We’re having some discussion here if an opponent is obliged to hit the ball in tabletennis before returning.

I’ve hit some backspin balls which would drop just over the net on the opponents side, after which its spin would cause it to immediately return to my side after a single bounce. In that situation, it would seem that the ball is in play and I would have to hit it again, but I feel there’s a rule somewhere that the opponent actually has to play it.

A quick google didn’t return the answer, so does anyone know here?

1 Answer 1


Yes, the opponent must play the ball. Law 2.7 states:


The ball [...] shall be struck so that it touches the opponent's court

as your opponent did not strike the ball to touch your court, they have failed to complete a correct return and thus lose the point.

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