Just like using spin, the ability to adjust your stroke to take into account the spin on the ball is something that is acquired with long hours of practice on the table. Here are some tips to get you started in the meantime.
How to Handle Spin in Table Tennis
- When a ball that has spin on it is hit by a table tennis bat, the spin will cause the ball to bounce in certain directions from the rubber on the bat. This is because most table tennis rubbers have some ability to grip the ball, and so will react to the spin of the ball (those rubbers that don’t react to spin are called, naturally enough, antispin).
- Topspin will cause the ball to jump upwards off the bat, while backspin will make the ball go sharply down. Sidespin will cause the ball to jump off the bat in the opposite direction to way the ball is curving (a ball curving to the left will jump to the right when it hits the bat!).
- The more topspin on the ball, the more the top of your own bat should point forwards (so that the rubber surface faces down), to keep the ball low.
- The more backspin on the ball, the more the bottom of your own bat should point up, to help push the ball upwards against the spin.
- If sidespin is on the ball and the ball is curving to your right, tilt your bat so that the left hand side of the rubber surface is closer to the ball than the right hand side. The heavier the spin, the more the left hand side should point forward.
- If sidespin is on the ball and the ball is curving to your left, tilt your bat so that the right hand side of the rubber surface is closer to the ball than the left hand side. The heavier the spin, the more the right hand side should point forward.