internally symmetrical with respect to each surface. That is, it shouldn't matter which surface is used to hit the ball... they both must be identical.
1.3 RACKET COVERING
Each playing surface must be covered with a racket covering explicitly listed on the current Approved Hardbat Racket Coverings list. If two sides of the blade are playing surfaces, then it is prohibited to use different Racket Coverings on the playing surfaces. In other words, "combination" rackets are prohibited -- if the hypothetical "Acme" racket covering is used on one playing surface, then the "Acme" racket covering must be used on the other playing surface. Each racket covering must be attached to the blade in a manner described in section 1.4 (GLUE).
An unused non-playing surface must have either an identical covering as the playing side, or sandpaper, or it may have no covering (bare wood), or it may be covered with a "paint sheet". Paint sheets are thin self- adhesive sheets typically used to cover the backside of a penhold blade. An unused non-playing surface may not be covered with any rubber incorporating sponge, nor may it be covered with medium-pips or long-pips rubber. A player who uses a non-playing surface to return a ball during a point, loses the point.
All racket coverings must be non-reflecting, but otherwise can be any color except white, orange, or yellow. The two sides may be the same or different colors.
The Approved Hardbat Racket Coverings list is generated by the hardbat committee and subject to change at any time. Anyone wishing a rubber sheet to be considered for approval should submit a sample to the hardbat committee for evaluation.
Rubber must be affixed to the paddle with a thin-drying standard glue that adds no perceptible effect to the paddle, or with a glue sheet. Typical rubber cements or wood glues are acceptable. Thick-drying flexible glues such as silicon glues that could provide a springy base are not allowed. Glue sheets are allowable (instead of glue) so long as they provide no perceivable thickness or springiness to the surface.
The rules of play are the same as defined by USATT, except for the areas of service, foot-stamping, and clothing.
Service shall conform to USATT rules, with the exception that at no time during service, from presentation to impact, may the ball be obscured from the sight of the receiver.
Players shall not use stamping of feet as an instrument of distraction, diversion, or in any way as to disrupt the opponent. Foot-stamping is only allowed if it is the reasonable and natural consequence of moving one's body to reach the ball. Foot stamping is never allowed during service.
Clothing shall conform to USATT rules, with the exception that long pants, long-sleeved shirts, warmup suits, hats and visors are all permitted.
Resolution passed Dec 2000
-- A player may switch rackets between any two games.
Resolution passed Dec 2001
-- Hardbat games are to 21-points, service switch every 5 points, according to the scoring rules in use prior to the introduction of 11-point scoring.
Resolution passed Oct 2005
-- Pip specifications removed and replaced with approved lists.
-- Rubber must be same on both sides.