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The Official Rules of Table Tennis


23. Match Officials

23.1 For every competition as a whole as referee shall be appointed. The referee shall be responsible for

23.1.1 Interpretation of laws and regulations for competition.

23.1.2 Assignment and, if necessary, replacement of match officials.

23.2 An umpire shall be appointed for each match or at the request of any player or pair in that match. Where practical an assistant umpire will also be appointed.

23.2.1 The umpire shall sit or stand in line with the net and the assistant umpire shall sit directly facing him, at the other side of the table.

23.2.2 The umpire shall be responsible for: Checking the acceptability of equipment and playing conditions and reporting any deficiency to the referee. Taking a ball at random in accordance with the rules. Conducting the draw for choice of serving, receiving and ends. Controlling the order of serving, receiving and ends and correcting any errors therein. Deciding each rally as a point or a let. Calling the score in accordance with specified procedure. Introducing the expedite system at the appropriate time. Maintaining the continuity of play. Taking action for breaches of the advice or behavior regulations.

23.3 The assistant umpire shall decide whether the ball in play touches the edge of the playing surface at the side of the table top nearest to him.

23.4 Either the umpire or the assistant umpire may decide:

23.4.1 That a player's service action is illegal.

23.4.2 That, in an otherwise good service, the ball touches the net assembly while passing over or around it.

23.4.3 That a player obstructs the ball.

23.4.4 That the conditions of play are disturbed in a way that may affect the outcome of the rally.

23.4.5 Time the duration of the practice period, of play, and of any intervals.

23.5 Either the assistant umpire or a separate official may act as stroke counter to count the strokes of the receiving player or pair when the expedite system is in operation.

23.6 The umpire may not overrule the assistant umpire or stroke counter on a decision of fact made within their area of responsibility.

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