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By ITTF regulation, is it legal to hold a paddle with two hands?

On one serve, someone managed to return by using his normal hand with the addition of his other to stabilize the paddle better. Is that legal?

In ITTF guidelines it says

2.5.5 The racket hand is the hand carrying the racket.

2.5.6 The free hand is the hand not carrying the racket; the free arm is the arm of the free hand.

2.5.7 A player strikes the ball if he or she touches it in play with his or her racket held in the hand, or with his or her racket hand below the wrist.

However it fails to say that both hands can't be the racket hand.

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Yes, it is legal to hold the racket with two hands.

During a serve, you need to hold the racket with one hand, because you need to hold the ball with your free hand.

From the ITTF Handbook, 2.06 (The Service):

2.06.01 Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of the server's stationary free hand.

After the service, you do not need a free hand. There is no rule prohibiting holding the racket with two hands.

The ITTF Handbook for Match Officials (PDF) makes it clear that it is permissible to switch hands during a rally:

9.3 For the same reason he or she cannot make a good return by throwing his or her racket at the ball, because the racket does not “strike” the ball if it is not held in the racket hand at the moment of impact. However, a player may transfer his or her racket from one hand to the other during play and strike the ball with the racket held alternately in either hand, because the hand holding the racket is automatically the “racket hand”.

In order to switch hands, you need to hold the racket in both hands at some point.

  • 'Hold the racket in both hands at some point.' Is there a reason behind including that rule? – Yaitzme Oct 31 '14 at 11:45
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    @Yaitzme That's not a rule, just a fact. Unless you are throwing the racket from one hand to the other during the match, if you switch hands during play, there will be a point where both hands are holding the racket. – Ben Miller Oct 31 '14 at 11:52
  • Seems rather silly though to use that technicality to say it can be held in both hands and strike the ball as such, which is a very different thing than just changing hands. strike the ball with the racket held alternately in either hand seems to indicate just one hand is legal. – Joe Oct 31 '14 at 20:26
  • @Joe Keep in mind that the last quote is not a rule, it is just a guideline for match officials. My point for including it was to show that they acknowledge that there is no prohibition against holding the racket with two hands during play. If it was illegal to held the racket with two hands while hitting the ball, there would need to be an explicit rule prohibiting that. – Ben Miller Oct 31 '14 at 21:05

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