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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 to be very ethical?

game ethics

It doesn’t happen often and usually not by high-level players but it does happen and it has happened to me a few times. As I am in the middle of a match and things are looking good for me to win… things like these happen out of the sudden or sometimes they are this 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 being dirty, the sunlight coming in from the non-existent window, etc.
  • 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 just miss a serve.
  • The opponent is delaying you from serving by jumping up and down, walking around and avoiding to assume 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 is even contemplating to quit the game at some point but somehow they never do. What’s even crazier is that they continue to play like 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 as nothing 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 be able to master insensitivity and be able to go through matches like this without a stumble.

All I can think of why the opponents are coming out with all these “weird actions” is that they are trying to get some time to adjust their momentum and to calm down their mind. And the other thing is that they are trying to get some sympathy from the opponent so hope that the opponents can “leniently” lose some points to them.

For me, this is kind of frustrating and annoying. It will affect my focus on playing in the match and it can confuse me. I tend to immediately lose all my respect to the opponents if they are showing all the funny action right in front of me when we are in competition.

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, in particular, 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. Well, in a tight match, obviously emotions are running high and a certain degree of fist-pumping and vocalism is to be expected. Depending on yourself, a good shout can really get you fired-up, while for others, cool and collected is the way forward.


Ovcharov demonstrates ‘the perfect cho’
What I don’t think is helpful is incessant self-deprecation after missing an easy shot; this only leads to negativity and you’ll still be thinking about that miss in points to come. 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 are some players aiming to intimidate the opponent? Well, the answers pretty clear, 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 a really bad advert for the game, as it just suggests that table tennis is a game of intimidation. There’s further evidence of the aim of intimidation too: in junior tournaments that I’ve been to, the kids have actually 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 the player from Japan who are very good at cho-ing. Almost every point that he scored he will cho out loud. We can see the high spirit that he has for each game that he played. But many audiences feel that this is kind of annoying when they heard such loud noise come out from his mouth.

However, we did know that Harimoto Tomokazu is a player with good behavior and good ethics. He is quite gentle where we can observe from some matches that he played. Just that the cho-ing that comes out from him is too often and this is kind of frustrating for some people. It can be his style but I do think that he needs to reduce such action so that audiences can have a better entertaining moment by enjoying watching the match.

This one’s an obvious one, but I’ll mention it anyway, as I’ve seen it violated at a number of tournaments. When you win a point on a net or an edge, or when your opponent mid-serves, it’s etiquette not to celebrate. Quite often it’s the coaches or support that breaks this one, but nevertheless, 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), but for me doing it each point is unnecessary, as it can also disrupt other games going on around you if it’s a tournament situation. Basically, it should only be done for self-motivation purposes, not to hinder others.

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