This style uses pushes and blocks to play the ball safely, hoping to avoid mistakes and win points through their opponent’s mistakes. For shakehand players, both sides can be used to push and block, or one side (typically the backhand) is used mainly to push the ball, while the other side is used to block and attack any loose balls. Penholders can also use this style, but generally will push and block with the backhand side, and block with the forehand.
Distance from the Table
Push/Blockers are comfortable close to the table (within 3-4 feet), where their pushes and blocks are most effective.
The equipment favored by these players is generally inverted control rubbers on the forehand, with thin sponge (1.0mm to 1.5mm). On the backhand side for shakehanders, either a inverted control rubber similar to the forehand, or a long pimpled rubber with no sponge or thin sponge (0.5mm to 1.0mm) is used. For penholders, on the back side of the bat it is common to use a long pimpled rubber with no sponge or thin sponge (0.5mm to 1.0mm), and turn the bat to use the back side now and again.
This style of player cannot be found at the highest levels of play, since the top players do not make enough mistakes to make this style a winning option. At the lower and intermediate levels this style is still extremely common, due to the fact that opponents of the same standard will make enough mistakes to allow this style to be competitive.