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Game Ethics of Playing The Table Tennis Sport

What kind of a player are you? Do you play by the book, or do you pull out every trick in your sleeve to win, even if that means not being very ethical?

game ethics

It doesn’t often happen and usually not by high-level players, but it does happen, and it has happened to me a few times. While I’m in the middle of a match and things are looking good for me to win… something happens all of a sudden, or sometimes its that way from the beginning of the game:

  • The opponent starts limping after every point.
  • The opponent is holding his leg or arm in agonizing pain.
  • The opponent is looking out of breath losing consciousness.
  • The opponent goes into a fit about… someone in the audience talking, the floor is dirty, the sunlight coming in from the non-existent window, etc.
  • The tears coming down on the opponent’s cheeks as he is waiting for me to serve.
  • The opponent is having some imaginary problems with his paddle.
  • The opponent yells CHO in every single point, even if you miss a serve.
  • The opponent delaying you from serving by jumping up and down, walking around, or not being in a ready position in time.

And so many other tricks that I can’t even bother to remember.

In some of these cases, the opponent even contemplates quitting the game at some point, but somehow they never do. What’s even crazier is that they continue to play as if nothing happened, and they are even better than before the “incident.”

Even though I realize that it’s all an act, it still throws me off. There is no way I can play the next point, ignoring what just happened. I do lose my concentration, and I struggle to get the whole scene out of my mind. As a result, I find myself struggling through a match that looked like a cakewalk.

I can’t think of any training method to master insensitivity and be able to go through matches like this without a stumble.

I wonder why opponents create all these “weird actions” because they try to get some time to adjust their momentum and calm down their minds. And the other thing is trying to get sympathy from the opponent, so they hope that the opponents can “leniently” lose some points.

For me, this is frustrating and annoying. It affects my focus while playing in the match, and it can confuse me. I immediately lose all my respect for the opponents if they show all these funny actions right in front of me when we compete.

Has this happened to you? Are you using these kinds of tactics? I would love to hear your take on this.

Is ‘Cho-ing’ Becoming Excessive?

Hi all! It is all about sportsmanship in table tennis, particularly the growing trend of ‘Cho-ing’ after every point! Of course, a monotone silence shouldn’t fill the playing arena, but is the shouting becoming a little excessive?

Firstly, I’m going to look at why this is becoming such a sensation. In a tight match, emotions run high, and a certain degree of fist-pumping and vocalism is expected. Depending on the person, a good shout can get you fired-up, while for others, cool and collected is the way forward.


Ovcharov demonstrates ‘the perfect cho’
So, first off, keep your self-talk positive. Also, watching your opponent revel in self-pity can be quite motivating in itself, so don’t let your opposition see that you’re rattled.

Secondly, are these shouts purely to motivate yourself, or do some players aim at intimidating the opponent? Well, the answer is pretty straightforward. You must have seen that guy – there’s always one – that accompanies the ‘cho’ with a long-lasting Basilisk stare.

To me, at least, that’s an awful diversion from the game, as it just suggests that table tennis is a game of intimidation. There’s further evidence of intimidation in junior tournaments that I’ve attended. The kids have been encouraged to shout after every point, even if they’re one of those who prefer to be calm and concentrated.

Harimoto the good example

Harimoto Tomokazu is a player from Japan who is very good at Cho-ing. Almost after every score, he will cho out loud. We can see the high spirit that he has for each game that he plays. But many audiences feel that it this annoying listening to such loud noises coming out of his mouth.

However, we did know that Harimoto Tomokazu is a player with good behavior and good ethics. The Cho-ing is too much, which frustrates some people. It is his style, but I think he needs to reduce such attention to have a better entertaining moment by enjoying watching the match.

This other one I’ve seen violated at several tournaments. When you win a point on a net or an edge, or when your opponent mid-serves, it’s etiquette not to celebrate. It’s often the coaches or support that breaks this one, but it isn’t a good image for the sport.

In conclusion, I’d say that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with shouting or motivating yourself after a big point (either in terms of standard or significance). Still, for me doing it after each point is unnecessary, as it can also disrupt other games going on around you if it’s a tournament situation. It should only be done for self-motivation purposes, not to hinder others.